In his second bid for a second term as governor, Roy Barnes says he will stop teacher furloughs, shrink class size and raise teacher pay.
No, he won’t.
And in the case of teacher pay, no, he shouldn’t.
The political calculations behind Barnes’ promises are obvious. During his first term, he so alienated Georgia teachers that he lost their support in the 2002 elections, and with it re-election. So one of his prime goals in this campaign is to try to repair that relationship.
However, state tax revenues continue to fall, the federal government is about to turn off the money spigot to state governments and Georgia is still leaking jobs. Under these conditions, the promises that Barnes is making to teachers will be impossible to keep for at least two budget cycles and probably a lot longer.
In fact, you have to wonder about the reaction of Georgians who are sitting at home, worried about their jobs and mortgages, watching Barnes on TV promising to use their tax money to give
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