We’re picking up more Republican wariness in the Legislature over Gov. Sonny Perdue’s proposal to make adult cheating on CRCT scores a criminal offense.
On Monday, it was Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers of Woodstock.
This morning, the two leading members of the House Education Committee, Chairman Brooks Coleman (R-Duluth) and Vice-Chairman Fran Millar (R-Dunwoody), expressed doubts about the legislation – Millar more so than Coleman.
Coleman said he was ready to approach his Senate counterpart, Dan Weber (R-Dunwoody), about holding a House-Senate hearing on the test scandal, with testimony from the state Office of Professional Standards, the governor’s office, and state School Superintendent Kathy Cox.
“I’m very concerned about the cheating. I’m not sure what the punishment should be. They already lose their job,” Coleman said. The bills, HB 1111 and HB1121, sponsored by state Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City), the governor’s floor leader, would make altering test scores a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $1,000 fine – and loss of any pension.
“That’s getting pretty severe,” Coleman said, though he emphasized that he hadn’t yet read the legislation and hadn’t made up his mind.
Millar was more adamant. “To me, firing the people involved is enough. I think that it’s tragic that this happened, but I don’t think it worth getting deeper into legalities,” he said. “Some of these people might have been ordered to do certain things.”
It might also be worth noting that many legislators routinely boast of having spouses, children or parents who are public school teachers. That matters.
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