Sonny Perdue to fellow Republicans: Be not afraid of this federal cash

After thanking the proper state school officials, the first message that Gov. Sonny Perdue sent regarding Georgia’s winning of $400 million in federal education money could well have been directed at Nathan Deal, the Republican nominee for governor.

“I want to say one again, for many who have feared that this is federal intrusion, the feds gave us no rules. They said, you put together a plan that you can implement,” Perdue said Tuesday afternoon at a celebratory press conference.

Gov. Sonny Perdue addresses the state school board last week about his tasks forces' findings of suspicious discrepancies in state standardized test scores. AP/John Amis

Gov. Sonny Perdue addresses the state school board last week about his tasks forces' findings of suspicious discrepancies in state standardized test scores. AP/John Amis

During the runoff, the Deal campaign fumbled when asked its position on Perdue’s pursuit of “Race to the Top” money – first dismissing it, because of the alleged strings attached. Deal quickly reversed his position.

John Barge, the Republican nominee for school superintendent, has specifically questioned the wisdom of pursuing Race to the Top money. It was one of the reasons that the governor backed an unsuccessful attempt Bryant to run for a full term as an independent candidate.

But this afternoon, Barge quickly issued a statement saying that, if elected in November, he would not give the money back. Said Barge:

As I have said in the past, if elected, I will faithfully administer the programs and policies set by the governor and the General Assembly and look forward to doing so if I am chosen to be our next school superintendent.

The link between the testing scandal in the Atlanta city school system, now the subject of a state investigation, and the new federal funding was an obvious question for reporters.

How concerned are you that more pressure to do well on standardized tests might tempt teachers to cheat? the governor was asked.

Said Perdue:

“That’s why I’ve been so vigorously pursuing integrity in our testing system, because I do believe that going into the future, you’ll have more and more emphasis on this, and more and more people rewarded on that basis. That is the way life works.

“I don’t think we’re satisfied in this state to sit back and have a level that dumbs down to mediocrity what we expect of our children. Georgia’s future rests on not just being average…but in excelling and exceeding.

And this money will give us the opportunity to prove that’s possible.”

The governor was then asked if he had any concerns about giving some of the $400 million to the Atlanta school system. Said the governor:


Perdue was also questioned about how long he thought the state investigation of the Atlanta school system, which he himself ordered, might take – or how much it might cost.

Said the governor:

“We don’t know the breadth at this time. We can’t predict that. I’m not willing to put an end time to this. Obviously, Bob Wilson and Mike Bowers know that it is timely, and that we want it completed as quickly as possible – so that all those teachers out there who may feel impugned by situations like this can absolutely be cleared as quickly as possible.

“As far as cost, we don’t know exactly how much it will cost. But I’ll be honest with you, how much does it cost if we don’t look. That the way I look at it.

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33 comments Add your comment

John Galt

August 24th, 2010
3:58 pm

Throwing more money at the public schools cesspool ain’t gonna fix the problem. But, hey, all the officials already making in six figures will now get a raise. Count on that.


August 24th, 2010
4:02 pm

What’s amazing about these conservatives, how they hate government but always have there hands out. Sam with Tea Klansman most of them hate goverment but are drawing Unemployment, Vet benefits, medicare.


August 24th, 2010
4:22 pm

Folks, just shut up for once and be happy Georgia got these funds.

While I’m not a fan of federal largesse, I look at this as something Georgia earned by freeing up our systems to make better improvements. This is not an earmark, or some other dirty funding.

Second, these funds hopefully will be used to improve education where we are sorely in need and lacking, Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology education.

Put the swords down for a moment folks, and be happy that Georgia is getting these funds to improve our education for the people who are going to build our future tomorrow.


August 24th, 2010
4:36 pm

We need to use this money to create chapels in the schools. To keep the liberal SOCIALISTS in line we can let the jews and papists use it from time to time so they don’t get their panties in a wad.

And also, most of this money needs to go ANYWHERE BUT METRO ATLANTA!!1!!

King Roy

August 24th, 2010
4:37 pm

I promise I will use this money in an appropriate manner.
I will give teachers the pay and respect they deserve; meanwhile, I will cut taxes and continue to out-promise everyone!

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
4:55 pm

Fred, you are so right! None of that money needs to go to the Atlanta government schools! If Hall gets her hands on it, she will gladly resign! We all KNOW how very corrupt all the officials are in Atlanta. The whole lot of them are UNGODLY and WICKED I’ll bet they even talk ugly to their mama, too!

Pappa Grizzly

August 24th, 2010
5:02 pm

Just say nope to this money. Obama is just like Hitler and he wants to socialize this country and our schools. There’s plenty of money for education. Just cut the teacher salaries and fire half the principals and we’d be just fine.

Road Scholar

August 24th, 2010
5:13 pm

Our education system is crumbling and the naysayers stand by and spout this crap about liberals, President Obama, Atlanta, etc.
By the quality of their posts, Papppa Grizzly,Innocent, and Fred could be poster children for what’s wrong with our educational system. Graduation w/o the ability to reason.


August 24th, 2010
5:14 pm


Chapels in the schools? LMFAO!!! You ignorant wad. Ever heard of separation of church and state?


August 24th, 2010
5:15 pm

Road Scholar,



August 24th, 2010
5:18 pm

Most of the comments on this blog are idiotic. Typical Georgians. Keep churning out undereducated boobs and sending this to your state universities where they can’t pass the freshman math courses. I tutored those students back in 1984 and graded their papers in freshman math. Nothing has changed since then, Georgia schools, all over the state, continue to churn out poorly prepared students.

But, let’s not take any money from Obama that might actually help Georgia. Frankly, I could care less about this stupid state any more. When I retire, I’m outta here. For now, I’m stuck because of my job. Yes, I have a job, one that pays me a six figure salary with benefits, so all you rednecks can call me a liberal if you want, but I bet I earn more than any of you.


August 24th, 2010
5:21 pm

Let’s go ahead and appoint the special prosecutor now. That way when the money get’s stolen he’ll have a big head start on the indictments.

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
5:27 pm

songbird, “I earn more than any of you”. What a childish statement! I can hardly wait for you to retire so that you be “outta here”.

PS: My daddy can beat up your daddy!

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
5:32 pm

jm, “Second, these funds hopefully will be used to improve education where we are sorely in need and lacking, Math, Science, Engineering, and Technology education.”

Don’t forget sex-ed!

Songbird Whiner

August 24th, 2010
5:39 pm

Songbird sounds like a big whiner to me. It’s highly ironic that you call everyone else an “idiot” while proceeding to sound like one yourself. Really? You earn more? That’s your argument? You’re not an idiot because you earn more? That’s NOT an idiotic argument? Brittany Spears earns more money, does that make her less idiotic? Since you’re so smart, and need to tutor us “undereducated boobs”, I’m sure that you know that I-75, I-85, and I-20 all run out of state at a superior speed. Since you’re so superior to Georgians, why do you need to make your six-figure salary here? Surely you can make it somewhere else with your vast intellectual capacities. Do the rest of us a favor and stop taking yourself so seriously. Take your sour grapes somewhere else.

Can't trust Perdue

August 24th, 2010
5:49 pm

Perdue has cut funding to education more than any preceding governor in Georgia history. It is precisely because he has so vociferously slashed taxes without foresight that we need the funds so badly. Republican leadership has put our educational system in a bind. This money will be gone in one budget cycle. The decisions that have been made in order to solicit those funds will last for years. You can sell your soul to the devil, but you have to live with the repurcussions. Where’s the money going to come from after that? Do you ever even hear the Republican leadership address that? I have never voted for a Democrat before in my life. However, I can honestly say that I’m going to vote for my first Democrat ever in the gubernatorial election. I’m voting for Barnes, despite his past mistakes because down deep in my gut, I just think he’s going to treat educational budgets better than the highly political, low common sense leadership we’ve gotten from the Republicans for the last eight years. As a teacher, I sorely regret my two votes for Perdue. I know MANY more teachers who feel the same way and are going to be voting the other way to help prove a point.

Brain Trust

August 24th, 2010
6:11 pm

I don’t fear the feds but I DO loathe Sonny. Somebody please put up a countdown clock for how many days until we send him back to his p*ssed off neighbors in Perry.

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
6:19 pm

Can’t trust Perdue: The sad truth is that, no matter who is elected in November, the future governor and state legislators are going to face some very tough problems that will require very tough decisions. Taxpayers now are strapped by federal, state and local taxes and there is a limit as to how much blood you can get from a turnip. Cuts in budgets will be necessary and education will not be exemptedn from the process. Any would-be elected official who says otherwise is lying. We can already see evidence of budgetary problems in counties and municipalities with lay-offs in “essential” services, such as fire/rescue and police services. Some municipalities face the very real prospect of eliminating their entire police departments. The economic problems we face today, according to many news services, are going to worsen with no end in sight.

Beware of extravagent promises in these economic times.

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
6:21 pm

“exemptedn” should read “exempted”. Sorry – typo.

Innocent Bystander

August 24th, 2010
6:27 pm

Road Scholar: “Graduation w/o the ability to reason.”

In your particular case, one might say “graduation without the ability to discern”.

We have a shill on board

August 24th, 2010
6:56 pm

“Put the swords down for a moment folks, and be happy that Georgia is getting these funds to improve our education for the people who are going to build our future tomorrow.”

jm, Sonny has already promised half the money to bureaucrats at the state DOE. By the way jm, your realtor called. Has some ocean front property in Kansas that he knows you’ll want to buy. He said take a few minutes to savor how Race to the Top will really transform Georgia, then give him a call.


August 24th, 2010
7:09 pm

Race To The Trough (oink, oink, slurp, slurp)

Quite a few will benefit. It won’t be the teachers or students–the frontline in education.

Liberal in a Red State

August 24th, 2010
7:36 pm

Papa Grizzly: Obama wants to socialize the education system????? Our education system is and has been a socialist program since it’s inception.

Nothing funnier than folks screaming about socialism when they don’t have a clue what it is. Hanks for that laugh.

Liberal in a Red State

August 24th, 2010
7:37 pm

Make that “Thanks”. Dang phone.


August 24th, 2010
9:36 pm

It is really sad when all most of you can do is spew hate. When you have nothing intelligent to say, you start the name calling. Be smart and ask questions about the money that Gov Perdue and others have mismanaged. As long as you keep fighting each other, politicians will continue to rob us blind. Beware of those that promise the moon but cannot tell you how they will get it for you. We as a people have more power when we’re united and don’t think for one minute that they don’t know this.


August 24th, 2010
10:01 pm

People don’t fear the fed funds…. just because they come from DC… we can be like they are… come on Georgians, don’t fear the fed funds… there won’t be any strings… we can be like they are… come on Georgians, don’t fear the fed funds

Education Insider

August 24th, 2010
10:13 pm

“the feds gave us no rules”…Really!?! Isn’t that how we got in this mess to begin with? No rules, no ramifications, no results.


August 24th, 2010
10:40 pm

sick of the republicans can not get a raise but he some how found some money for this school mess

Georgia Eagle

August 24th, 2010
11:58 pm

@Liberal in a Red State: Most people don’t realize the socialist nature of modern public education like a fish doesn’t realize the nature of water. They’ve been raised by this system which instructs children (and adults in higher ed) from this educational philosophy. Unless something takes them “out of the Matrix” or at least shakes their confidence in the system at its core they will never see the root problem nor the solution.

Check out the trailer for the upcoming movie IndoctriNation (a “red pill” for those wanting the truth):

Georgia Eagle

August 25th, 2010
12:03 am

“Sonny Perdue to fellow Republicans: Be not afraid of this federal cash”


Another example of why when it comes down to the business of governance there’s not much difference between the GOP and the Democrats. Georgia’s so-called conservative Republican government will gladly receive and spend money from those bad, bad socialist Democrats, then boast about how they were able to help Georgians by being fiscally wise in carving up the federal pork.

John Kerry

August 25th, 2010
7:43 am

Remember, Congressman Nathan Deal was against Race to the Top funds for GA before he was for it. Flip Flops are cool in summer. Come on up to my yacht Congressman – John.


August 25th, 2010
12:44 pm

Georgia is the most racist state. Every conversation seems to revolve around President Obama or African-Americans in general. I don’t get it. As an African-American, I am very offended by some of the comments. Not all of us are the same just as not all whites, asians, jews, etc. are the same. I don’t judge a whole race of people for what a few have done. Geez! When are we going to let this crap go and accept each other and our many differences? It never ceases to amaze me. God considers all of us his children and He is loving and forgiving. We are CERTAINLY NOT ABOVE GOD so who are we to hate another race of people because they are different? AND PLEASE, STOP BASHING PRESIDENT OBAMA! Instead of criticizing him for everything he does, say a prayer for him that he will make the right decisions for “OUR” country. None of us are perfect and if we were in his shoes, who’s to say we would do a job any better. MORE LOVE, LESS HATE.

I hope all of you have a good day.


August 25th, 2010
12:46 pm

and I specifically directed my comments to Fred and Innocent Bystander. Shame on you. So unnecessary.