When I attended Senator Stoner’s town hall meeting this past fall at Vinings Bank he did a great job discussing transparency on tax dollars spending. He sponsored the Georgia Taxpayer Receipt legislation that allows citizens to see exactly how their tax dollars are being spent. It is very cool so check it out here. I’d give him an A for that good work. It naturally follows to wonder about his thoughts on TSPLOST. After-all, he co-sponsored Senate Bill 332 for more transparency on County SPLOST proceed expenditures. Maybe he was at one of the umpteen million TSPLOST forums held last night around Cobb. I attended the one hosted by The Cobb Regional Republican Women's Club.
I haven’t found a rating sheet that grades "ease of access" to a Senator but I can say from personal experience it has been more than challenging to get some time with Senator Stoner to discuss education. After visiting the District 6 Atlanta office multiple times at the Capitol Dome, paging him from the floor, and unreturned phone calls, (I did have some e-mails answered by an assistant) I was beginning to get a complex. I did run into him at a Smyrna City Council Meeting where he apologized for being difficult to access. Hopefully someday, perhaps we can discuss his voting record on educational issues. Until then, look here for a record that looks pretty much out of touch with educational reform and accountability. The only thing he voted yes for was mandatory physical fitness testing. I am sure Senator Stone has his reasons for voting as he has, and I look forward to his accepting an invitation to an education forum for candidates.
Senator Stoner has 3 strong possible opponents. Josh Belinfante has a good "insider" resume. As a former teacher now attorney, he's a veteran in dealing with both education and state politics. Josh is Smyrna raised guy. I met with him in Buckhead an early spring morning over coffee. He certainly presents a platform that supports school choice and the importance of education.
I recently met with and discussed education. Although it is not as strongly presented in his campaign materials, Hunter shared a pro-school choice position.
For more experienced pro-education improvement and accountability records, check out veteran Representative Stacey Evans. Stacey is a champion for keeping integrity in the Hope Scholarship program. I've met with her a number of times and shes a pleasure to talk to. Stacey voted yes on the Constitutional Amendment allowing School Choice, HR1162, going against the grain with caucusing democrats on the issue. Bravo for her bravery!
For an Education Superwoman record check out Alisha Thomas Morgan’s. She is a champion for school choice. I must say that Alisha is one of the most constituent focused politicians I've ever met. I helped her facilitate Community Cafe Chats even before I knew her well. South Cobb and anyone interested in decreasing the achievement gap needs to help her regain office. As a co-sponsor of HR1162, she's got opposition due to her non-partisan position on improving education in her district. If you are pro-charter school, you might want to support her with some school change by donating here.
Keep an eye on my blog for more. Posting tomorrow - Strange Things I Saw at Last Week's School Board Meeting.
How would you grade State Sen. Doug Stoner's performance? Tell us in the comments.