August 11, 2017 Radio Commentary

Parent Power Resurfacing

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 11, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

It was over a year ago on January 14, 2016 when Representative Kevin Tanner and five other representatives introduced H.B. 739 that passed, overwhelmingly, with only three representatives and eight senators voting against it.  The governor signed it into law on May 3rd of last year, but nothing changed in 2016, because H.B. 739 allowed a year for educators to get ready to put it in place.  So, several things became effective July 1st of this year.

First: The State Board of Education is no longer required to appoint a committee to examine school curriculum, although board members may choose to do so.

With that change, the power to review and approve curriculum content and supplementary material shifted from the state to the local level, where local boards of education must provide an opportunity for public comment and parental input before any instructional material is adopted.

No. 2: The local school board must post in a prominent place on its website and make available for public review a list of proposed instructional material, complete with version or edition or ID number, plus any required State guidelines and the course number where the material will be used. Continue reading

August 4, 2017 Radio Commentary

Trump’s Georgia Appointees

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, August 4, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

President Donald Trump’s 16-member Executive Cabinet includes two men from Georgia. The first Georgian he tapped for cabinet service is Congressman Tom Price from Congressional District 6 that just elected his successor, Karen Handel.

Congressman Price was nominated Secretary of Health and Human Services on November 29th, and was confirmed by the Senate’s 52-47 straight party-line vote on February 10, 2017. As HHS Secretary, Mr. Price is working to repeal Obamacare.

After receiving his medical degree in Michigan, Dr. Price completed his residency at Emory University in Atlanta, where he ran an orthopedic clinic for 20 years, then returned to Emory as assistant professor of orthopedic surgery and director of Grady Hospital’s orthopedic clinic.

On January 18, 2017 former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue was nominated Secretary of the Department of Agriculture and was confirmed by the Senate in a sweeping 87-11 vote on April 24th.  On April 25th he was sworn in by U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas from Georgia to become the 31st USDA Secretary.  He tweeted: “I was a farmer first.  When you’re in agriculture, you don’t often need a tie.  Rolling up my sleeves and getting to work at USDA.” Continue reading

July 2017 Newsletter

D.C. Bible Study

Nine leaders in President Donald Trump’s 24-member cabinet, including Vice President Pence, regularly participate in a weekly Bible study for prayer and fellowship in Washington, D.C. Sponsors of the Bible Study include two cabinet members from Georgia – Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price – along with three Georgia congressmen – Senator David Perdue, Representatives Rick Allen and Tom Graves.

Seven years ago, the D.C. Bible study was created by Capitol Ministries, whose founder, seven-feet-one-inch former national basketball player Ralph Dollinger, preached the gospel around the world at halftime wherever he played. Dollinger prepares and teaches the D.C. lessons that are translated into French, Spanish, and Russian, to reach national leaders in their own language. 

The Georgia Capitol Commission Bible Study meets in Capitol Room 123 weekly during the session and monthly afterward. Attendees – officials, staff and lobbyists – enjoy a light lunch. Elsewhere, almost every other Tuesday at 9:55 a.m., members of the Georgia Public Service Commission have a five-minute, typically Christian, devotional to begin their work-day. 

Officials honor Sundays in Georgia. Christian influence on Georgia legislators stops bills like S.B. 17 that would have changed Sunday-sale hours of on-site consumption of liquor by-the-drink. If it had passed, such sales could have begun at 10:30 Sunday morning. 

S.B. 85 is a liquor bill that did pass this session, but left in place current law prohibiting sales of liquor-by-the-drink until 12:30 p.m. on Sundays, which upholds current liquor-by-the drink law. Action on these bills demonstrates the Georgia legislature’s continued reverence for religious expression. 

Georgia church honors Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue: On Sunday July 9th Second Baptist Church in Warner Robins commissioned Sonny and Mary Perdue as “missionaries to Washington, D.C.” Their son, Jim, pastor of the Warner Robins Second Baptist Church, explained that the commissioning ceremony was held to recognize his parents for the “mission” they are undertaking by serving the nation in federal government.

  • To read the rest of this newsletter in PDF format, please click here.

July 28, 2017 Radio Commentary

Recess: Yes or No?

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, July 28, 2017 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

It might be under the radar, but a return to daily school recess is being discussed all over the country.  During the 2017 session, the Georgia House of Representatives voted 147 to 17 to pass H.B. 273, requiring local school boards to have a written recess policy for grades K – 12.  It does not REQUIRE schools to HAVE recess, but they must have a recess POLICY.

In fact, the bill has so much wiggle room that schools can have a recess policy on paper, without ever scheduling or allowing recess.  Even if schools voluntarily provide recess, it wouldn’t be required on any day it may interfere with physical education or a structured activity or an assembly or field trip or an emergency or disaster or an act of God.  H.B. 273 could be amended in 2018 to make recess mandatory, but this version timidly veers away from that.

The Senate Committee on Education and Youth favorably reported H.B. 273 out of committee, but it was tabled March 28th, leaving it alive for 2018.  That’s important, since the bill is now supported by members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, who might have been inspired by the national social media debate about the Florida recess bills.  Continue reading