Joe Martin stands up for Georgia's parents.
Joe understands the vital importance of active parents in strengthening our schools, not only for their own students but also for the benefit of all students.
As evidence of this commitment, he was one of the founders of the Council of Intown Neighborhoods & Schools in the City of Atlanta, which is widely recognized as one of the most effective community-based public school advocacy groups in the state.
It is essential that local schools encourage and facilitate the involvement of parents. Joe also realizes that the state and local systems must provide accurate and timely information to parents so that they can be full partners in the education of their children.
Most of all, Joe understands that education is a shared responsibility among the home, the school, and the community. He will support the active involvement of parents and the community through Local School Councils, Parent Teacher Student Associations, and similar groups. He will insist that schools welcome this involvement.
Joe has always been a strong supporter of Communities in Schools, Family Connection, and other initiatives to empower parents in the education of their children. He will also work to improve the cooperation between our schools and other agencies in providing needed assistance to our students.
Although preschool education is not a direct responsibility of the State School Superintendent, Joe recognizes how crucial it is to prepare our children for school. He will work to ensure that all children have access to high-quality child care and preschool programs. It is also his goal to make the transition between Pre-K and Kindergarten as seamless and effective as possible.
Joe also recognizes the value of after-school and summer opportunities. Instead of shortening the school year, we ought to do everything possible to increase the time spent on learning beyond the regular school day and year.
Joe is a strong supporter of charter schools because they offer alternatives that are still public schools. Although they have to be properly structured and operated, they can be an effective way to introduce new approaches and increase the involvement of parents and others. He has provided direct assistance to several successful charter schools and drafted the section in Georgia law to ensure proportional funding for locally approved charter schools.
At the same time, Joe is a staunch opponent of vouchers, which drain needed funds from our public schools. As a practical matter, vouchers are not available to the students who cannot afford the rest of the tuition at a private school or who may not be admitted for any reason.
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