August 2, 2022


Jitters as new academic year begins

As the school year gets underway today across Coastal Georgia this week, the hubbub of students flocking hallways again isn’t the only sound one’s bound to hear. Another is the anxious voices of teachers and administrators in schools and universities across the state.

The reason? A trio of hotly debated education laws that went into effect July 1 setting forth the rights of parents to control their child’s education and instructing teachers how they can discuss racism and other “divisive concepts.”

For schools, school districts, and the State Board of Education, now comes the sticky part, The Current’s Craig Nelson writes: how to handle complaints that a teacher is attempting to “indoctrinate” students to their views on race and how it has affected the U.S., from the nation’s founding until today.


He said/He said

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday voted to pass the $280 billion Chips and Science Act, a bill that would subsidize domestic semiconductor manufacturing and invest billions in science and technology innovation, as the U.S. competes with Chinese and other foreign manufacturers.

Coastal Georgia’s Rep. Buddy Carter didn’t number among the 24 Republicans who defied their leadership and joined Democrats in backing the measure.

“This bill, more aptly named the CHIPS and Stagflation Act, lacks the courage to stand up to the Chinese Communist Party,” Carter said in a statement. “All sectors of our economy are hurting — the government cannot be in the business of picking winners and losers.”

Carter’s opponent in this fall’s election, Wade Herring, decried the vote.

“Even with a new Kia plant being built right here in our own district, the incumbent still chooses to create a soundbite knocking the idea of increasing American-made production that would boost our economy and supply chains, Herring said in a statement. “He’s a career politician, not interested in actually helping.”


Credit: Unsplash

‘Exclusionary discipline’

The Georgia State Board of Education has reversed a decision by the Liberty County Board of Education to suspend a seventh-grade Black student from Lewis Frasier Middle School, ruling that the suspension violated his due process rights, the Southern Poverty Law Center said last week.

School districts, like Liberty County, have become reliant and comfortable with suspending and expelling students without sufficient evidence or fundamental fairness, as required by law,” Mike Tafelski, an SPLC attorney, said. “Exclusionary discipline serves no pedagogical purpose and only perpetuates harm on our children.”

In Liberty County, Black students represent 53.2% of students enrolled, but 66.5% of those who experience school suspensions, the statement noted.

Hinesville’s Coastal Courier reported July 27 that it had “reached out to Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry for any replies on the matter.” There were none.


Point spread

Democratic Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia has a nine-point lead over Republican challenger Herschel Walker in Georgia’s Senate contest, according to a new poll conducted by SurveyUSA for WXIA-TV, Atlanta.

The survey of 950 Georgia adults, conducted July 21-24, showed Warnock with 48% support among likely voters in the state, while Walker received 39% support. Eight percent of respondents were undecided.

In the poll, 9-in-10 Democrats (90%) were lined up behind Warnock, while Walker earned the support of 77% of Republicans; 10% of Republican respondents crossed over to support Warnock over Walker in the survey.

In the gubernatorial race, incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp led Democratic nominee Stacey Abrams by a 45%-44% margin. Four percent of respondents indicated that they’ll back another candidate while seven percent were undecided.


Good news for the GOP

The widely respected Cook Political Report says Republicans are enjoying a stronger Electoral College map than at any time in the 25-year history of its Partisan Voting Index.

“A Republican presidential candidate can lose the popular vote by narrow margin and still win an Electoral College majority. That, however, is almost impossible for a Democrat to replicate,” Amy Walter says.

Put another way: “Democrats need to win the popular vote by at least three points (but more realistically 4 points) to feel confident that it will translate to an Electoral College win.

There’s more good news for the GOP: In “The Republican Advance in the South — and Other Party Registration Trends,” Rhodes Cook, writing in Sabato’s Crystal Ball, says, “For decades now, Republicans have dominated the region electorally, but it is only now that long healthy Democratic registration advantages are finally evaporating.”


Cash guzzlers

Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp., and Shell PLC, the three largest Western oil companies, banked a record $46 billion in collective profits in the second quarter, fueled by the highest energy prices in over a decade and lucrative oil-refining margins, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

There was no immediate reaction on the Twitter feeds of Rep. Buddy Carter, or from the Republican Congressional Campaign Committee and the Republican National Committee — all of whom have castigated the Biden administration for high gas prices.


Noted

Rep. Buddy Carter tweeted Sunday: “Today is a major financial deadline for my campaign, and we are still behind our end-of-month budget needs. Can I count on you to help with a quick donation of a few dollars?” As of June 30, his campaign finance committee had raised $1,494,690, spent $1,279,720, and had $1,920,895 cash on hand.

A majority of Americans say the U.S. government is corrupt and almost a third say it may soon be necessary to take up arms against it, according to a poll from the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Two-thirds of Republicans and independents say the government is “corrupt and rigged against everyday people like me,” according to the poll, compared to 51 percent of liberal voters.

From SEGRA Chairperson Brittany Brown: The South East Georgia Republican Assembly, or SEGRA, will hold its monthly meeting Thursday, Aug. 4, at the Isle of Hope Baptist Social Hall at 22 Rose Ave. on the Isle of Hope. Socializing starts at 6:15 p.m. The meeting begins promptly at 7 p.m. and ends promptly at 8:30 p.m. They’ll focus on the get-out-the-vote effort for Nov. 8 elections.


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Craig Nelson is a former international correspondent for The Associated Press, the Sydney (Australia) Morning-Herald, Cox Newspapers and The Wall Street Journal. He also served as foreign editor for The...