I have had a productive and busy summer, and I have been able to enjoy some much needed down time with Stacie and our girls. It is amazing how quickly the summer break has passed by with school starting back for most of our children last week.
If you are like my family, you are quickly adjusting back to the routine as we shift from the children sleeping in to getting up and out early.
I am thankful that Stacie and I have been blessed to be able to raise our girls in north Georgia and that they can attend a great school. Over the past couple of weeks we have attended open houses and met their teachers. We could not be more pleased and we are looking forward to a great school year. Our children have committed teachers that are dedicated to providing our children a quality education.
I have written several articles about education and what is taking place in this area at the state level.
As a member of the education committee in the House, I have encouraged elected officials to listen to parents, teachers and others and to effectively communicate with them concerning the education of our children. As a result of these efforts and the efforts of others, I am excited to report that the Senate and House Education Committees are planning to hold six informational meetings across the state.
These meetings will most likely also include representatives from both the Governor's Office and the State School Superintendent's Office. It will be a unique opportunity to have many of the decision makers together in one place to listen and to discuss educational issues.
Teachers, school administrators, board members, parents and the general public will be encouraged to attend the meetings. As a member of the House Education Committee I am looking forward to attending these meetings across the state.
I was extremely honored when the House Education Committee Chairman Brooks Coleman asked me to host the only one of the six meetings that will be held in the north Georgia area.
Chairman Coleman knows firsthand how strongly I have pushed for more citizen engagement in this area. The meeting is scheduled to be held at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8 at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega.
There will be an opportunity for those in attendance to ask questions of the members of the panel. I anticipate a wide variety of topics being discussed during the evening.
Over the past few months I have had many conversations with constituents about Common Core, so I am confident the panel will be addressing this issue.
I also expect education funding to be a concern on the minds of many of those that will attend the meeting. Over the past few years with decreased revenue and shrinking budgets, our schools have been faced with some difficult decisions.
The discussion on funding will most likely include the concept of allowing additional flexibility with how the schools can utilize revenue streams. One idea that has been discussed is allowing voters the option of giving school boards the ability to use a portion of E-LOST funds to pay for operating cost.
Currently, the funds are primarily restricted to capitol building projects and debt service. School administrators in my district have indicated their support for this change.
I encourage each of you to take advantage of this opportunity to come out and have your voices heard on the future of our children's education.
As a father of three daughters who all attend public school, I plan to continue to be involved in this process. The success of not only our children, but also our state depends on a quality educational system.
Mark your calendars and plan to join me at a "Family Fun Day" at 5 p.m. Aug. 17 at Burt's Pumpkin Farm.
Gov. Nathan Deal and many other state and local elected officials from across the area will be there.
I am honored to serve as your representative at the State Capitol. I am always available to assist you and encourage you to contact me with questions or your opinions.
Rep. Kevin Tanner can be reached at (678) 776-5059, at the Capitol (404) 656-0152 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.