The February 17th meeting of the Union County Republican Party was a “standing room”
only event that was held at Cabin Coffee located on the Blairsville Square.
Following the invocation, Allison asked everyone to join in the recitation the Pledge of
Allegiance. These two activities were followed by his introduction of State School
Superintendent Richard Woods.
Mr. Woods is running for re-election and he shared his philosophy for Georgia’s school
systems. He believes in the importance of local control. Said Woods, “The Obama
administration was very tight and controlling. They did not care what the states thought. This
contrasts Secretary Devos. She is very open and she has given control back to the states.”
One of Woods’ goals is to reduce state control over local school systems. However, with less
state control, there is more personal tax payer responsibility to hold local elected school board
members accountable. He proposed several suggestions for having a local school board that is
responsive to the citizens who pay school taxes.
Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods Speaks at Union County GOP Meeting
Speaker Woods also stressed the importance of Technical Education in Georgia’s school
systems. Said Woods, “There is currently no more of the four year college only push. The
average debt for higher education is $28,000.” He discussed other options for career success
including technical education on the high school level. Effective technical programs must be
tied to the labor needs of the local community. Said Woods, “Skilled workers in Georgia are on
the average, 60 years of age. For every four job openings, there is only one qualified applicant.
We must offer more options to our students to fill the labor needs of our communities. We must
disengage the No Child Left Behind mentality.”
When Woods was elected as School Superintendent, his victory was touted as that of an
outsider. He has offered a different perspective to Georgia’s schools. “Instead of building
castles, state employees of the school system need to be missionaries. I have encouraged a
different mindset for the State Department of Education. We now not only strive to education
our students but also to prepare them for life.”
The Union County GOP meets the third Saturday of every month at 10 AM at Cabin
Coffee. The March meeting will be held on March 17, 2018
Cutline: State School Superintendent Richard Woods Speaks to Union County GOP
Submitted by Deb S. Curlette