News Release

Education Equity in the 2020 U.S. Senate Runoff

MEDIA CONTACT:  Gretchen Wright, gwright@southerneducation.org, (202) 421-5830

New Voter Guide Compares Runoff Candidates’ Positions on Education Equity

December 16, 2020 (Atlanta, Georgia) — COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on our education system, disrupting the school year and students’ learning, deepening existing inequities, and forcing emergency federal relief for public education. The latest evidence of the impact of the pandemic on public education came last week, when the Associated Press reported that the first report cards of the 2020 school year contain far more failing grades than before.

Despite these troubling developments, little effort has been made to highlight the education policy positions of the four people running for U.S. Senate from Georgia, even though the outcome of those races will determine the balance of power in the U.S. Senate and have a dramatic impact on federal education policy priorities.

To help Georgia voters concerned about education and the future of our public schools and students, the Southern Education Foundation has produced a candidate comparison. Election 2020: Education Equity on the Ballot – U.S. Senate Runoff provides the candidates’ positions on issues of education equity.

“It’s disappointing that in spite of the alarming impact of COVID-19 on education and the dramatic racial inequities that have been highlighted in this year, so little has been widely shared about the candidates’ positions on issues of education equity,” said Southern Education Foundation President and CEO Raymond Pierce. “We have a unique opportunity right now to reset and improve public education to make it more equitable and more effective than at any other time in our nation’s history. We need to know how our nation’s policymakers will approach this opportunity. The issues addressed in our candidate comparison are among the most crucial for taking full advantage of this moment to reset public education and advance education equity.”

The guide includes the candidates’ publicly-available positions such critical issues as:

  • COVID-19 and Broadband Access
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Resource Equity
  • Private School Choice
  • Support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities
  • Wraparound Services and Community Schools
  • Student Safety
  • Teacher Recruitment and Retention

The guide also includes detailed explanations of these policy issues and how they support equity in education.

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Originally founded in 1867 to educate Black children and children from low-income families in the South, the Southern Education Foundation was a pivotal source of research and data to support legislation and litigation aimed at fighting inequity in education during the civil rights era. The organization today conducts leadership development, research, and advocacy to improve educational opportunities for low-income students and students of color and achieve educational equity in the Southern U.S. It is based in Atlanta, Georgia. Find out more at southerneducation.org.