EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the third of several stories from the state Senate District 21 candidates' debate sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party, and held at the Crooked Creek HOA Clubhouse on July 10. Each will be accompanied by video with more complete remarks by the two men. Please watch both videos to keep candidates' comments in context.
Sen. Chip Rogers, R-Woodstock, said during a debate on July 10 that school vouchers were needed "yesterday." His Republican Primary opponent for the state Senate District 21 seat, Brandon Beach, said the district has excellent schools and vouchers aren't needed.
The candidates were responding to a follow up question after answering a question about keeping control of taxpayer dollars after the failure of Fulton Science Academy according to a report commissioned by the Fulton County School System.
Moderator Jim Galloway said from Rogers' responses to the question, he extrapolated that the incumbent was supporting school vouchers. He asked how quickly the candidates thought the state should adopt school vouchers.
"How quickly should we do it? Yesterday. And the consequences will be, we'll finally have a market-based system with the best education schools in the system, deliver a product to children and parents that they want, that they desire, that they will be involved with," Rogers said.
He said a system that requires attendance at a specific school because of your address doesn't work."That's craziness."
Rogers said the free market system would close bad schools as the dollars follow the children to good schools.
On school vouchers, Beach said, "We don't need vouchers, we need good public education with parental involvement."
The school system has $8,000 per student for education, he said. "We just need to make our public schools good and demand parental involvement."
He would model other schools on the successful schools in North Fulton and Cherokee counties.