Rep. Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19) Wins StudentsFirst Endorsement

Paulette Rakestraw (R-HD19), Georgia State Representative from Paulding County, has been endorsed by Georgia Parents and Teachers for Putting StudentsFirst, the Georgia arm of StudentsFirst, a nationwide, bipartisan grassroots movement that works to focus the U.S. education system on what’s best for students. Legislators achieving the endorsement were evaluated based upon their responses to a questionnaire on education policies and, if incumbents, their record of support for common sense education reform efforts.

In the announcement, StudentsFirst said, “In her time in the House, Rep. Rakestraw has helped the cause of education reform by voting for HR 1162 (constitutional amendment authorizing charter schools), SB 184 (ending “last in, first out” layoff policies), and SB 410 (creating performance-based public ratings for schools). However, Rep. Rakestraw’s opponents in the primary prioritize the wishes of the education status quo instead of putting the interests of students first.”

Rep. Rakestraw said, “My position on education matters is very clear. When our students rank #26 in math and science when measured against other countries, our educational systems are failing. Our children will have to compete for jobs in the future in a global economy, against students whose education has better prepared them. Parents are ready for more educational choices that fit their children so they can succeed at learning. This will help our students in the future compete for jobs in a global marketplace. Teachers also want to be free of government paperwork and red tape that prohibit them from spending their time in the classroom teaching. The system is broken and StudentsFirst does a great job in shedding light on the problems we face in our schools all across America. I am very proud to been endorsed by this movement, which defends the interests of children in public education and pursues transformative reform.”

StudentsFirst is a bipartisan grassroots movement of more than 1 million members nationwide, working to focus our education system on what’s best for students, supporting common-sense reforms that help make sure all students have great schools and great teachers. Launched by former Washington D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee in December 2010, StudentsFirst has successfully helped pass more than 70 student-centered policies in 17 states, and our movement continues to grow.

Rep. Rakestraw, Paulding County’s first female legislator, represents the citizens of District 19 in Paulding County. She was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and currently serves on the Children & Youth Committee, the Economic Development & Tourism Committee, and on the Special Committee on Small Business Development.