Under the tenure of my predecessor and current opponent, the CASEL framework and standards were being actively promoted (https://www.johnbarge.net/sel.html).
At the behest of a former Governor, Georgia applied for and was awarded a CASEL/SEL grant years ago — I stopped our state from receiving the grant and adopting its requirements. After Georgia was awarded the grant, I carefully reviewed it, vetted it, and saw it for what it was and could become — adopting a national agenda, pushing our schools to assume the role of parents, and adding more to the plates of our teachers.
Let me be clear: We did not take any grant funding. We did not adopt any SEL/CASEL standards as a state. Georgia immediately backed out of the grant after my review and concerns.
The truth is that under the tenure of my predecessor and current opponent, there were little to no vetting processes for grants, guidance documents, resources, etc. Each division was completely siloed — producing and promoting whatever it wanted because my opponent was off running for Governor, instead of running the Department of Education.
That’s what I inherited over 7 years ago and it’s what I’ve been cleaning up ever since. Georgia cannot go back to that.
Those are the facts.