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Posted by bryanlong on January 13th, 2014

Georgia teachers are furious with Gov. Deal.

The governor has changed every teacher’s health insurance coverage, causing dramatic increases in out-of-pocket expenses, the elimination of copayments and less choice for doctors.

Some teachers have even told us they don’t have in-network doctors in their community and they must drive across state lines to find the nearest doctor in the governor’s new health plan.

Teachers have every right to be angry.

And today we want you to support your local teachers as they fight to fix the health plan the governor broke.

First, you can join a grassroots movement called  T.R.A.G.I.C. (Teachers Rally Against Georgia Insurance Changes). The group is sounding the alarm because more than half a million teachers and other state employees are being short-changed by Gov. Deal.

Founded just over a week ago by the wife of a Georgia teacher, the T.R.A.G.I.C. Facebook group has quickly grown to more than 7,850 members. The group has already captured the attention of WSB-TV and in the the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gov. Deal is defensive because he knows he’s already on thin ice with Georgia’s teachers.

Our teachers have not had a state-funded raise in five years and they are fed up. And the governor's proposed raise this year may or may not be passed on to teachers.

Now, instead of fixing the problem he created, Gov. Deal is calling our teachers dumb.

He’s claiming that this grassroots movement built by teachers is a actually the pawn of an insurance company:

“The party that lost the bid … has attempted to generate this kind of uproar,” the governor said. “I think that’s the genesis of it and in some cases people have been given false information. If there’s a problem, we will address it. But at this point in time many people aren’t aware of the details.”

How insulting.

At Better Georgia, we know our teachers are smart, well-informed and nobody’s pawn.

We can’t say as much for Gov. Deal, who received hundreds of thousands of dollars from health insurance companies trying to buy his attention.

And we know that Pres. Obama didn’t cause this health insurance crisis.

Nope.

Gov. Deal made this mess all by himself.

That’s why today, we’re asking you to support Georgia’s teachers and state employees by calling the Governor’s office.

Tell Gov. Deal that he’s created a problem for Georgia’s teachers, and now it’s up to him to fix it.

And, while he’s at it, he should apologize for insulting our teachers.

In the AJC article, Gov. Deal says, “If there’s a problem, we will address it.”

Governor, there’s no question that there’s a problem.

During the last 12 years, the state has short-changed local school districts by $7.6 billion dollars - more than a billion dollars per year since Gov. Deal took office.

Our school districts have made many cuts just to make ends meet:

  • 80 percent will furlough teachers this year
  • 95 percent have increased class sizes
  • 71 percent have reduced the number of days children attend school

Every day, our teachers are forced to do more with less, shortchanging our children and our future.

It’s time to make our schools a priority and give our teachers the respect they deserve.

Instead of calling them dumb for throwing the flag on his ill-conceived plan, Gov. Deal should fix the problem, and he should apologize for insulting our teachers.

If you care about the future of our schools, you should care about our teachers.

Calls to elected officials (especially in an election year) really do make a difference.

Making this call is the most important thing you can do to support your child’s teacher today. We’ve made it easy.

Just click here for a call script and a feedback form to let us know the result of your call. Call now.

We are Georgians who are ready to once again lead the South.

Better Georgia is the state's fastest growing progressive advocacy organization. We are here to make sure our elected officials listen to Georgia families, small business owners and the people who work hard each day to improve our state. We fight to make sure elected officials pass sensible laws and policies that benefit everyone, not just corporations and the political elite.

Better Georgia is ready for our state to once again lead the South. We want strong communities and schools. We want quality jobs and a culture that attracts the best businesses.

The debate in Georgia has been between the right and the far right for too long. Better Georgia is working to change the debate and change our state. With your help, Georgia will be better than ever.

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