Republicans Seek to Spotlight Politics of Schools in Georgia

Social conservatives are looking to push education policy to the forefront when Georgia lawmakers begin meeting Monday, driven by a national tumult over the pandemic and race.

“I think education is going to be the No. 1 issue at the capitol this year,” said Cole Muzio, president of the Frontline Policy Council, a Christian conservative lobbying group.

Republicans are taking cues from Glenn Youngkin’s gubernatorial victory in Virginia, believing school policy can sway swing voters who voted for Democrats in recent Georgia elections.

The top two issues are likely to be efforts to ban or block obscene materials from school websites and libraries and to regulate what schools can teach about race. But conservatives also want to give parents a greater ability to examine school curricula, restrict sex education, ban transgender girls from playing high school sports and guarantee religious freedom for students.

Democrats see the push as mostly motivated by politics.

“These are not the central issues that we need to focus on,” said House Minority Leader James Beverly, a Macon Democrat.

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