Candidates for state school superintendent to debate

The general election race for Georgia schools superintendent is about to kick off this morning with a debate between Republican Richard L. Woods and Democrat Valarie Wilson.

Woods, a longtime educator from Irwin County, beat back a crowded field in the GOP primary and survived a recount in the runoff against Mike Buck. Wilson, former chairwoman of the City Schools of Decatur school board, also came through a crowded field of Democrats in the primary. She went on to defeat state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan in the runoff.

This morning’s debate, being held in the first-floor auditorium of the Georgia-Pacific headquarters building in Atlanta from 10 a.m. until noon, will likely feature exchanges between the candidates on issues such as school district funding, the national set of academic standards known as Common Core, standardized testing and the state’s new system of evaluating teachers and principals.

Woods has argued that the federal government has overreached in public education, interfering with state control. Wilson has said the state’s education system will improve if the state provides more money to local school districts.