Deal, Carter spar over education

Gov. Nathan Deal and his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Jason Carter, traded barbs Friday morning over their education plans in separate speeches before a group of education administrators and advocates.

Carter, who spoke first to the Georgia Education Leadership Institute, highlighted one of the constant themes of his campaign: creating an education budget he says would not be touched. He has complained that Deal has not adequately funded education. Carter warned the audience not to believe Deal's "election year lip service" of future additional help for state education.

Deal, the Republican incumbent, told the group in his speech that he would consider giving credit to students who learn computer language, saying he's talked to people who believe mastering that language is akin to learning a foreign language. The governor said learning those skills helps students get high-paying jobs and will improve graduation rates.

Deal listed his education accomplishments and told the audience he would not use them “as a political football,” an apparent jab at Carter.

Both candidates spoke at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta.