Board member vying to be state school superintendent
by Cheree Dye
Sep 29, 2013 | 2824 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Matt Shultz announced his candidacy for state school superintendent at the Bartow County Republican Party monthly meeting on Saturday morning.

The thrust of his campaign is focused on opening the way for parents to have a greater level of choice when determining where their child will be educated. “We have to give students the best opportunity to be successful. To move forward we have to be great at everything. We have to have amazing traditional schools, we need charter schools that you can open in a community and be held accountable. Some students will thrive in home school and some will do best online,” Shultz said. “By differentiating education, parents are pulled back into the process and it is tailored to meet areas of giftedness in students.”

Shultz is running for the office that will be vacated by John Barge as he challenges Gov. Nathan Deal in the 2014 Republican primary. Due to the focus of Barge’s campaign on education, it will be a key factor in the months ahead. Shultz said he realizes this is a crucial time for the educational system of Georgia.

He believes along the way to creating more educational options for students there will be several issues that need to be addressed. First, he said the barriers to charter schools need to be removed to allow them to be a viable option. Also, he believes the funding local schools receive for educating a child should follow that child if he decides to attend a charter school. Finally, there needs to be a system of local accountability for those schools. He used the Bartow County College and Career Academy as an example of this, which is overseen by the Bartow County Board of Education.

Career and technology training is another aspect Shultz said is vital to the success of not only our students but also our state economy. “When we send out students from high school who do not want to attend college, they need to have technical skills that enable them to immediately enter the job market,” Shultz said. He sees this facet of education as an economic development tool that must be advanced.

Currently, he is serving his third term on the Bartow County School Board. A certified teacher in Georgia since 1997, Shultz taught and coached for three years at Cass High School. After leaving teaching, he served on the local school council as a community business leader. Shultz earned a master’s level certificate in Educational Leadership and is enrolled in an education specialist program on curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on educational technology.