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Tea party groups in Forsyth learn about AP test, funding for roads

FORSYTH COUNTY — Education and transportation are among the biggest political issues for Forsyth County voters, and one group is taking on both.

The United Tea Party of Georgia and the Forsyth County Tea Party Patriots Alliance heard from several speakers Monday night about a transportation funding proposal in Georgia and changes to the Advanced Placement U.S. History test.

Jane Robbins, a senior fellow with the American Principles Project, gave a presentation to the group on changes to the history test and curriculum, which was adopted at the beginning of the school year and Robbins views as biased against conservatives. High school students can earn college credit by passing AP tests.

“This is what you hear over and over again,” she said. “You read in the framework that the trends, the liberal trends, were just the march of history, this is just progress, this just the way human history unfolds as it properly should.

Robbins, who has spoken against the standards across the county and on national TV, said the standards also remove prominent historical figures and gloss over America’s involvement in major wars.

“What’s missing? There are no heroes. There was never a hero in American wartime history,” she said. “The greatest generation is gone, no battles, no sacrifice, no Holocaust.

“Why would you not mention the Holocaust? Maybe because it shows America on the right side and doing something good, that’s just my theory.”

According to Robbins, the curriculum says that students are free to disagree with the course. However, few do so because their goal is to get into college, not take a stand. She encouraged the crowd to read the standards for the test.

Two local lawmakers, state Sen. Michael Williams and state Rep. Mark Hamilton, both of Forsyth County Republicans, also spoke at Monday’s gathering.

They discussed House Bill 170, which would provide additional funding to transportation projects. The bill would need to clear the state House of Representatives by Friday to possibly pass this year.

“House Bill 170, is probably … one of the most mischaracterized and misunderstood pieces of legislation that’s out there,” Hamilton said. “What we’re trying to do is recognize that they have a funding deficiency and trying to allocate those dollars to them.”

Hamilton said that the bill would change the way gas was taxed and would help prevent a worse scenario.

“I’m convinced that if we don’t do something about our transportation infrastructure network today, or in the very near future, the perfect storm will accrue,” he said. “We’re the 49th state, only behind Tennessee, in the amount of money per capita that we spend on transportation.

“I’ve told several people that not only are you not going to like sitting in gridlock, but you’re going to be sitting in gridlock in a pothole.”

For those skeptical of the bill, Hamilton used the transportation bond referendum that Forsyth County voters approved in November to show how funding can help issues.

He said that by Nov. 1 of this year, crews “will be breaking ground on adding an additional northbound and southbound lane” to Ga. 400.