In regards to education, Lindsey and McKinney have different ideas of how they would handle issues with Atlanta Public Schools.
McKinney, 59, has two sons, Kyle Lynn and Spencer, who went through the system, now 25 and 30. She said education would be her top priority, if elected, and is in favor of charter schools and public schools.
“Money is always an issue. We’re going to have to get some of that money back that has been cut from the public education system,” she said. “We may have to raise taxes. … We’ve been cutting, cutting, cutting and there has to be a balance…. I know we need cuts and I know money is not endless. But we have to have a revenue increase.”
She also said students’ parents need to play a role.
“This is not just about schools. … We have to look at a child from the time they’re born. Parents have to be engaged.”
Lindsey, 53, who was educated in Atlanta Public Schools, said he is pushing for the passage of a parent trigger bill. House Bill 11-1270, during next year’s legislative session. The bill would make it easier for parents to petition to change their traditional public school.
“It would thereby be giving parents greater say-so over the administration of the school system, and the needed steps to improve academic performance,” he said.
With skepticism about McKinney’s ability to maintain finances in the district, a news release from the Fulton County Republican Party stated McKinney has personal financial problems, including $43,000 in federal and state tax liens.
“Starting in 2005, I went through a divorce and financial difficulties,” McKinney said of the accusations. “I make no excuses for the failure to file my taxes properly, but since that happened, I have worked both with the appropriate federal and state agencies and have payment plans and processes in place to pay my tax debts. I also now work with tax consultants and a financial planner to ensure ongoing compliance.”
In other topics, McKinney, a retired IBM executive associate, said she would focus on fixing the juvenile criminal justice program.
She said House Bill 641, which “looks at overhauling alternative methods” for juveniles behind bars, needs to be passed.
“Kids are in jail for skipping school, for truancy,” McKinney said. “And once they get in the criminal justice system, that makes them more likely to be criminals.”
Lindsey, an attorney with Goodman McGuffey Lindsey & Johnson LLP,, said there are “a lot of number one problems,” and his first priority is “reforming Fulton County.”
“Ninety percent of the county is now municipalized,” he said. “The county is overgrown and bloated. We need to reduce the scope of Fulton County since so much of the county is in one city or the other.”
Lindsey has a campaign net balance of $62,253 on hand, according to the Georgia Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission website, and McKinney has $5,581.
To learn more about each candidate, visit http://lynnfor54.com and