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Do You Support The Charter Schools Amendment?

On Nov. 6, voters will decide if the state of Georgia can create charter schools, or will those decisions remain at the local levels.

This week, voters will decide if Georgia can create a state commission authorizing charter schools.

The issue has stirred controversy all across metro Atlanta. Some Democratic leaders are calling the ballot biased and misleading. Others, however, are reaching across political aisles to support the amendment. On Saturday, Oct. 27, two state lawmakers - one Republican, the other a Democrat -headlined a rally in support of the amendment.

Do you support charter schools? Should Georgia be allowed to create a commission authorizing them, or should these decisions remain at the local school-board level?

Moms for School Choice November 05, 2012 at 01:19 PM
It is important to note that the Charter Schools Commission in GA functioned successfully from 2008-2011 until a very controversial court ruling. The National PTA & the NEA support independent authorizers for public charter schools since local school boards regularly deny these petitions that begin in the local community with parents and educators designing the schools. This amendment simply returns to the commission that had a record of only approving high-performing charter school applications, and those schools still excel today. No local dollars can be used for state-approved public charter schools in GA due to the funding legislation, HB 797. Districts will save money as they do when families choose to educate their children in schools outside the local school system, such as when students attend private schools but continue paying property taxes to pay for public education in the local district.
JBN November 05, 2012 at 03:49 PM
NO on this amendment. Local control. These will siphon money from public schools. When the State School Super and the state PTA say vote NO you better listen.
John November 05, 2012 at 05:40 PM
The voting of the Charter school amendment will not take way funds. Pasing it as said above will simply put back into play what we have had for several years. There is nothing to worry about if your school is perfoming well and your students are all achieving well without the help or erasers and such. The problem is that around Georgia there are folk who have denied Charter schools and by so doing refused a solid educational opportunity to all children. I am voting yes because education is the key to a prosperous future despite what the people in DC are telling us. There is a lot of information available on the subject, just google and then vote how you feel you should.
C.J. November 05, 2012 at 09:01 PM
RE: "No local dollars can be used for state-approved public charter schools in GA due to the funding legislation, HB 797." Not directly, no. But indirectly, yes. The state is required by the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula to fund local school districts at a given level. However, state legislators and the governor have refused to comply with this law and provide the required funding because, they say, the state doesn't have the revenues to fully fund public education. Next, they complain about the quality of our UNDERFUNDED public school system, arguing that parents need more choice. Where is the funding going to come from to provide more choice? The State of Georgia. That's right...the same government that claims not to have available funds to fully fund public education, as required by law. Make no mistake about it, every dollar that is diverted to state-funded charter schools is a dollar diverted away from public schools. By refusing to fully fund our public schools, as required by law, the state is creating the very conditions that they say create the need for state-funded charter schools. It's a scam, and I refuse to fall for it. I already voted, and I voted no on the charter school amendment. I hope others will do the same. We can do even more by writing and calling our state representatives, state senators, and governor, and ask them to fully fund public education, as required by the QBE formula.
C.J. November 05, 2012 at 09:03 PM
RE: "The voting of the Charter school amendment will not take way funds." Please see my post above on this topic. For more information, Google, "Georgia, Quality Basic Education"
Leo Smith November 06, 2012 at 01:53 AM
I voted YES! I agree QBE needs to be addressed and would happily advocate for it. C.J. is correct. Funding is not he issue in this particular matter. Control of funding is. Parental Choice, Teacher Freedom, Budget Prioritization, and Accountability is. Encouraging independent charters will encourage innovation and in the long term, new standards of accountability as best practices emerge. The argument that the Governor will have to find money's from elsewhere in part accomplishes MORE money for public education combined (charters and traditional). When you consider the emotionally manipulating and false cry of "segregation" made by opponents, that's a clue that they don't want you to know the truths. They are protecting the professionals rather than the students and our economy. Education is not Equal even within districts, not to mention across states. As such, we must vote to do the least harm to those without the freedoms of choice higher incomes provide. Think of Atlanta Public Schools and much of South Cobb alike. I heard someone say, "You can't segregate segregated. You can't break broken."
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino November 06, 2012 at 07:21 AM
Sorry, while I am a proponent of charter schools in general I have no trust for the Governor and his administration, or the leadership of the State House & Senate, rated the most corrupt in the nation and full of bigotry, so why would I take local control away and give it those bad characters.
Richard "the Equalizer" Pellegrino November 06, 2012 at 07:37 AM
Also, the big money behind this amendment from some questionable characters leaves one wondering why the vested interest. (By the way, I am a big fan and supporter of Alisha Thomas Morgan and her educational initiatives, but this amendment has too many questions and loose ends for me to support it
electric123 November 06, 2012 at 10:29 AM
Richard, Even though you are probably right in your assumption of the Governor and hid administration, out of the two evils of state or county, Cobb's SPLOST has proven a failure when in the hands of local government that cannot do right either, when a soccer coach begged the county commissioner to step in for lighted fields and uniforms for I think it was a west Cobb high school for 5 years and got nowhere, they can not do right when it comes to money, I would rather have a state government oversee this project and have a public watchdog group oversee them so there is equal diversity among the whole state and not leave into the hands of each local government.
Albert November 06, 2012 at 03:10 PM
The solution to this problem is some where in the middle. This is a strange topic because it has strange bed fellows. For groups that believe in states rights but don't believe in county rights seems strange to me. If this proposal works as envisioned, let's imagine four years down the road. Will we have charter school next to every public school? Will this be efficient for our tax dollar? Instead of us paying to heat and cool one building we will be paying to heat and cool two buildings. I perceive there will be a shortage of money at some point. Will the private companies make up the short fall by making our kids walking build boards? Does more choices means more expensive? It seems to me that the more money you have the more choices you have. If you have more money, you can choose private, public, or charter. If you have more money you can choose East, West, or South Cobb. If you have more money you can choose BMW, Lexus, or Range Rover. This issue is simple... hold your local school board vote accountable to your values. If charter is the answer, make all your current public school, charter schools. I think the school board members that the people vote in has the authority to do that. Ask your local board to support the equitable empowerment of parents and community in their local schools the way charter and private do. The numbers don't add up in the long run and after the state commision don't meet your needs I guess a federal charter commission is next on the agenda.

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