6,000 students wait to see what will happen to their schools.
Bowers argued that commission-authorized charter schools are not special schools allowed under the Georgia Constitution because they did not exist when it was written.
“ ‘Special schools’ means today what it meant in 1982 … schools for the deaf, blind and people of that nature,” he told the court. “It cannot mean anything else.”
Attorneys for school districts of Atlanta, Griffin and Bulloch, Candler, DeKalb and Henry counties also argued that money flowing to charter schools are local dollars. Commission-approved charters receive federal and state dollars. A point of contention is the local matching funds they also get, which come from state allocations to the school districts that lose students to the charter schools.
Thomas Cox, who represented Atlanta and DeKalb, told the court: “Local money may not follow the child to a Georgia state special school.”
The justices peppered both sides with questions.
Justice David E. Nahmias asked Cox: “So do any of the local tax dollars directly flow to charter schools?” Cox responded, “There is no direct flow.”
Prediction time: Who will win this Court battle? Who should win?