The AJC is reporting that state Superintendent John Barge has publicly announced his opposition to the charter schools amendment. Superintendent would be the first high-ranking Republican official to announce opposition to the measure. He called Governor Nathan Deal as well as legislative leaders informing them of his position. Barge had not expressed an opinion one way or the other, but that position changed today:
“I cannot support the creation of a new and costly state bureaucracy that takes away local control of schools and unnecessarily duplicates the good work already being done by local districts, the Georgia Department of Education, and the state Board of Education,” Barge said in a prepared statement. “What’s more, this constitutional amendment would direct taxpayer dollars into the pockets of out-of-state, for-profit charter school companies whose schools perform no better than traditional public schools and locally approved charter schools (and worse, in some cases).”
Barge said the passage of the amendment, the restoration of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission and state funding for the charter schools it approves would be too costly for the state.