Last night I received this from Governor Deal by way of the House Republican Caucus.
“I am discouraged that Superintendent Barge has changed his position since the campaign trail and no longer believes parents should have public school options for their children. His new position doesn’t change mine. I stand with 2/3 of the General Assembly and will uphold the promises I made when I ran for office: Parents and students should have public school options; this is the best form of local control.
Candidate Barge said he agreed with this question asked by the Georgia Charter Schools Association:
I support allowing local boards of education, the State Board of Education and the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to approve and monitor charter schools.
Barge said in the same questionnaire he strongly supported HB881, the 2008 bill creating the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, which authorized charter schools rejected by local school boards.
Barge has received criticism, especially from a number of local school Superintendents over his endorsement of Sen. Chip Rogers. I suspect his charter amendment flip flop is an attempt to repair those relationships. Unfortunately for Dr. Barge now he’s losing support on both sides of the charter debate.