Today Governor Deal spoke at the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce’s Monthly Membership meeting –listen to his full speech here. He spoke about economic development (something the Gwinnett Chamber does very well) and some of his plans moving forward. The Governor also made mention of the upcoming vote to allow the State to approve charter schools denied by local school boards. I Tweeted this about the Governor’s comments:
Governor Deal praises Ivy Prep and says State approved charter schools are needed even in high performing systems like Gwinnett.
The AJC’s Nancy Badertscher filed a report as well.
“In many parts of our state, students are stuck in schools that are failing … in schools that are not making adequate yearly progress,” Deal told members of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.
Deal spoke with Camie Young of the Gwinnett Daily Post after his speech:
But Deal said that the eight state-chartered schools in Georgia are all outperforming the public schools in the area. He pointed to Ivy Preparatory Academy, located in Peachtree Corners, as an example, since the students at the all-girls school are doing better on standardized tests than even the high-quality Gwinnett schools in their area.
“We want to give parents and students some choices,” he said, adding that the proposal would not decrease state funding for public school districts. “The important thing is we have the right facts on the table (for the Nov. 6 election), so people have a choice.”
It’s not news that Governor Deal would speak in favor of the charter amendment. Today isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. However, as Jim Galloway points out, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce is raising money to oppose the amendment.
Earlier this month, Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sent out invitations for a Sept. 5 fund-raiser – to build cash for a campaign in opposition to the charter school amendment.
Galloway speculates the North Fulton Chamber, led by charter opponent Brandon Beach may come out against the amendment, however I was told today the Fulton Board of Education will likely not publicly oppose it. I’m not aware of another Chamber of Commerce raising money or publicly opposing the charter amendment. In fact the Georgia Chamber of Commerce made the issue a scorecard issue.
Why is the Gwinnett Chamber out there on this issue? Galloway continues:
I understand that the Gwinnett County Board of Education, which also opposes the governor’s measure, makes annual (and relatively large) contributions to the Gwinnett Chamber.
I like the folks at the Gwinnett Chamber. They do a pretty good job advocating on behalf of Gwinnett’s business sector and bringing new business to Gwinnett. I wish they would back off this their opposition because seeing it pass wouldn’t harm Gwinnett’s schools in fact it would help them.