As you all know, I support the proposed charter school amendment. I’ve explained my reasons and will continue to do so in the days leading up to the November 6 vote. However, this is a thread for opponents to have a field day with. Link the amendment to disgust of the General Assembly, Agenda 21, Common Core Educational Standards as a vehicle for Obama to take over our schools, No Child Left Behind (NCLB), Math123, Public/Private Partnerships (PPP), the worldwide Gulen Movement or whatever else rocks your world. Have fun!
Here is a short statement by Georgia School Superintendent John Barge as published in the email newsletter “Gwinnett Forum.”
Editor, the Forum:
Here’s why I’m voting NO to constitutional amendment on charter schools. I fully support the continued creation of high-quality charter schools for Georgia’s students.
But after careful consideration of what is best for all of Georgia’s students, I am opposing the constitutional amendment that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Until all of our public school students are in school for a full 180-day school year, until essential services like student transportation and student support can return to effective levels, and until teachers regain jobs with full pay for a full school year, we should not redirect one more dollar away from Georgia’s local school districts – much less an additional $430 million in state funds.
That’s what it would cost to add seven new state charter schools per year over the next five years (the annual average of the Charter Commission that would be revived if the amendment passes).
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.
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).
I trust our local school districts will continue do their important work – which includes approving only high quality charter schools for Georgia’s students. This is the way it should be.
— Dr. John Barge, state school superintendent