Guest Post: The Charter School Amendment – An Important Tool in the Georgia Education Reform Tool Box

October 24, 2012 9:44 am

by Buzz Brockway · 47 comments

An editorial in favor of Amendment 1, the charter school amendment, from Rep. Edward Lindsey of Atlanta. You also might want to check out a post by former teacher and school board member Matt Shultz. Discuss these posts in the comment section.

The Charter School Amendment is an important education reform for Georgia. Statewide, the overall high school graduation rate hovers in the mid 60% range, and in many school districts serving mostly low income students the graduation rate is closer to the low 50% level. This is morally a.nd economically unacceptable for both our students and this great state.

Like most voters, I believe that local school systems should have primary responsibility of education in our communities. However, this local control should never be confused with exclusive control. There must always be checks and balances for any government activity — and this is especially true in the area of education.

Time and again in recent years, laws providing for targeted extra help for special needs students, giving high school students greater flexibility to joint enroll in college courses, expanding AP course offerings to students in rural areas through the internet, requiring a higher percentage of taxpayer education dollars be spent in the classroom, investigating school system cheating on student performance test, or imposing penalties against local school boards that lose full accreditation have been met with stiff resistance from local status quo bureaucrats worried more over their control of their turf than the welfare of the students. Enough is enough. It is time to put Georgia students and their needs first.

As the chairman of a House Study Committee on Charter School Governance, I discovered wide differences in how charter school applications were handled by different local school systems around our state. Some were treated fairly. Some were summarily dismissed. Some were starved to death.

This proposed bi-partisan amendment merely guarantees parents and students a check and balance appeal process for those whose needs are being otherwise ignored by their local systems.

Opponents of the Charter School Amendment have disingenuously argued that the State School Board can already create charter schools. Unfortunately, the Georgia Supreme Court has said otherwise. In the case of Gwinnett County Schools v. Cox our supreme court in 2011 found:

[The Georgia Constitution] sets forth the sole delegation of authority in our constitution regarding the establishment and maintenance of general primary and secondary public schools. No other constitutional provision authorizes any other governmental entity to compete with or duplicate the efforts of local boards of education in establishing and maintaining general K–12 schools.

  
It was this Georgia Supreme Court decision that struck down the authority of the Georgia Department of Education to act as an appeal body to provide the check and balance sought by the Charter School Amendment and this is why this amendment is so vital to the future of education reform in our state.

Charter schools are public schools. Charter school students are public school students. Charter school teachers are public school teachers. Thirty two other states have a similar state authorization process which is supported by the National Parent Teacher Association.

Under the proposed constitutional amendment and enabling legislation, a charter school application to the state must still meet rigorous standards for consideration, including strong local support. While an outside service can be hired to manage the school, ultimate authority over a charter school’s operation will rest with a local non-profit board. Student attendance is open to all public school students through a lottery system.

It should be emphasized, however, that this is only one tool in the reform tool box. Much more needs to be done including tougher curriculum standards in pre-school, closely tracking students’ reading progress in the critical K-3 grades, recognizing and rewarding good teachers and weeding out poor ones, strengthening our technical school programs for kids uninterested in college, giving teachers greater say so in school governance, and demanding that local systems spend more money in the classrooms and less in the central office.

The bottom line is we need to have an educational system that is flexible and can adapt to the needs of our students in the 21st century. The Charter School Amendment is one important tool to accomplish this. Therefore, I ask for you to Vote “YES!” on November 6 to Amendment 1.

State Representative Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta)
Georgia House Majority Whip

Charlie October 24, 2012 at 9:46 am

Jan Jones is subbing for me in today’s column on the same subject. Conspiracy theorists may go ahead and avoid the rush by starting now if you want.

harold_lloyd October 24, 2012 at 10:38 am

A melting pot, that’s how we think of the United States. We come from many places, but we all become Americans.

How does that happen?

One very important way is in the public school system.

That’s where we teach youth from every background what it is to be a part of this great nation. It’s where children learn the values we hold as Americans. In the shared experiences of public school, we form a unity of culture, and of purpose. Public schools are where we build citizens.

If we only think of schools as places to learn facts, history, and skills, then we risk undervaluing the other, equally important functions that school perform.

Lately, there has arisen a pattern of denigrating and underfunding public schools while at the same time allowing easier withdrawal from the public system in favor of private schools and in-home education. This should not be allowed to continue.

If the shared experience of public school builds citizens and nations, education outside the system works against those goals. Whether or not they intend it, home schooling and private schooling serve to separate us rather than bringing us together.

As long as a home schooled child can do academics at a minimum level, there is no control regarding what else the child is being taught. Children of white supremacists can be educated as white supremacists. Children of radical fundamentalists can be educated as radical fundamentalists.
The result is a fragmented population with no common purpose or shared values. The nation weakens, and the culture that makes us Americans is fading away.

We must not destroy the public school system, and in fact we must restore it to its’ traditional efficiency and function.

Do not allow home schooling except in cases where the child cannot, for good reason, attend a public school. Private school curricula should be closely monitored to be sure that divisiveness is no part of what is taught. No public funds should go to support either home schooling or private schools of any kind, excepting only specialized facilities for special needs children.

We need to get our melting pot back on the stove.

Buzz Brockway October 24, 2012 at 10:52 am

Are you serious? Supporters of this amendment are radical fundamentalist racists who want to destroy America? Can you point to all the white supremacist school in Georgia? Can you point to the racist rhetoric of the homeschooling crowd?

I suppose this is the logical extension of the argument put forward by some amendment opponents claiming that we want to create a “separate but unequal” school system.

(With this amendment) you’re setting up a dual school system, and quite frankly folks … you know we’ve had two school systems before in this state. We used to say they were separate but equal. Now, the separate was correct, but I don’t think the equal was, do you?

Let’s debate this amendment on it’s merits, not toss out inflammatory arguments like this one.

Lawton Sack (Go Jackets!) October 24, 2012 at 1:29 pm

First, no public funds go toward homeschooling. As a homeschool parent, I pay for everything PLUS I pay for property taxes that are used by the public school system!

Second, homeschooling has been a part of our country for a long, long time, in fact, since before its founding. Several Presidents and founders were homeschooled, including George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, just to name a few.

Third, homeschoolers have the same standards as public school students and the same attendance policies (180 days).

Calypso October 24, 2012 at 1:41 pm

Just make sure your little buggers go to a good ACC school, like the one in Durham, NC.

vote_yes_to_charter October 24, 2012 at 2:23 pm

harold_lloyd – are you absolutely kidding me? We need to put God back in the government, the schools, and everything else! Until then, your argument will NEVER get anywhere. Your military, dictatorship principles are not American at all. Being a melting pot is not what makes us Americans. If you’re worried about a fragmented population, try forcing everyone to go to public school!!!

SallyForth October 24, 2012 at 3:39 pm

harold, “melting pot”?? Give me a break! What you are describing is nowhere near a melting together of all the different nationalities in this country into a blended group with a common culture (like maybe agreeing on one central language even if it’s pig Latin, so that everybody can and does talk/communicate with each other, no matter age or social status).

What we presently have is multi-culturalism, which only keeps each nationality or ethnicity separate and distinct, does nothing toward a blended society. Schools aren’t solving that. Today’s multi-lingual schools do nothing but perpetuate the separations. Calling today’s America a melting pot is a total misnomer.

mpierce October 24, 2012 at 4:07 pm

You will be assimilated

bgsmallz October 24, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Just speaking for folks that I’ve talked to in N. DeKalb, it’s interesting the negativity on this amendment. We all agree that something needs to be done about re-establishing local control and giving the power back to the real shareholders…the parents/tax-payers…rather than the central office. Small example…DeKalb polled parents who overwhelmingly rejected moving to a ‘balanced’ schedule. They decided that it was best for the kids and are doing it anyway. You have a large block of voters concerned about schools who feel they have zero local control to begin with and now feel that instead of making education more local, now we are just involving the state, too. (that’s the sentiment…right or wrong)

Every one of the people I’ve talked to in the city of Ashford….errrr, Brookhaven…[thanks again for trying to submarine local control for the sake of a few wealthy Capitol City Club folks, Rep. Lindsey…]…and most of my friends that live in Dunwoody and Chamblee have all said that (a) they are voting against the amendment and (b) that they would have voted for it if it had allowed cities to create their own independent school districts. I’ve flipped back and forth on the amendment (not that anyone cares)…but I still think the prospect of this being the only thing done for the next 5 to 10 years frightens me. The legislature needs to be more than just a reactionary to the supreme court decision…with the laundry list of items cited above, you would think that we would take the time to truly fix our Constitution rather than just fix the decision of the court.

Edward Lindsey October 24, 2012 at 12:45 pm

BGSMALLZ:

Two points:

1. The people in the Atlanta side of Historic Brookhaven are my constituents so, yes, I did raise their concerns over the name of the new city. However, I also voted for the new city in committee and on the the floor of the House — twice. I also voted for Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek, and the City of Milton.

2. As I stated in my op ed, this amendment is simply one of many reforms we need to initiate. It will be easier to pass those reforms if the voters show their desire for education reform by voting “Yes” on November 6 to Amendment 1.

I hope you will consider supporting it as well as other needed reforms.

bgsmallz October 24, 2012 at 2:05 pm

Thanks for your response and your willingness to engage the nameless. I’m sure you had your reasons on the Brookhaven matter…anyway, appreciate the vote and apologize for pulling us off topic.

As far as #2, I support the amendment as a reform for no other reason than the fact that the majority of our supreme court was simply wrong on the issue. It’s hard not to read Judge Nahmias’ opinion and not understand the fundamental flaw in the majority opinion. However, the hesitancy from this voter and others in our area comes from the feeling that we are having a state-wide referendum on a constitutional amendment, putting in all these resources, etc. for something that will not do a thing to fix ‘our’ issue and the issue of close to 100,000 children…namely the truckload of money that is siphoned every year by the DeKalb BOE to run a bloated central office full of nepotism and corruption.

Does the legislation allow us to create a charter school district? B/c if that’s the case, count me in. Otherwise, I’m still struggling.

Again, thanks to you and Buzz for all your work and willingness to engage.

Buzz Brockway October 24, 2012 at 2:17 pm

Earlier you mentioned giving cities the ability to create their own school districts. I’d probably support that idea and not sure if we need a constitutional amendment to do it or not. This amendment doesn’t address that.

However to your latest comment: “Does the legislation allow us to create a charter school district? B/c if that’s the case, count me in. Otherwise, I’m still struggling.” School systems can become “charter systems” under current law. Fulton County was the most recent to gain approval and complete the process if I’m not mistaken.

bgsmallz October 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm

My understanding is that city school systems (such as Decatur, Atlanta, Gainesville, Marietta, etc.) are classified as “Independent” school systems under the State Constitution. Again, my limited knowledge on the history of the subject is that the idea was to consolidate school systems to achieve ‘economies of scale’ and therefore lowering the cost per student by having larger districts. So the end result is that the state legislature has the power through simple legislation and a majority vote to consolidate any and all districts into a single district but can’t authorize the creation of any new district.

I live in Chamblee HS district. Chamblee is a converted charter school. I still have to deal with the DBOE on issues related to my cluster despite the fact that no member of the DBOE lives in my high school cluster. That’s the issue that I’m looking to resolve and I’m not sure making DeKalb a Charter District would really help.

Here’s what I do know…Nancy Jester supports it. Eugene Walker opposes it. That’s pretty much enough to get me to vote yes with the caveat that I trust you and Rep. Lindsay when you say you are going to continue the fight.

The Last Democrat in Georgia October 26, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Individual high school clusters being able to form their own individual charter districts…I like it.

John Konop October 24, 2012 at 3:09 pm

In all due respect Rep. Lindsey,

From a tax payer prospective we are moving in the wrong direction by creating more overhead not less. I have made this point for years, we should be consolidating overhead not creating more. The best way to achieve this is by having high schools consolidate with colleges, JC………to increase options, quality and lower overhead. We should be coordinating facilities, administrators, staff…… We should be waving No Child Left Behind college prep requirements for vocational based students.

If done right we could open this option up to home school, public school, private and charter school. Finally school systems should be rated on graduation rates with job skills and or entrance into 4 year college not some mean level score that creates this crazy teach to the test………

The following are important taxpayer protections that should be added to the charter school amendment:
• School board members are forbidden from being a consultant, owner, or employee of the charter school management company or its vendors within the past two years. They must provide full disclosure of any such prior affiliations.
• Officeholders that vote on public or charter school legislation and/or funding must fully disclosure any affiliations with any charter school and/or vendors providing services to charter schools. They must also disclose any relatives that are affiliated with charter schools and/or vendors.
• No charter or public school board member and/or officeholder may have any interest in the real estate underlying any charter or public school.
• Charter school board meetings must be publically listed 30 days in advance and must be held after 7 pm (note: short-term notice, unannounced date changes, and inconvenient meeting times have been used to reduce public participation and oversight).
• Every privately managed charter school with over 750 students must secure a bond that compensates the school district if the charter school closes before the end of a school year.
• If a charter school’s private owners/management company owns an interest in the real estate underlying the school, that property must be put up as security to repay any free taxpayer money the school received (e.g. grants or loans) in the event the school fails.
• The contract between the private management company and the charter school must be fully disclosed.
Taxpayers have too often been left holding the bag for failed publically funded private businesses. The above are, for the most part, common requirements in the private sector. We taxpayers deserve these minimal protections.

benevolus October 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

It would be so much easier to support this if:
A. All of the money wasn’t coming from out of state billionaires and charter school for-profit companies.
B. It just authorized what was struck down without trying to also make changes. It’s a constitutional amendment. Just fix the constitution and then let’s fix the process.
C. The bullying/deception. The wording on the ballot is deceptive and not impartial. The threat of legal action against opponents.

Even if someone like me can get past the loss of money to the public system and overlook the opposition of the PTA and most of the leaders I look to for guidance, it’s still a trust issue. There is no trust. It LOOKS like a simple fix, but it also looks like we are being scammed.
Try again next year. Get the PTA on board. Just fix the problem.

gagenx October 24, 2012 at 2:38 pm

If Nashville, TN can implement and execute a diverse public school system, including speciality schools for the arts, sciences, and general charter schools, then this state should be able to wrap it’s little head around this increasingly popular system.
But, wait, that is an actual city that has actually made the system work. Silly me.

http://www.mnps.org/Page56775.aspx

LarryMajor October 24, 2012 at 6:50 pm

This is what the Supreme Court said concerning the DOE’s authority to create charter schools:

“State chartered special schools” established under the Charter Schools Act of 1998, OCGA § 20-2-2060 et seq., are not in issue in this appeal and we intimate no opinion as to their status under the 1983 Georgia Constitution.

Is this ingenuous enough, or should I post the name and addresses of the state charter schools approved by the state since the May 2011 decision?

Dave Bearse October 25, 2012 at 1:12 am

Yes please post.

LarryMajor October 25, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood for Boys, DeKalb County – opened 2011
Ivy Preparatory Academy at Kirkwood for Girls, DeKalb County – opened 2011
Pataula Charter Academy, Baker, Clay, Calhoun, Early, Randolph Counties – opened 2011
Heritage Preparatory Academy, Atlanta Public Schools – opened 2011
Ivy Preparatory Academy, Gwinnett County – renewal denied by the Gwinnett BOE Jan 2012, appealed to the DOE and, after substantial revisions, opened 2012 as a state charter school.

There may be more. Last time I asked, the state was working on something like 8 other applications.
This is public information available here:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Charter-Schools/Pages/default.aspx

Just look for State Charted Special Schools that opened or renewed after May 2011.

DeKalb Inside Out October 25, 2012 at 9:23 pm

LarryMajor
Ah … ok …

Renewals – The state Board is going to renew existing charters to alleviate the chaos of closing it down just to have it reopen if the amendment passes.

New State Charters – 2011 – Obviously the state charter process doesn’t happen over night. There were a number of state charters in the process of getting approved when the ruling came out. That accounts for those 2011 openings. Here are is an analyst talking about how that went down. Ivy Prep schools are in that category(I think … I forget the exact story), but they aren’t mentioned:

http://www.senate.ga.gov/sro/Documents/AtIssue/atissue_nov11.pdf

Can the State Board commission new state charters? OCGA says it can. The GA Supreme Court says the cannot. Nahmias effectively said the State Board would loose in a heart beat should should the authority of the State Board to commission new charters be contested in court.

The State Board isn’t going to commission new charters until they see the ballot results for Amendment 1 in November.

Dave Bearse October 25, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Larry didn’t include the months the schools were approved. Perhaps they were approved before the ruling, even if they didn’t open until the 2011-2012 school year.

If approved after the the ruling, and the ruling indeed declared Charter School approvals by the State Board to be unconstitutional, “state charters in the process of getting approved when the rulling came out” that had not been fully approved could not be approved.

Argue that the State Supreme Court will in the future declare State Board approval of charter unconstitutional—it seems to be a valid argument from the little I know—but State Board approval of Charter Schools does not appear to be unconstitutional now.

Proponent’s claims that State Board approval of Charter Schools is unconstitutional, if it’s not, is a point of order along the same lines as the deceptive ballot wording—can’t be trusted.

LarryMajor October 26, 2012 at 12:34 am

Feel free to check the approval dates at the link I posted, but I can save you some time. The SBOE didn’t approve any charter schools while the Commission existed, and for good reason.

The original Commission had the authority to take state funding away from “host” school systems (the geographic location of the charter school) and give it to the school they approved, known as a Commission School. The result was that Commission Schools were funded at a much higher rate than all other public schools.

Existing state chartered schools (Ivy Prep, for example) re-filed their petitions with the Commission to get more money. This was, incidentally, the only reason for the lawsuit.

Even though I post under my real name, you should verify my statements. Current information is available at the DOE’s site I posted above, and full documentation of the Supreme Court case is available at:
http://www.cpoga.org/litigation.html

LarryMajor October 25, 2012 at 11:25 pm

You are displaying such an unsettling disconnection from reality that I will only point out your self-contradicting statements. Hopefully, this will prevent you from confusing folks who come here for information.

You acknowledge the SBOE is currently approving charter petitions, but go on to claim this authority will somehow vanish if nothing changes. That’s absurd.

You claim the SBOE’s authority to approve charter petitions was revoked by the Supreme Court decision but, for some magical reason, this doesn’t apply to any petition they considered before their authority was revoked.

Worst of all, is the fact that the events concerning Ivy Prep’s Gwinnett school all happened just this year, but don’t exist in your version of reality.

Your comments are irrational and, frankly, disturbing.

DeKalb Inside Out October 26, 2012 at 8:29 am

LarryMajor
All the schools you mentioned were approved after the court decision. Refer to the following document that talks about the scramble to figure out how to commission those charters that were in the pipe:

http://www.senate.ga.gov/sro/Documents/AtIssue/atissue_nov11.pdf

All of that is inconsequential. This is status today and will hopefully alleviate your concern for our disconnection from reality :-)

In 2011 the Charter Schools Commission Act, OCGA § 20-2-2081 was challenged. The GA Supreme Court agreed and deemed OCGA § 20-2-2081 unconstitutional. They specifically said the 1877 Constitution of Georgia granted local boards of education the exclusive right to establish and maintain K-12 education.

The SBOE was granted the authority to commission state charters under a different section of the OCGA. Nahmias warned, in his dissent, that the state board would lose the authority to commission state chartered schools if contested.

LarryMajor
Please explain how we’re supposed to believe the same local school districts that sued to overturn the original state commission and are actively opposing this amendment would sit idly by while the state school board continues to wield virtually the same power.

Either the opponents of this amendment are hypocrites, or the State Board is next. Look at the opponents arguments. How do those arguments not apply to the State Board as well?
* Local control
* funding
* non elected people approving charters
* multiple layers of bureaucracy
* not enough protections (konop)

DeKalb Inside Out October 25, 2012 at 8:52 am

The 2011 Supreme Court ruling leaves no room for any state agency to create charter schools, a power the justices held to be the “exclusive” constitutional domain of local boards. Only an amendment can change this.

Barge estimated 7 NEW state chartered schools every year. No NEW state chartered schools have been commissioned since the 2011 ruling.

LarryMajor, Please note the different types of charters. This amendment only deals with State Chartered Schools.

bgsmallz October 25, 2012 at 9:34 am

I was going to point out to Mr. Major that the footnote he pulled from the ruling was completely taken out of context and misleading…the court explicitly distinguished between ‘special’ schools and state created ‘charter’ schools…that is the crux of their reasoning, that charter schools are not special schools.

Ugh…that decision is so bad on so many levels.

John Konop October 25, 2012 at 7:42 pm

Why do fiscal liberals like you think creating more overhead will reduce the cost of education?

LarryMajor October 25, 2012 at 7:55 pm

The footnote was accurate and complete. It means that the arguments and logic you referenced don’t apply to the State BOE approval of State Special Charter Schools – and there’s a good reason.

Read the decision again, and notice the discussion concerned the wording of the challenged law, because it attempted to define the constitutional meaning of “special.” That’s why it was struck down.

Now, read the Charter Schools Act under which the State BOE approves charter schools, and you’ll find no such language. The legal logic that you and others raise doesn’t apply the to law under which the state is currently operating, because the prohibited language simply isn’t there.

DeKalb Inside Out October 25, 2012 at 9:25 pm

In 2011 the Ga Supreme Court majority report says the 1877 Constitution of Georgia granted local boards of education the exclusive right to establish and maintain K-12 education.

The 2011 Supreme Court ruling leaves no room for any state agency to create charter schools, a power the justices held to be the “exclusive” constitutional domain of local boards. Only an amendment can change that.

bgsmallz October 26, 2012 at 1:54 am

So the Ga Supreme Court summarized their decision in a footnote? LOL. There is no basis in reality to support what you are saying. Sorry.

bgsmallz October 26, 2012 at 1:54 am

So the Ga Supreme Court summarized their decision in a footnote? LOL. There is no basis in reality to support what you are saying. Sorry.

SallyForth October 25, 2012 at 8:56 pm

This is our most sacred founding document at the state level, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, that we’re talking about changing. Unless there is some overwhelmingly compelling clearly-defined necessity, we should never vote arbitrarily to change it’s language.

There is a lot of sound and fury going on about this Constitutional Amendment that on its face is basically redundant because we already have two avenues for establishing charter schools, of which there are numerous around the state. Their existence is prime facie evidence that this change to our State Constitution is totally unnecessary.

Vote “no” and tell the proponents to find a way to work within our Constitution, like all these other charter schools are doing.

Calypso October 25, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Vote NO. Good idea. That’s what I’m going to do.

SallyForth October 25, 2012 at 9:45 pm

Calypso, what’s the old saying about “two great minds….”? Well, maybe not great, but we’re two.

Calypso October 26, 2012 at 9:14 am

I believe you are referring to the adage, “Two great minds run in the same gutter.”

DeKalb Inside Out October 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm

SallyForth
The Supreme Court was clear that creating charter schools is the “exclusive” constitutional domain of local boards.

85% of the state chartered schools in Georgia operate in counties where the local boards won’t approve local charters. This amendment is in no small part about giving those parents and children choices.

SallyForth October 25, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Huh? “85% of the state chartered schools in Georgia operate in counties …..” D/I/O, you just made my point for me.

Parents and children already have choices. This amendment is no small part about changing the language of our Georgia State Constitution unnecessarily. I am agin’ that in any shape, form or fashion.

DeKalb Inside Out October 26, 2012 at 8:14 am

SallyForth
If this amendment fails, the same local school districts that sued to overturn the original state commission and are actively opposing this amendment will seek to overturn the state board’s authority to create state charters as delineated in OCGA.

The Ga Supreme Court majority report said the 1877 Constitution of Georgia granted local boards of education the exclusive right to establish and maintain K-12 education. This ruling leaves no room for any state agency to create charter schools, a power the justices held to be the “exclusive” constitutional domain of local boards. Only an amendment can change that.

Nahmias, GA Supreme Court judge, made it clear that the state board will lose should their authority be contested.

ALL those state chartered schools will be closed down.

John Konop October 26, 2012 at 9:58 am

Dek,

What I proposed in my own community is the following:

1) Let the public school take over administrative duties for a fee other than core management. This would cost way less than the current fee of close to a million dollars a year the school pays Charter USA and not change how the school is run.
2) Let the Charter school leverage off the purchasing power of the public school system.
3) The school system negotiates buying the property at the same price that services the current rent. That way the rent goes away after the property is paid and it shows a commitment for the charter school.

benevolus October 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Well then the legislature really screwed up by trying to do too much. They should have just made the amendment authorize the existing State BoE. Instead, they chose to add something new and different, confusing, and with suspicious motivation.

If existing charter schools get challenged and lose, somebody needs to ask a judge for an injunction until the legislature can get it right next year.

DeKalb Inside Out October 26, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Benevolus,
What do mean they are trying to do too much with this amendment? The amendment is pretty simple…

House Resolution 1162

“Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia so as to clarify the authority of the state to establish state-wide education policy; to restate the authority of the General Assembly to establish special schools; to provide that special schools include state charter schools;”

SallyForth October 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm

Dek, I wish I had a crystal ball like you do, as evidenced by your ability to predict what local school boards all across Georgia will do in the future.

Once again you make my point by stating: “This ruling leaves no room for any state agency to create charter schools, a power the justices held to be the “exclusive” constitutional domain of local boards.” Our forefathers who wrote the GA Constitution were a bunch of smart cookies who specifically protected into perpetuity our local school systems from being overruled by the state government.

The best government is closest to the people governed. I’m a Constitutional conservative who is voting NO to this unnecessary change to our state Constitution.

DeKalb Inside Out October 26, 2012 at 8:27 pm

SallyForth,
I said the “ruling” leaves no room. I didn’t say the “constitution” leaves no room. Please note the dissent, supported by 3 judges, written by GA Supreme Court Judge Nahmias who strongly disagrees with the ruling and says that the state does have the authority to commission state chartered schools.

Please explain how we’re supposed to believe the same local school districts that sued to overturn the original state commission and are actively opposing this amendment would sit idly by while the state school board continues to wield virtually the same power.

Either the opponents of this amendment are hypocrites, or the State Board is next. Look at the opponents arguments. How do those arguments not apply to the State Board as well?
* local control
* funding
* non elected people approving charters
* multiple layers of bureaucracy
* not enough protections (konop)

SallyForth,
Are you calling the opponents of Amendment 1 hypocrites?

SallyForth October 26, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Nah, I’m calling ‘em opponents.

DeKalb Inside Out October 26, 2012 at 1:41 pm

John.
There is no need to tell the charters how to purchase what, when, where and how. Let them fend for themselves. If they can’t cut it, then let them fail.

Giving any duties to the local school district is a HUGE mistake. They are terrible at education and administration. We are 49th out of 50 in education. From that study by Benjamin Scadfidi over the last 50 years the number of K-12 students has doubled, but the number of school employees has quadrupled. Of those school employees, the administration has grown by 700%.

I’m absolutely, positively, without a doubt sure I want traditional schools as far away as possible from anything pertaining to education, administration or management.

John Konop October 26, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Dek,

As you know the actual numbers in Cherokee County it cost less than the charter school. As we have discussed before, I am for even more consolidation with the higher education system to improve quality and lower cost. If not we will end up going in the wrong direction and providing less needed services, quality and it will cost more in the long run……………

…….Cherokee Public current school year drops to $7,072 using this standard calculation verse Cherokee Charter cost per child of $7,419……

Comments on this entry are closed.