African-Americans Supported The Charter Amendment In A Big Way

An interesting article by Douglas Blackmon, Pulitizer Prize winning author of “Slavery By Another Name” and co-founder of the Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. Blackmon details the level of African-American support for Amendment 1:

In the 20 Georgia counties where African-Americans make up half or more of the population, the amendment was approved by 61% of all voters and in 14 of those 20 counties. (In two of the other six counties, the amendment still got 49% of the vote; in the other four, support ranged from 42-44%). In the 13 counties where more than half of Georgia’s three million black citizens live, the margin of support was even higher: 62% approval.

The bottom line: Georgia’s black counties overwhelmingly desire dramatic new alternatives to the conventional school systems that have failed them for more than a century.

Blackmon continues:

The support of Amendment 1 among African-Americans is also notable against the backdrop of the Georgia Supreme Court decision in May 2011 that struck down as unconstitutional a previous version of the state charter commission. That ruling on a lawsuit organized by school boards that oppose all charter schools led directly to the campaign for Amendment 1. In the 2011 ruling, the Supreme Court ignored some substantive issues around state funding that in truth needed judicial scrutiny, and instead struck down the old commission using a cruelly naïve logic that would have been comical if it had not been so nauseatingly ironic. The court reached all the way back to Georgia’s defunct constitution of 1877–a white supremacist document passed expressly to end the brief period of true citizenship enjoyed by formerly enslaved African-Americans after the Civil War–and cited as the basis of their ruling against the charter school commission the very constitutional article that first mandated racially segregated schools in Georgia.

Please read the entire article. As the article points out, the county which gave Amendment 1 the highest level of support? Clayton County.


  1. Andre says:

    So basically, black voters rejected the argument made by Joseph Lowery that charter schools constituted a “re-segregation” of Georgia’s schools.

    • jbgotcha says:

      I wouldn’t go that far. It could just as easily mean that more people than not were fooled by the wording on the ballot.

      • UpHere says:

        This was the most covered constitutional amendment in recent memory. How could anyone be fooled about it??

        • jbgotcha says:

          They same way millions of people are fooled everyday by political propaganda and marketing. I was surprised at the number of self-described “informed” voters that were unclear about what a charter school was and how this amendment would potentially affect education.

          • UpHere says:

            If you used that logic, the amendment should have failed. GAE, PAGE, GSBA, Georgia PTA absolutely FLOODED their consitutents with anti-propaganda. There wasn’t a day that Maureen Downey blogged negatively about it. Dick Yarborough did the same in his columns.

  2. The Last Democrat in Georgia says:

    “As the article points out, the county which gave Amendment 1 the highest level of support? Clayton County.”

    TOTAL SHOCKER!!!!…No way, you shippin’ me, right?

    Who would have ever thunk it? I mean, because OBVIOUSLY, whenever one thinks of high-quality public schools and excellence in public education, the first place that always comes to mind is Clayton County, right?

  3. Three Jack says:

    Black voters also overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama. Seems black voters messed up on at least two ballot issues.

  4. the hype says:

    Look what we have to look forward to:
    The supporters of the charter amendment do not have the interests of parents or students in mind. They make the false claim that charters will put schooling back into the hands of parents, when in fact the charter school movement has led to putting taxpayer money in the accounts and hands of charter management companies. Parents and students are being used to secure this end.

  5. seenbetrdayz says:

    Well, I guess it would hurt to try it. Worse comes to worst we have to switch back to the way it was, I suppose.

    • Dave Bearse says:

      Didn’t work that way with natural gas. Won’t work that way with charter schools.

      Based on the wording on the 2012 ballot, switching back would read thus:

      Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to disallow state or local approval of public charter schools?

      Anything from the Gold Dome isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

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