Day 40 – Charter Schools And Common Core

March 20, 2014 15:34 pm

by Charlie · 7 comments

I’m at the Capitol today and trying to follow a few things.  Will perhaps do a few updates along the way.   I’ll also do an Open Thread so y’all can contribute as to what you’re seeing/hearing.

On Education, Senator Ligon attempted to amend HB 897 to add anti-Common Core/Anti-Science/Anti-data language to the bill.  One of his amendments was withdrawn, the other two failed.   Repeal of Common Core is likely dead, pending additional zombie legislation.

There is a House Resolution pending that will authorize a study committee to discuss the federal intrusion into Common Core.  This, frankly, is how any issues with Common Core should be viewed.  The program has Georgia origins and the national standards are voluntary.  It is reasonable to ensure that the program – and federal funding – do not change this basic but fundamental part of the program.  Dems object to some of the anti-federal language.  There may be floor “discussion” on the issue.

Back to HB 897.  Senator Tippins  presented a few amendments, but continues to deny the House language authored by Rep Mike Dudgeon that is favorable to continuing Georgia’s Charter School movement.  Kyle Wingfield has written about the issue here, pitting and penning it as “The Senators vs The Students.  The Senate needs to stand with Charter Schools, as they  are the most viable form of school choice, and supported by bi-partisan majorities of Georgians.

Charlie March 20, 2014 at 5:21 pm

HR 550 for a study committee on the role of the Federal Gvt in education and it’s ties to Common Core passes 112-52 after lengthy opposition speech by Rep Alicia Thomas Morgan.

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 20, 2014 at 7:44 pm

With the fits that many parents have been having over the chronically underfunded state of the schools in Cobb County (one of the state’s best school systems), it’s very understandable why Senator Tippins might be attempting to distance himself from any legislative move that may (either rightly or wrongly) appear to those parents to undermine their beloved Cobb County Public Schools.

Parents in general in places like Paulding, Cherokee, Forsyth, North Fulton, Gwinnett and (especially) Cobb counties (affluent Northside suburban Atlanta areas that make up the very-heart of the GOP’s base of power in Georgia) have been growing increasingly disgruntled that their prized local public school systems continued to be chronically underfunded by the state.

…This is particularly the case in Cobb County where the highly-regarded school system has experienced budget deficits of up to $86 million this school year.

UpHere March 21, 2014 at 1:46 am

Fulton and Gwinnett are not underfunded by the state. Their administrative costs are ridiculous compared to Cobb or Cherokee.

Cobb doesn’t seem to understand simple budgeting. Rep. John Carson sent out a letter to his school’s PTA. It is worth a read.

Senator Tippens is still pissed that the charter amendment passed. He is going to poke the bear on anything charter related forever, I believe.

Dr. Monica Henson March 22, 2014 at 9:46 pm

Public schools in Georgia are not underfunded. The problem is that many, if not most districts refuse to make changes in the way they staff and operate schools. They are not funded sufficiently to enable them to perpetuate the status quo, yet they are unwilling to adjust to that reality, hence the complaint of “underfunding.”

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm

UpHere, Dr. Henson, those are excellent points that many individual school systems have played a major role in contributing to their own fiscal distresses.

Though, whenever local school systems have funding problems these days, they of course do not (and are not going to) take personal responsibility for their own fiscal challenges.

Those local school systems always point directly to state government which has played its role with the continuing austerity cuts to education which have been in play since 2003 and only deepened in severity with the severe economic downturn of the late 2000′s and early 2010′s.

And the public and the media usually eats it right up when most local school systems place the blame for their fiscal woes squarely at the feet of state government.

UpHere March 23, 2014 at 9:19 am

Well of course. It is easier to poke the state’s eye and to poke your own mismanagement.

I can’t remember who did some statistics during an Education meeting but the state’s portion of money has not declined that much since 2005. The percentage went from 54% to 51%, if I remember correctly. Of course, no one believes that because GAE, PAGE and the Superintendent’s Assn. beat the drum of the billions in austerity cuts. Education was the only group in state government mostly shielded from the huge cuts over the past 8 years.

The Last Democrat in Georgia March 23, 2014 at 11:41 am

That’s a good point. As bad as many claim that the cuts to education were in the state’s budget, the cuts were far worse just about everywhere else.

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