Ignoring the Will of the People: Charter School Edition

April 2, 2014 10:52 am

by Eric The Younger · 13 comments

In the list of casualties this session everyone has definitely heard about medical marijuana and the Autism coverage mandate. Unfortunately these two bills were put to the back burner to be used as a political tool so certain legislators could act like toddlers. Some folks are more interested in political posturing instead of decent policy that will improve the lives of the citizens of Georgia.

Another topic on the list of casualties is charter schools. HB 897, which was commonly referred to as the Title 20 cleanup bill, was a 48 page bill that touched a lot of aspects of education because it was cleaning up the title section by removing outdated language and adding clarification where needed. One of these sections where there was needed clarification had to do with charter schools.

In 2012 the people spoke overwhelmingly in favor of more charter schools by passing the charter school amendment to our constitution. HB 897 had several sections that would add further clarity and guidance on how charter schools are treated and behave within Georgia’s educational System.

Rep. Mike Dudgeon (R- John’s Creek) was the author of the bill and had put in quite a bit of time to craft the language. Education can often be considered a third rail in Georgia politics, but with the amount of effort that Rep. Dudgeon expended, the bill passed out of Rep. Brooks Coleman’s Education Committee without opposition.

Then it got to the Senate where Sen. Lindsey Tippins gutted the charter language in his Education Committee, with no thought in mind that the people clearly want more charter schools to address an inadequate educational system. Why would a Senator ignore the will and voice of the people? I’m not entirely sure but it may have to do with Sen. Tippins’ 12 years of service on the Cobb County School Board and his desire to keep the status quo for entrenched bureaucratic interests.

Because of Sen. Tippins staunch opposition to the will of the people, three other education bills also failed. The House was insistent on the people’s position for more charter schools and attempted to fix the problems  Sen. Tippins caused three other bills to fail: one dealing with expressly allowing teachers and school workers to say traditional winter holiday greetings, one that would have established a “Georgians of Great Character” month, and a third that was the “America’s Founding Principles” bill.

The people want more charter schools for their children. Charters have already shown their potential for new and innovative teaching as well as better preparing students for specialized education. We’ve seen in New Orleans what sort of improvements are possible in a true charter school system. It’s unfortunate when the people speak and their voices are ignored. 

blakeage80 April 2, 2014 at 11:00 am

$5 says the 2015-2016 legislative cycle will be know as “the time children’s cries were heard”. This session made me sick enough to consider (for a fleeting second) starting a political career.

LorieW April 2, 2014 at 11:31 am

Ga has an Autism insurance mandate already. What was trying to get passed was an ABA bill which gutted the existing mandate. It was a bad bill. The trouble with GA is too many out of state lobbyists.

S. Lee Guy April 2, 2014 at 1:34 pm

Mike Dudgeon served on the school board as well (in Forsyth County) before being elected to the House. Serving in this capacity shouldn’t equate to protecting bureaucrats.

Harry April 2, 2014 at 2:06 pm

Shouldn’t, but it does. We’re talking serious money. This is why no bureaucrat or member of a school board should serve in the legislature.

Spacey G April 2, 2014 at 2:37 pm

“Some folks are more interested in political posturing instead of decent policy that will improve the lives of the citizens of Georgia.” Indeed.

BJ Van Gundy April 2, 2014 at 2:56 pm

You’re right S. Lee… it SHOULDN’T equate to protecting bureaucrats but TYPICALLY does.

Mike D. happens to be a former school board member with character and a true desire to improve the education system for the benefit of the students and parents.

Unfortunately, that is NOT what the usual school board member does. They tend to go with protecting inferior teachers and administrators and the bureaucracy that surrounds them… to the detriment of the students and parents.

Kudos to Mike Dudgeon. Shame on Lindsey Tippins.

John Konop April 2, 2014 at 3:33 pm

BJ,

In all due respect your analysis is juvenile at best on an issue that has a lot of moving parts. The FACTS are many public school districts in Georgia offer educational opportunities that fall in line with the best private schools in the state. Other districts do a massive disservice to the students they serve.

One size fit all solutions did not work with No Child Left behind like you supported in the past, nor does it work for charter schools. Some charter schools have been a gift to the community while others have not….

The problem with the current charter school bill you support is it does not have enough fiscal controls….But you have been consistent with that via not supporting proper controls in the banking crisis her in Georgia…..Putting tax payers at undue risk seems to be your thing as long as you support the idea….

What you fail to understand is in true capitalism the private company takes the overwhelming risk not tax payers…. do you understand the private sector gets the upside if it works? You tend to support tax payers at more risk than the private sector as long as you support the concept…

The difference between us is unless it passes the fiscal smell test, I do not argue the what I FEEL about the issue. The current charter bill does not pass the fiscal smell test. But hey, at least you are consistent it not letting fiscal sanity get in the way of a policy you agree with….

If you want to debate the fiscal issues I am open…

BJ Van Gundy April 2, 2014 at 3:40 pm

Sorry John. I stopped reading at “juvenile” as I won’t discuss a subject as important as the education of children with someone who resorts to ad hominem attacks so quickly…. THAT, SIR… is by definition “juvenile”.

Well. I should have stopped reading.

You state things that are simply NOT FREAKING TRUE. Where the hell do you get off stating that I SUPPORTED NCLB in the past?

I have been an outspoken OPPONENT of NCLB. You wrote this with some sort of ax to grind against me and then simply started in with attacks regarding banks (an issue I haven’t dealt with since 2003 or 2004!… WTH?) and questioning how I analyze an issue…. as you accuse ME of doing things based on how I feel. If anything, John, how I “feel” about an issue is the FURTHEST from how I analyze a subject.

No. I do not want to debate anything with a person that starts with an ad hominem and then proceeds to lie.

Good day.

John Konop April 2, 2014 at 4:30 pm

BJ,

….I won’t discuss a subject as important as the education of children……

1) The real reason is you know I am right about the lack of fiscal controls….Nice spin….

….Where the hell do you get off stating that I SUPPORTED NCLB in the past?..

2) Your bio states you supported, voted, campaigned for the people who brought us NCLB…..But hey let’s not let facts get in the way….

……..how I “feel” about an issue is the FURTHEST from how I analyze a subject…..

3) If that was true you would defend the lack of fiscal controls and or propose solutions….rather than paly the victim card….BTW before the bill on this blog, I posted some of the issues on a thread you commented on….Once again you avoided the fiscal questions….and went to how you feel about education…I can post it if you want?

John Konop April 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm

John Konop vs. BJ

Both comments I made were about the fiscal issues…..BJ was about feel good stuff with no real controls read for yourself…..

Konop fiscal solution to protect tax payers:

……………I would require the following:

1) If a charter school gets up front money outside of per pupil allotment , tax payer money via grants……it should be in the form of a loan that has a personal guarantee with off sets against the management fees. This is standard procedure for business loans in the private sector ie even SBA loans……… This is for a private company that is taking a material amount of management fee.
2) If the Charter school has a material amount of students some form of penalty should be in place to guarantee a school year. Small charter school should be exempt, this is to put controls in places like Cherokee charter that has close to 1000 students. You realize mid-year close would put a real strain in the system. This would be for schools with more than 750 kids.
3) If the state or county wants to take over the charter school that failed by companies like Charter USA, they should not have any rights to their fees. That means any fees they received on their monthly allotment should be reimburse back to the county for that school year as a penalty for non completion.
4) All contracts the charter schools engages in should be public record and available to be reviewed by tax payers.
5) Also officeholders conflict of interest should be fully disclosed ie employment of relatives, contracts for service ie relatives, Land ownership ie relatives………..
Is this really asking too much to protect tax payers?………..

BJ made a few comments not related to fiscal control issues, and never commented on fiscal issues I brought up:

http://www.peachpundit.com/2012/09/18/todays-charter-amendment-opponent-misinformation-the-state-can-already-create-new-charter-schools-so-vote-no/

John Konop April 2, 2014 at 4:29 pm

BJ,

….I won’t discuss a subject as important as the education of children……

1) The real reason is you know I am right about the lack of fiscal controls….Nice spin….

….Where the hell do you get off stating that I SUPPORTED NCLB in the past?..

2) Your bio states you supported, voted, campaigned for the people who brought us NCLB…..But hey let’s not let facts get in the way….

……..how I “feel” about an issue is the FURTHEST from how I analyze a subject…..

3) If that was true you would defend the lack of fiscal controls and or propose solutions….rather than paly the victim card….BTW before the bill on this blog, I posted some of the issues on a thread you commented on….Once again you avoided the fiscal questions….and went to how you feel about education…I can post it if you want?

BJ Van Gundy April 2, 2014 at 5:12 pm

First of all… double posting doesn’t strengthen the point John. It suggests a manic scramble to respond.

Now. As for your continued silliness above:

Answer to your number 1: (Your number 1 is such a lame method of debate that it doesn’t really deserve a response) No. I do not “know” that you are right. I’ll state it: YOU ARE WRONG. While I am always open to more sensible fiscal controls in all aspects of government, I contend that the fiscal controls in place are for the most part sufficient. They are numerous. Just because nobody called you, John Konop, for advice, doesn’t mean that whatever was put in place is all wrong.

Number 2: Because I supported a candidate (I’m assuming y0u are speaking of George W. Bush) doesn’t mean I supported everything they EVER did. In this assertion by you, all you have done is shown how poorly you reason things out. Which explains a lot.

That is like suggesting that because I bought gas from Exxon in the 80s and 90s, because I needed gas, that I believed that the Valdez oil spill was a good idea. Horrendous logic, but comparable to yours.

I will state it again, and I have plenty of folks that know this, I opposed NCLB. Always have. Your astoundingly poor logic aside.

Number 3: Just because someone doesn’t respond to YOU doesn’t mean that they disagree with you. This is just more of your really sad logic skills. I may have actually agreed and didn’t say it.

In fact! Since the “Five Requirements of John Konop for Charter Schools” aren’t antithetical to my beliefs, I can actually somewhat agree with them… All of them. See? I didn’t really have anything to argue with you about previously…. so I didn’t. You on the other hand appear to be desirous of making things up in order to create an argument. Sad.

Knowing that no one will go read all the stuff at the link you provided, you are therefore hoping that they will simply take your characterization of what I posted there as true. I am here to tell them that you simply LIED again. What I posted wasn’t “feel good” stuff. You lie.

I’m done. Go nuts posting whatever other lies and mischaracterizations of posts of the past. I will simply state here that I hope that folks will see them as the lies of someone with an ax to grind, or worse… a psychological disorder that causes an odd desire to pick fights simply for the sake of picking fights.

John Konop April 2, 2014 at 6:05 pm

1)The double posting was because I wanted in the reply section….I also requested to take down the other post…..it is easier for people to read when it follows…..

2)If you support what I wrote, obviously we do not have enough controls in place…..

3) Your congressman at the time voted for NCLB as well…..

Sorry if I made the wrong assumption about you supporting fiscal reforms. I have never seen you advocate for fiscal controls on this issue….

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