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Now That Charter School Amendment Has Passed

Parents now have a choice, but does more choices translate to better choices?

The heated debate over charter schools ended on Nov. 6 when the majority of voters cast their ballots in favor of allowing the state to grant charter schools.

In 2013 the General Assembly will be setting up a new Charter School Commission, similar to the one that was struck down in 2011 when the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. The new commission will have the authority to approve - and fund - schools without the approval of local school boards.

In the future as more charter schools open parents will have more choices on where to send their children - their neighborhood public school - or a publicly funded charter school.

But are Charter Schools the answer to Georgia's dilemma as one of the lowest-ranked states in the nation in education?

What do you think?

Shelly November 28, 2012 at 12:58 PM
It will only make it much worse. It will funnel precious money from our already struggling public schools that will only go into the pockets of a new worthless governmental group that will do the job that was already provided by our local governments. Complete fail. All because they worded the question on the ballot to sound as if you were against a better school system if you didn't vote yes, and idiots who voted emotionally without having no idea about what they were voting for. It's no wonder the homeschooling community is growing leaps and bounds. Parents are already paying through the nose to help provide what the government keeps cutting out of the budget so their kids aren't robbed of an adequate education. If funding gets much worse, we might as well start sending our kids to private school for what we have to help pay for (just in supplies, paper, books, technology). This charter school amendment was the absolute worst thing that could have happened to our schools and actually takes what little control the parents of existing charter schools had in their child's education right out of their hands. Now they have some beurocratic group making all the decisions - and of course the government has always proven to be very effective.. *insert sarcastic tone here*.
Beth November 28, 2012 at 03:55 PM
I agree, Shelly. The amendment will not be good for our East Cobb schools. Parental involvement, motivated students, and excellent teachers help our schools perform well. Most of us paid more for our homes because we moved to the area for the high performing schools. Cobb taxpayers pay a substantially higher millage rate than some counties and get hit harder with austerity cuts - $72 million last year. This will affect our property values, long term. More tax dollars will flow out of Cobb to support the startup charters in areas of the state that are not contributing to the tax base. Why didn't the Cobb Legislators negotiate reworking the QBE and austerity cuts before agreeing to support the amendment? Is the East Cobb delegation looking out for their constituents? Sen. Hill, Rep. Carson, Rep. Dollar?
Frank November 28, 2012 at 05:17 PM
From the "National Association of Charter School Authorizers" They want "states to do a better job of both closing bad charter schools and opening better ones." The pro charter association says its own analysis revealed that between 900 and 1,300 charter schools across the country are performing in the lowest 15 percent of schools within their state. There are about 5,600 charter schools in the country. Some like Walton HS are outstanding. However, the figures above represent close to 25% of charter schools are performing horribly. Parental involvement in your child's education at home and at the school is a far better solution than reliance on a charter school's promise.
Susan H. November 28, 2012 at 10:18 PM
Most people don't realize that legislation was passed in Georgia that provides Charter Schools with 3.3 times as much money per student than a regular Public school. Money and groups from outside the state was used to influence the PR of the Charter Amendment, always curious to know how much went into goodies for the legislators. They cannot police themselves with respect to accepting gifts from lobbyist. Georgia Legislators rank No. 1 for their lack of ethics. (information easily accessed.) I think the entire Charter Amendment is bad news, Georgia ranks close to the bottom with respect to High School Graduation rates. Cobb always does well; but Fulton and Dekalb are barely above 50%. The State cannot abandon failing school systems to set up more bureaucracy in our school system that will be governed by government appointees. The entire state is affected by high school drop-outs and graduates that are unprepared for work, technical training or college. Educators ought to be in charge of education.

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