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Charter Amendment HR 1162 - Dr. Barge Gave Us the "CARFAX!"

HR - 1162 - the ballot is deceptive, the charter amendment is a lemon!

Top Ten Reasons to Vote "NO" on HR 1162 - #1. The ballot question is deceptive. The wording on the ballot you will see Nov. 6th is intentionally confusing. Here it is:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?   YES     NO

Why is this deceptive? The voter is led to believe that the state does not currently have the authority to approve public charter schools. This is not true. In 2002 the Charter Schools Act of 1998 was amended to create a new category of charter schools termed state chartered special schools. Georgia Code (O.C.G.A. 20-2-2064.1 (c) states clearly that if a local board of education denies a charter petition, the petitioner may seek approval from the State Board of Education to create a state chartered school.

The enabling legislation for HR 1162, HB 797, also reaffirms the State Board of Educations existing authority to authorize state charter schools when stating "the State Board of Education shall review and may overrule the approval or renewal of a state charter school by the commission." 20-2-2083 (a) (1) 94-95. In January of 2012, Fulton Science Academy MS, applied to become a state charter school after being denied a charter by the Fulton County BOE. No one said it was illegal to do so. They were also denied a state charter.

Are the legislators who sponsored this bill trying to pull a "fast one?" Certainly looks like that to me. One thing is certain - the money spent on lawyers by the state and charter advocates to assert their authority over local boards of education in the past 10 plus years could probably have built several new schools. Wouldn't you like to know that dollar figure?

Certain state legislators and charter advocates see everything in "free-market" terms. Parents, students, voters...we're all in essence, consumers. We really need to be smart shoppers when it comes to voting on HR-1162. Dr. Barge gave us the "carfax" on August 14th (see previous post). Vote "NO" on HR 1162 - it's a LEMON!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Me August 26, 2012 at 09:28 PM
This would not be a dollar-for-dollar loss to local districts, but a spread-the-pain loss to all districts in the state, including those districts (like Fulton) who actually have approved a number of charters. There is one pot of money for K12 ed in GA. This would, as Dr. Barge reported, create a new bureaucracy to be funded with part of that money. Therefore, allotments would be decreased, proportionately, to all school systems. If school systems are denying valid charters repeatedly (looking perhaps to subsequent state approval), the voters in those systems should demand answers from their BoEs. The rest of us in the state shouldn't bear the burden of a few recalcitrant BOEs. Think about it, Truth: "The need for 1162 only arose out of the denial of a charter in 2 counties in Georgia. " REALLY? We need a state-wide referendum because some people in Cherokee and Gwinnett didn't get their local charter funding? We need to add a new level of bureaucracy for THAT? I know the Senate Majority Whip has this bee in his bonnet, but... COME ON!
Juan Dela Cruz September 28, 2012 at 06:57 PM
I think Senor Barge gave us the lemon! I read all about this. It seems some snooty North Fulton people want no investment in charter schools. Did you you know that less than 15 school out of 180 in Georgia have ever approved a charter school. That is very pathetic. This is why we had the commission before and we need it again. Powerful people in these districts think the money in their systems is theirs. It's not. It's our kids. And we want something more. Something better. And we should be able to get it. Thank goodness the state is will to look at our ideas and if denied unfairly by the districts, we can be granted a charter to build a school, without funds coming from those local districts.
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