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Defend Public Education NO on One

Georgia has a long and shameful history of attacking Public Education. The idea of universal access to a publicly funded education grew from the Reconstruction era state assemblies when for a moment control of our state was wrested from the hands of a slavocracy opposed to encouraging critical thought among a compliant workforce. In response to the Brown decision, the Georgia Assembly gave its clear approval to the segregation academies which still exists throughout the state when they threatened to close public schools as an alternative to Federal action to enforce desegregation. A publicly funded education is a universal human right. And it must be defended from those still intent on dividing our children between those prepared for service as a complaint workforce for the profits of those whose parents can afford the cost of educating their kids.

Elizabeth Hooper: Charter School Amendment - Privatization of Georgia's Public Schools


Now that Nov. 6th is right around the corner, it's time to talk about the elephant in the room - the privatization of public education. The "pro" Amendment 1 side all feel that private corporations, in this case "for-profit" charter operators, can provide a more efficient way to educate your children compared to the current system managed by locally elected school boards, superintendents and the State Board of Education.

They feel so strongly in the superiority of the "free-enterprise" system that they are willing to remove any obstacle from the path of privatization, including your elected voice, and I guess their own if they happen to live in Georgia. A "yes" vote on Amedment 1 will trigger a 7 person appointed commission who's sole duty will be to review charter petitions faster and more efficiently than the current State BOE apparently is capable or interested in doing. Your input or your locally elected school board's input on these decisions, will not be required.

If privatization is such a great idea, why not include it in the preamble or ballot?

Reasons Number 9 and 10 to vote NO on Amendment 1: the privatization of education is not "free" and will most likely result in people getting rich off of our kids rather than saving us any money or improving education.


Dick Yarbrough: Ten reasons to vote ‘no’ on the charter school amendment

A couple of points, follow the read more link for the rest:


Eight: The Legislature has deliberately starved public schools financially and as a result, 67 percent of the schools systems in Georgia do not have the funds to provide 180 days of instruction as required by Georgia law. According to the Georgia Budget & Policy Institute, Georgia’s funding for K-12 public education is at its lowest level on a per-pupil basis in 10 years. Legislators like to wring their hands about “failing schools.” If the schools are failing, the politicians need to look in the mirror. It is their fault; not the schools.

Read more here:
Ten: I support charter schools, as do most educators. But this amendment isn’t about charter schools. It is about money. Lots and lots of money from for-profit education company lobbyists in a state with the weakest ethics laws in the nation. That’s reason enough that the amendment needs to be defeated.

Read more here:


Ten: I support charter schools, as do most educators. But this amendment isn’t about charter schools. It is about money. Lots and lots of money from for-profit education company lobbyists in a state with the weakest ethics laws in the nation. That’s reason enough that the amendment needs to be defeated.

Read more here:

Why I am voting no on Amendment 1


So, basically, the text itself demeans anyone who dare vote against it as someone who is against smarter kids and more involved parents, not to mention that such a voter must be against charter schools per se.  But the facts are far less clear.  As I will explain below, this Amendment does not do what it says it will do, but is rather using empty platitudes to convince the uneducated voter to vote for it.  Such tactics are dangerous.  With this logic, the text of an amendment banning abortion would say “Provides for healthier, happier babies by ensuring birth.”  It’s just not true.

Amendment 1 is a thinly-veiled attempt for out of state companies to profit off of Georgia students, without any regard to how well-educated they are.

Read more for the full story.


Ga Superintendant of Schools John Barge Opposes Charter School Commission Amendment


This was part of a press release issued last month. In it, Georgia Superintendant of Schools, Dr. Barge wrote:

I fully support the continued creation of high quality charter schools for Georgia’s students, but after careful consideration of what is best for all of Georgia’s students, I have decided to take a position in opposition to the constitutional amendment that will be on the Nov. 6 ballot.  

Until all of our public school students are in school for a full 180-day school year, until essential services like student transportation and student support can return to effective levels, and until teachers regain jobs with full pay for a full school year, we should not redirect one more dollar away from Georgia’s local school districts – much less an additional $430 million in state funds, which is what it would cost to add seven new state charter schools per year over the next five years (the annual average of the Charter Commission that would be revived if the amendment passes).  

I cannot support the creation of a new and costly state bureaucracy that takes away local control of schools and unnecessarily duplicates the good work already being done by local districts, the Georgia Department of Education, and the state Board of Education. 

What’s more, this constitutional amendment would direct taxpayer dollars into the pockets of out-of-state, for-profit charter school companies whose schools perform no better than traditional public schools and locally approved charter schools (and worse, in some cases).   

I trust our local school districts will continue to approve only high quality charter schools for Georgia’s students, and I am committed to working with all of our school districts to ensure that high quality applicants are not denied locally – including mediating between high quality charter school applicants and any local districts that are reluctant to approve them, as provided by existing Georgia law.

Follow the read-more link for the complete statement and supporting documents.  

Bruce Dixon, GaGP Chairman Urges NO Vote on Charter School Commission Amendment



What will GA Amendment One do?

Amendment One will alter the GA state constitution to enable a commission mostly appointed by the governor to approve the establishment of charter schools without the pesky interference of local voters and their elected school boards.  Since the privately operated schools established by the commission will be entitled to dip into the sparse funds our legislators make available for public education, Amendment One removes almost every obstacle to the privatization of public education in Georgia.  That can't be a good thing, and all knowledgeable Georgia voters ought to oppose it.



Georgia PTA: 10 Things You Should Know about the Constitutional Amendment on Charter Schools

The Georgia PTA weighs in, in opposition to Georgia Constitutional Amendment #1 arguing: "The ballot initiative on the November ballot reads: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow local or state approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities”. The language is misleading. There is already both local and state authority to create charter schools. This amendment is solely to create a third authorizer, a politically appointed State Charter School Commission not accountable to taxpayers or voters." Follow the Read More link for their top reasons to oppose passage of this Constitutional Amendment.

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