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Better Georgia Weighs in on the Charter Schools Amendment

Better Georgia is a progressive advocacy organization working on a variety of issues that concern Georgians.

By Bryan Long, director of Better Georgia

Charter schools are often a great choice for students.

But like most Georgians, we believe that decisions on how local education dollars should be spent ought to be made by parents in the communities where those students live and by the school boards they elect.

On Nov. 6, you will be asked to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ for an amendment to Georgia’s constitution.

You are not voting for or against charter schools.

Instead, you are voting for or against the creation of a new, costly, and unnecessary state bureaucracy.

Vote ‘No’ to stop the creation of the new government agency.

Over the past decade, our state government has cut more than $1 billion from the state budget in money that is sent to local school boards for K-12 education.

Now, the state government wants to change our constitution to take away your right to elect those who decide how scarce education tax dollars are spent.

In fact, if the bureaucrats get their way, we’ll have a new, state-level, Atlanta-based agency to tell you and your neighbors how to spend your education tax dollars.

You won’t elect these people. You won’t be able to fire these people. You may never see these people set foot in your community. But the members of this unnecessary government agency may stand to profit from their decisions.

Better Georgia believes this is wrong.

And we’re not alone.

Here’s who else wants you to vote ‘No’ on Amendment 1:

And, that’s not all. Who else wants you to vote ‘No’ on Amendment 1? These school boards, educators and professionals:

In fact, 69 percent of Georgia voters we asked said they are opposed to granting the state more control over education tax dollars raised by local city and county school boards.

Who wants you to vote ‘Yes’ on Amendment 1?

  • Wal-Mart
  • Multinational Conglomerate Koch Industries
  • 10 big-dollar out-of-state donors
  • Gov. Nathan Deal, and legislators Don Balfour and Chip Rogers

More than 92 percent of money contributed to the ‘Yes’ campaign comes from donors outside of Georgia. And that’s just the money they’re telling us about!

It seems that the only people who support Amendment 1 are state government bureaucrats, lawmakers who want a new way to spend your tax dollars and out-of-state corporations who are hovering like vultures, eager to make a profit off Georgia’s children.

That's money that will come straight out of your pocket.

Please join Better Georgia as we fight to keep Georgia’s lawmakers from increasing the size of government bureaucracy while shrinking the budget for local schools.

Sign our pledge to Vote ‘No’ on Amendment 1. 

Join us on Facebook: Better Georgia Schools.

We don’t need another government agency to tell us how to educate our children or how to spend our tax dollars.

A ‘No’ vote on Amendment 1 will keep the control over schools in your community with your community leaders.

Related articles:

Barrow election guide 2012

Feeling Manipulated About Charter Schools? There's a Reason for That

Improving Education is Truly a Bi-Partisan Issue

Ed Uktr October 02, 2012 at 11:24 PM
The above article is a free advertisement from the teachers' union AND the Barrow Patch editor—against parental choice. According to polls, 58 PERCENT of Georgia voters will be voting IN FAVOR OF Amendment 1. Our traditional public school system is broken, and more charter schools are the answer. Right now teachers' unions and liberals are able to tie up charter school applications in red tape. Amendment 1 restores state power to override the anti-choice crowd—and give parents and kids more choices. Vote "YES" on Amendment 1.
Perry Parks October 03, 2012 at 12:17 AM
Ed, Thanks for your comment. This post reflects one point of view on the Charter Schools Amendment. Patch has posted alternative points of view on many occasions. Two of those are linked at the bottom of the article and here: http://barrow.patch.com/articles/improving-education-is-truly-a-bi-partisan-issue-2c3a46db http://barrow.patch.com/blog_posts/feeling-manipulated-about-charter-schools-theres-a-reason-for-that
Marne M October 03, 2012 at 10:58 AM
"Over the past decade, our state government has cut more than $1 billion from the state budget in money that is sent to local school boards for K-12 education. Now, the state government wants to change our constitution to take away your right to elect those who decide how scarce education tax dollars are spent. In fact, if the bureaucrats get their way, we’ll have a new, state-level, Atlanta-based agency to tell you and your neighbors how to spend your education tax dollars. You won’t elect these people. You won’t be able to fire these people. You may never see these people set foot in your community. But the members of this unnecessary government agency may stand to profit from their decisions." This highlights exactly why I will be voting "no" on this amendment. I favor Charter schools. I do not favor State control, especially control some unelected board that will probably never even visit Barrow County, let alone be qualified to make the best decisions for local children. I have the power to vote for or against Barrow school board members, and to campaign against them if I feel if they're doing a poor job. I have the power to lobby for specific issues via a personal relationship with my school board member, as do all local residents. I'm refuse to vote to give that up.
Karl Wheatley October 10, 2012 at 06:28 PM
Actually, in the closest thing we have to apples-to-apples comparisons, public schools do slightly better than charters. Also, when you control for the much higher rate of poverty in American public schools than found in other developed nations (roughly double the rate), kids from American public schools do quite well on those international tests that everyone fusses about. On the last PISA test (the last major international test), USA was #1 in the world in the number of top scorers in reading and #1 in the world in number of top scorers in math. Also, adjusting for much higher child poverty rate (double the average of other PISA nations), our average scores in reading were #1 in the world. Our average scores look mediocre because we have so much more child poverty, but once you control for that, our public schools look much better than you're usually told by the media. You don't expect military units that saw fierce combat to have the same casualty rates as units that were stateside, and we can't expect public schools coping with 22% child poverty to have as high test scores as countries in which the child poverty rate is 4%.
Matt Shultz October 23, 2012 at 11:10 AM
As a former BOE member I can tell you that we need choice. Here are some more comments on Amendment 1: http://www.mattshultz.org/?p=1258

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