Here is some reaction from charter school advocates to the lawsuit filed by Gwinnett County challenging a new state law that allows charter schools to bypass local boards of education and seek approval – and local tax dollars - from a state commission. (So far, the commission has approved two schools, including an all-girl school in Gwinnett, Ivy Prep. See recent post below on charters/vouchers for more details about this issue.)
–“We are sorry to hear that a school district with an annual budget of over $2 billion dollars would file a suit against the State to prevent it from fulfilling its financial responsibility to providing a quality education for a diverse group of 300 young girls, many of whom are eligible for free and reduced price lunch,” said Georgia Charter Schools Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Roberts. “Their parents have made the choice that these girls are better served in a charter school.”
–“The Gwinnett County School Board elected to sue the state over legislation that gave a few students the chance to attend a small public school of their choice,” says State Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton), the House Majority Whip who sponsored the new law. “Now it is time for Gwinnett citizens to elect a new board, one that actually puts students first and egos second. The Gwinnett Board earlier denied approval and local funding to the school. When Ivy Prep opened its doors anyway with half funding, its students scored among the highest achievement marks in Georgia. Shame on the Gwinnett County School Board. Our state constitution compels Georgia to fund all public school students adequately, not preferentially and unfairly according to Gwinnett’s rules.”
–“I am a law abiding, tax-paying citizen in Gwinnett County, and it is very disturbing to me that Gwinnett County Public Schools would sue one of its public schools over tax dollars for public education,” said Veda Bills, mother of a seventh grader at Ivy Prep.