No surprise: House passes charter school amendment

With the House leadership in overdrive to convert dissenters, the charter school amendment passed on a reconsideration vote today.

The battle — which is defined either as a victory for parental choice or an attack on local control, depending on your position –  now moves to the Senate.

The Senate will easily pass the bill to allow a constitutional amendment that would enable the state to get in the charter school approval business. The Senate vote pushes the fight to the public arena as the amendment has to win voter support in November.

We will be talking about this amendment and what it does or doesn’t do for the next nine months.

According to the AJC:

Georgia’s House of Representatives passed charter schools legislation that would, if later approved by the Senate, send to voters a proposed constitutional amendment on whether states should have more authority to create charter schools.

Wednesday’s vote, 123-48, surpassed the two-thirds majority needed on legislation that would put a referendum before voters, and it came two weeks after charter schools backers in the House fell 10 votes short of the needed two-thirds majority.

“I think we have a good bill, a good resolution,” said Speaker Pro-Tempore Jan Jones, the Milton Republican who wrote the charter schools legislation. “It took us a while to get here.”

Charter schools supporters turned to the General Assembly after the state Supreme Court ruled last May that the state-established Charter Schools Commission did not have the authority to create or fund charter schools over the objections of local school boards.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

125 comments Add your comment

Heika

February 22nd, 2012
1:11 pm

*sigh* It was nice for the week that defeat lasted.

Heika

February 22nd, 2012
1:16 pm

You know, why do we even have local districts anymore? Let’s just let Atlanta run all of our schools, pay teachers minimum wage and let principals fire them on the spot for wearing the wrong blouse color on Tuesdays – and repackage it to the voters as “educational efficiency/competitiveness/rainbows and sunshine” on the ballot. It’s what the Gold Dome obviously wants.

Charter Parent

February 22nd, 2012
1:24 pm

Finally…voters get to decide. :) There’s still hope for Georgia!

td

February 22nd, 2012
1:34 pm

Charter Parent

February 22nd, 2012
1:24 pm

I am as Conservative as a person can get but I will be voting NO on the amendment. I do not think this is the best way to reform Public education and will only hurt the real reform movement in the long run.

Roach

February 22nd, 2012
1:36 pm

Be more efficient to go straight to vouchers for everyone. Then the legislature could start cutting the vouchers. But public schools would stop complaining, because they’d be gone long before the voucher amount went to zero. At which point we could save the cost of writing the checks. What? You think your taxes would come down? Maybe, once the fishing museum is completely gold-plated, and every relative of every state official has sucked as much in state dollars as they can stomach.

Heika

February 22nd, 2012
1:36 pm

@td Wow, a principled conservative who still believes in local control. You are a rare breed, sir.

KIM

February 22nd, 2012
1:50 pm

I hope that if it gets to a vote, an organized opposition can saturate all avenues for communication so the public will be well informed and vote NO to state supported charaters. Both parents with children in public and private should vote NO, NO, NO. Public money should not be diverted to people who have personal agendas (don’t tell me it is quality ed. for ALL) if money does not go to private schools, also.

Atlanta Mom

February 22nd, 2012
1:57 pm

The problem is no one will know what they are voting on. The amendment will be sufficiently vague that no one will know what they voted for/against until it’s too late.

td

February 22nd, 2012
2:07 pm

Heika

February 22nd, 2012
1:36 pm

It is not really about local control because I think a Charter school could be formed under the control of the parents whose children attend. The issue to me is about making all schools better. I feel that Charter schools will draw the most concerned and activist parents and place them into one school. The other schools in the district we be left behind and have no pressure on the local or state politicians for change.

bart

February 22nd, 2012
2:09 pm

The GOP gives lip service to local control, but they are taking away control of public education from local school districts with this bill. I guess they like local control only when it fits their agenda.

flipper

February 22nd, 2012
2:19 pm

Hoooray! School districts have nothing to fear if they are doing a good job. I don’t buy the argument of, “Oh, we have to educate EVERYONE who comes in our doors….” There are kids that do not want to be there and should be sent off to work or to a school that specializes in their behavior problems rather than constantly harassing teachers and kids who want to learn.
Once districts start losing money because students interested in an actual education are leaving with state funds, they will have no choice but to start requiring students to behave or leave.

Sandor

February 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

Most freedom loving conservatives would celebrate personal choice and freedom over local control. All the local controls see in this case is threatening competition and loss of power. This state is rife with little county kingdoms ran by petty, good old boy tyrants. I’ve seen it and lived it my whole life.

And as far as the substantive reforming of public education goes- that’s a pipe dream. The public education lobby has far too much pull for that ever to happen.

Beverly Fraud

February 22nd, 2012
2:24 pm

Yes this bill is FRAUGHT WITH PERIL, but how else do you compel local systems to be responsive to the people they ALLEGEDLY serve?

rural education

February 22nd, 2012
2:25 pm

@flipper; Yes some students should not be there, but schools are completely powerless to do anything about it. Don’t blame the schools, the problem lies with the state.

ByteMe

February 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

We need to move the state capitol back to Millidgeville, so that the rest of the state can stop blaming us for their problems.

And, I’m guessing, the hookers will go with them.

that's goofy

February 22nd, 2012
2:29 pm

flipper:

We have to educate all – it is the law. At least until they can legally drop out. Unlike the “business model” approach – schools can’t fire students.

The alternative school issue: Expensive to build. The NIMBY resistance to an alternative school. Expensive to staff.

future former teacher

February 22nd, 2012
2:30 pm

It is quite evident that our representatives down at the Gold Dome are trying to destroy public education. I have spent thousands of dollars of my own money getting degrees in education and I have jumped through all of the hoops that have been asked of me. Now, it appears, I will be looking for a new career. I have to pay bills too and I have a family to feed. I would also like to buy a house and perhaps take a nice vacation. Unfortunatley, my pay continues to be cut and I see NO future for teachers in this state. Georgia does NOT care about its teachers or its students. The bottom line is the almighty dollar!

Voice of Reason

February 22nd, 2012
2:33 pm

Flipper, please go educate yourself before you vote on this amendment. It is obvious from your post that you truly have no idea the regulations placed on local school systems regarding the education of students.

First off, every student who is suspended more than 10 days from their regular school is entitled to a hearing. After that hearing, they can appeal to the local board of education. After that gets denied, they can sue etc. to compel the school system to take them back.

Second, a student classifed as a special education student can not be suspended out of school for no more than 10 days PER YEAR. If the offense rises to a level that requires a disciplinary panel, a little stiffer action can be taken.

Third, students are guaranteed access to public education until they are 21 years old. Even if a child is “permanently expelled,” it’s really not permanent.

It’s really easy to say just get rid of the bad apples until you do some reasearch and realize state and federal regulations truly prevent it.

Voice of Reason

February 22nd, 2012
2:39 pm

I’m glad you figured me out Sandor. Actually, what I fear is loss of control of *MY* tax dollars. Please tell me why I should be happy with losing more control of MY money.

The supporters of vouchers and charter schools tend to be very flippant about my tax dollars. At least with a local board of education, I have input into the spending of my local tax dollars. If they go to a charter school, private entities, unelected boards, and parents hijack my money and I don’t have any control over it.

I already despise the amount of taxes that I pay in which I have no control over. I’m certainly NOT going to willingly give up even more control.

I will be voting NO on this amendment.

Jerry Eads

February 22nd, 2012
2:49 pm

I have no objection to locally initiated charter schools, even though I repeatedly cite the research that consistently shows charter schools to be, on average, about the same (a bit lower usually) on the so-called “achievement” tests we administer, or (worse) such metrics as AYP. But test performance isn’t the point of charters. The intent of having charters (at least originally) was to get creative and experiment with how school might be done differently from the ‘regular’ schools so we can all learn from them – their mistakes as well as their successes.

These faux-”conservatives” who would have local control AND FUNDS wrested away from elected school boards of the districts, to be controlled by unelected puppet appointees, are not friends of either traditional school or charter supporters. Central non-representative control is neither conservative nor liberal in a democratic society. It is authoritarianism. Be careful what you ask for. I know how I’ll vote.

East Cobb Parent

February 22nd, 2012
2:49 pm

Personally, a vote in November should show how the people truly feel about this issue. The Cobb Board has an opportunity to convince me they are better stewards of the money and have the children’s best interest at heart. First, they must revisit the recent denial of a charter only to have David Morgan vote for a new charter (that he and Alisha Morgan are part of) in the same area. The next board meeting should state that David Morgan voted in error and the vote will be redone. You’ve got until November to convince me, CCSD, that you are doing what is right.

Junior Samples

February 22nd, 2012
2:56 pm

Kyle looks a lot like Maureen lately (link from main page)

Maureen Downey

February 22nd, 2012
2:58 pm

@Junior. It’s because we sit next to each other, and we both guzzle Coke Zero. (And I did alert the desk to this link problem so it should be fixed soon.)
Maureen

paulo977

February 22nd, 2012
3:07 pm

harter Parent

February 22nd, 2012
1:24 pm

Finally…voters get to decide. :) There’s still hope for Georgia!
___________________________________

Guess it helps some to live in a bubble!! Which voters?

paulo977

February 22nd, 2012
3:08 pm

Sandy Springs Parent

February 22nd, 2012
3:13 pm

Please lets just have vouchers, but make them what it really costs to at least go to Catholic School.

My children love the way Private schools do lunch, with the different resturants bringing in lunch on different days. My daughter’s say that is the only time that they actually ate the lunch. They then had parent volunteers hand out fruit, ( grapes, apple slices to the children at the table which they ate). There should be no Free lunch. How can 71% of the students living in Sandy Springs qualify for Free or Reduced lunch in middle school. There are no Apartments with 3 bedrooms that rent for less than $1,200 a month. Even the flea bag ones where the illegals live still rent for $1,000 or $999 if you see the signs out front. They are not suppose to get Section 8. It is a public Benefit and not available to illegal Mom’s and Dad. How do you pay $12,000 to $14,400 a year in rent. How can children qualify for Section 8 alone, to live without a legal adult. Since the benefit can not go to an illegal adult. Also, with Food Stamps, with zero income a family of two gets around $200. Who manages the EBT card for a 5 or 6 year old, since no benefit is suppose to go to any illegal. Now on the Free lunch forms Very few houses ever show up in this school district for $250,000 the paper listed last week the average was $558,000. That would be a house payment of $1,500 + per month. So my question is how can 71% of the children in this school district qualify for free or reduced lunch, when the cut off is $22,000 per year in income for a family of 4. The only answer is outright fraud!!!.

So the answer is yes, I want my vouchers. I am a Liberal. I want my vouchers. I did not do drugs or alchol when I was pregnant. I carried my children 40 weeks, I got prenatal care. I waited until I was in my 30’s to have my children. Until I could afford them. I had a $1,000 co-pay on my first daughter. Even though one daughter has ADHD and the other has ADD, I do not and will not simply sign them up for a Social Security Check and Medicad like so many do. The same ones that do this, are the ones wearing different weaves and wigs everyday. You would think they would ask that when they went to sign up for SSI how they get all the money for weaves or wigs, or might they be the weave bandits?

Just give me the vouchers so I can get away from the Rift Raft. Whose bad behavior sadly, produces children who are damaged by drugs and alchol and will always take more of the resourses away from my children, who were planned and are fed and housed solely about me.

Brandy

February 22nd, 2012
3:21 pm

@Sandy Springs Parent, I would suggest that you more thoroughly research the Free and Reduced Lunch Program including the reasons for its introduction, who mandates and pays for it, and who qualifies for it before you write such vitriol. Also, the phrase is “riff raff”. I’m still giggling over the mental image of a “Rift Raft”.

Reinvent_ED

February 22nd, 2012
3:22 pm

Great news – Georgia is finally taking steps to innovate in education. Baby steps, but at least steps in the right direction!

Brandy

February 22nd, 2012
3:23 pm

Maureen,

Could you enlighten us all on HB 760?

Hillbilly D

February 22nd, 2012
3:27 pm

On the bright side, this can be voted down. Just remember how convoluted Amendments are usually worded, though. A “no” vote may well end up being a “yes” vote and vice versa. I’ve seen that happen with Amendments many times over the years.

If it does pass, I wonder if it won’t wind up like natural gas deregulation; something that looked a lot better on paper than real life. Those who lived in Georgia at the time will remember that well.

yes i am worried

February 22nd, 2012
3:32 pm

Sandy springs parent

You are very naive about the apartment complexes in Sandy Springs. Regardless of what they say they are charging, most are value priced and many are pretty slum like.

The battle for the voters will be interesting.

William Casey

February 22nd, 2012
3:45 pm

TD nails my opinion on Charter schools. Adding a little of my own opinion, I’m afraid that all the concerned, activist parents will be removed from the public schools which would then deteriorate further. Personally, I would prefer some reform in the way Boards of Education are constituted. In the one I know about in detail, Fulton County, BOE positions seem simply to be “stepping-stone” jobs to higher political office. This isn’t my idea of “local control.” I could be wrong, but I see Charters as a “cherry picking” movement which ignores “education for the common good” of society.

Rafe Hollister

February 22nd, 2012
3:57 pm

One positive for Charter schools is that both the student and their parents want them to be there. You can’t say the same for public schools. Wanting to be there and learn, moves you a long way toward being educated.

I am not sure that in this day, public schools will ever be successful, no matter how many times they are reformed and how much money is spent. Educating students who care little about learning and would rather be doing other things is almost impossible.

Many of the parents are not terribly motivated about supporting the schools, as they have no stake in the cost of the schools. They may indirectly pay taxes through their rent, but others who have no children, pay the same rent, so there is no perception that they are supporting the schools or paying for their childs education. If they paid directly for their childs education, they would have more interest in seeing that their money was not wasted.

Seems we have tried to improve education in Georgia all my life and it is worse today than ever. Time to try something new, like school choice, and require all parents to add to the voucher the State gives them for education, even if just a few dollars.

CharterStarter, Too

February 22nd, 2012
4:02 pm

@ William Casey – PLEASE check out charter demographics… It will prove we DO NOT cherry pick.

Shar

February 22nd, 2012
4:15 pm

I’m utterly disheartened.

This amendment will be worded with the inevitable “it’s for the children” tilt, and it will pass because voters are too lazy to find out what they are voting for. Jan Jones will drown in all the filthy payoffs her corrupt, grasping, venal shriveled heart could yearn for. What a lying, stupid, crafty hypocrite she is. She and the big boys who prop her in front of the cameras for the “women and children” issues couldn’t care less about the laws they flout or the children they betray. How do they sleep at night?

Meanwhile, the Senate effort to allow religious instruction into public school curricula continues apace. Of course, this will only be the APPROVED religion – no “phony theology” for these Pharisees.

And those “freedom loving conservatives” who “celebrate personal choice and freedom”? They’re busy trying their best to circumscribe the evils of women’s reproductive health. Limit abortions. Don’t include female contraception in Georgia’s health insurance plans. But be sure to keep mandatory coverage of any and all erectile dysfunction mechanisms!

What a depressing, disgusting week. And it’s only Wednesday.

GeeMac

February 22nd, 2012
4:28 pm

Shar, I feel your pain! I’m trying to make sense of Romney crticizing Obama for running a secular government. Silly me, I thought that was the purpose our Founding Fathers had in mind when they established that religion was separate from government. The prevailing sentiment of social conservatives seems to be that the government should stay out of religion, but it’s okay to have religion control the government.

catlady

February 22nd, 2012
4:42 pm

Roach, great! I don’t want the fools in ATL having any more power than they have, YET I want there to be a way around local BOEs’ transigence. Both entities want too much say-so, rather than letting local parents decide. And I am absolutely against spending public money to have “for profit” businesses taking over educating K-12!

catlady

February 22nd, 2012
4:43 pm

intransigence, that is.

Veteran Observer

February 22nd, 2012
4:43 pm

Charter schools should be under the watch of the local school board as they get their funding from them! This is a BAD bill pushed by a BAD state senator(Chip Rogers) who sends his kids to private school!. I am a lifelong conservative and I and my family will vote NO! Local control can mean the local community can decide how they want their children taught and with what resources. The state should not be involved at all, except to set the standards and approve curriculum. This is the first step to vouchers which should never be approved!

Local Control

February 22nd, 2012
4:44 pm

Local control will succeed when local residents can “vote with their feet” to their school of choice. As long as the public education monopoly is dictated by a zip code, we are failing our children. Local school boards aren’t going to voluntarily give up control of monetary resources – MONEY. Equals. Power. Period.

On the other hand, no one wants to be held accountable, either because no one will address the pink elephant in the room – no matter how much money, how many quality teachers, or classroom size, etc. – the bottom 75% cannot academically become the top 10% so we’ll continue to sacrifice opportunities for the best and brightest – they are doing fine anyway, right – for the sake of those who can’t, don’t won’t, etc.

Fred ™

February 22nd, 2012
4:55 pm

While I would have preferred a straight up failure in the house, I can live with this. If they get enough votes from the people then there it is……..

skipper

February 22nd, 2012
4:56 pm

@Local Control;
Well said!

Maureen Downey

February 22nd, 2012
4:57 pm

@Brandy, It is one of the bills coming out of the ed finance reform committee. I have only been at one hearing where it was discussed so I am going to direct you to the Georgia School Superintendents Association’s staff’s analysis of it as I think it is the best I have read:
http://www.ciclt.net/sn/leg/l_detail.aspx?ClientCode=gssa&L_ID=456613&L_State=ga&L_Session=2011-2012

This bill would amend Part 10 of Article 6 of Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the O.C.G.A. to replace the exceptional growth program with an expansion of the maximum entitlement level for regular capital outlay earnings; to increase requirements for advance funding; to eliminate a non-binding referendum to close a school, to revise language on several items, to delete obsolete provisions; to prove for redirect requests due to fire or natural disaster; and to broaden eligibility for low-wealth capital outlay grants.

It would change the determination of the property tax wealth factor and the sales tax wealth factor to the use of unweighted FTE’s.

It would remove the exception for projects under supervision of the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission regarding review and approval of all architectural and engineering drawings, and it would eliminate prototypical designs approved by the GSFIC. By eliminating the GSFIC’s participation, it would remove the 2% reduction in required local participation of a GSFIC project, thereby requiring the no more than 20% nor less than 8% local participation in all projects.

It would increase the maximum annual authorization level (depending on legislative action on the annual budget) from $200 million to $300 million.

It would eliminate annual debt service payments as a factor in the calculation of total state facilities needs, as well as local system needs

It would remove local systems earning credit toward entitlement for state eligible projects based on contributions in excess of required local participation. It does, however, grandfather in any entitlements that a system would have earned as of June 30, 2012.

It would increase “no more than 3” to” no more than 5” the number of years required to offset advance funding for consolidation projects across system lines and removes the automatic repeal of the subsection on advance funding for consolidation projects set for June 30, 2015.

It would remove all reference to exceptional growth provisions and the requirement for a non-binding referendum if a local board of education decides to close a school, but it would retain requirements for public hearings.

It would remove the provision that would allow any person to circulate and file a petition regarding school closure.

It would remove the provision that would prohibit a local board from receiving any funds for capital outlay for four school years if a bond election for school construction should fail.

It would remove the antiquated requirement regarding consolidation or reorganization plans submitted to the DOE by July 1, 1992.

It would allow school systems that have damage to buildings from fire or natural disaster, but have insufficient funds, to submit a request to the DOE with SBOE approval to redirect proceeds from a project not yet begun or one not yet fully reimbursed. The GSFIC and OPB would have final say over the request. The system could then apply for an equivalent amount of funds in the following year to replace the advance funds needed to cover the emergency.

It would remove consideration of per-capita income in regards to low-wealth systems’ ability to accrue funds necessary for capital expenditures.

It would require systems that receive a 1% sales tax for M&O to combine that revenue with property tax revenue to calculate an “equivalent millage rate” that would generate that amount of funds before the system could be considered a low-wealth system. For low-wealth systems, for each mill over 12 levied by the LBOE (or the equivalent mills), the state board would authorize an additional 1% of the state eligible cost of the local systems’ first priority project in its five-year facilities plan, up to a maximum of 8 mills.

Eligibility for low-wealth capital outlay grants would be changed to consider those ranked in the bottom 25% of LEA’s for sales tax revenue, rather than 75% of the state-wide average sales tax revenue per FTE. The property value per FTE would also have to be in the bottom 25% of LEA’s.

Systems that meet the above requirements would be able to submit a request to the DOE for consideration for a low-wealth grant, provided a commitment to apply the revenue from the 1% that they do receive for the next five years (or its equivalent in dollars). Criteria for the DOE’s consideration would include the system’s ability to manage the project on its own and the system’s needs. It would require low-wealth systems to levy at least 12 mills (or “equivalent millage”) for M&O of the system. The low-wealth system would have to use prototypical specifications as defined by the SBOE for its project. No low-wealth system would be required to have a local contribution greater than the revenue generated by the 1% sales tax during the five year requirement. If the local system would still run short of the state eligible cost of the project, the state would provide the difference, subject to repayment through future entitlements.

catlady

February 22nd, 2012
4:59 pm

“Hit don’t seem they fixed the link” as our speech therapist would say. “I had went to the home page,” she added.

Real Athens

February 22nd, 2012
5:02 pm

TD:

Sir or Madam,

I wanted to say that for once, I am in complete agreement with your comments @ 1:34 and 2:07 PM. This quote comes from one my neighboring legislators and puts it all in perspective.

“In these austere times, we are looking to fund education and we’re not funding it anywhere near (where) we ought to be,” said state Rep. Tommy Benton, a Republican from Jefferson and member of the House Education Committee. “Why do we need another level of schools out there?”

To answer the gentleman from Jefferson: we the people, do not.

http://alecexposed.org/wiki/Privatizing_Public_Education,_Higher_Ed_Policy,_and_Teachers

http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed

Ron F.

February 22nd, 2012
5:06 pm

Well, I have to say I’m not surprised. I knew many of those who fought this would cave in once the donors started calling. While in the short term, this seems to be a victory for “school choice”, in the end it will be another bereaucratic mess, run by a commission of friends of legislators who will draw a hefty paycheck for their work. Here’s what I believe will be the timeline:

2013- charter applications flood state commission- said commission chooses and recommends management companies to “efficiently and effectively” manage them. Many will open with great fanfare and lofty promises to “fix education” while the management companies are predicing the profits and hosting retreats for administrators and board members in Vail or Palm Beach.

2013-14- first year looks great. Press is favorable and parents are elated. Many meetings and much talk about how great this is and cheering begins. All the while, the bean counters in the legislature suddenly find themselves having to “adjust” education funding and rework formulas because the nasty, greedy public schools are just costing too much. Local public schools lay off teachers and staff, and conversations begin about closing, consolidating, redrawing attendance lines (think APS now). More parents pull out of public schools and head to charters. Bean counters clap their hands and the management companies host a few nice parties to celebrate. First year test results look pretty good, so public cheers.

2014-2015- More state money heads to charters, more cuts in public schools, profit margins for management companies look even better. Charter schools face the inevitable overcrowding and understaffing and suddenly have to add trailers and whatever teachers they can pick off the public schools to meet needs. Class sizes grow and supplies run thin. Test results level off and in some charters even dip a little. Blame placed on public schools that just can’t keep up anymore and the flood of kids that just weren’t taught anything, and promises made to improve.

2015-2017- now the problems really show. Management companies still getting their money suddenly begin to fight with boards and claim expenses are just too high, what with all the technology and staff expenses, blah-blah-blah. Teachers face pay freezes or paycuts and raising benefit costs to “offset” unexpected increase in expenses. Some, seeing the handwriting on the wall, quit. Class sizes increase to offset this or uncertified teachers come in to fill the positions. Test scores dip again and parents start complaining. Management companies pass blame off to everyone else. Parents grow increasingly upset with situation and demand answers. State suddenly realizes that funding demands have outpaced tax revenues and propose cuts to funding. Disgruntled parents demand vouchers so they can get out of the big, bad state funded mess.

By 2018, schools are worse off than when they started, and the public schools have all but ceased to exist. Voucher programs begin in earnest and the final goal of privatizing public education takes firm root. Those who have the money to supplement tuition go to private schools and the rest, well, they find themselves begging for the old public schools to reopen. The “haves” get a nice private school education and the middle-class on down get whatever they can find.

APS Parent

February 22nd, 2012
5:11 pm

I will be voting against the Constitutional amendment if it passes the Senate, but at least the version that passed the House today is much better than the one voted down last week. New language was added expressly protecting local tax dollars from funding these state-chartered schools. Why any rural voters would support the amendment in either form is beyond me. It can only result in further state funding cuts for the small and poorer systems that can least afford it, and those systems are not going to end up with any of these charter schools anyway.

teacher&mom

February 22nd, 2012
5:13 pm

Just start a rumor on your local Topix.com saying this amendment will ultimately increase the local mileage rate. Hint the increase will be around 5 mills. Generously sprinkle the words socialism, tax increases, and loss of local control in your posts. Be sure to point out this is a move by those pesky Obama loving liberals…..

Heck, you might even suggest this amendment could lead to greater gun control laws!

Well…maybe not….that might be a tad too much and cause folks to be a little skeptical. We wouldn’t want them to actually be INFORMED…..now would we?

Ron F.

February 22nd, 2012
5:24 pm

APS parent: you’re probably right. With the changes currently under consideration for equalization grants to poor districts, those that depend on state funding to have schools at all will find themselves with even less. And let’s face it, as the state begins funding all its charter schools, there won’t be a big pot of gold to fund them. They’ll have to take it from somewhere.

To supporters of this amendment: think about what got us into this mess. Our lack of participation as voters got these idiot board elected. I watched it happen in Clayton county. The numbers participating in local elections were pitiful, and the board members we got were crazier. They bloated the administrative budget and hired a series of useless superintendents whose contracts had to paid off in order to get rid of them. Between 2003 and 2007, almost every qualified, dedicated teacher I know left as fast as they could to get away from it. And all this happened because voters just didn’t take time to know who they were electing. Same for APS, Dekalb, Fulton, etc. We are all to blame for the mess that has been created while we slept, and the solution may not be any better in the long run. Let’s hope I’m wrong…

honested

February 22nd, 2012
5:47 pm

It is hilarious that in the same WABE article this morning announcing the probable ‘charter hijacking’ vote, there was a blurb about ‘freeing school systems from maximum class size requirements.

Therefore:
1-The General Assembly is for local control, except when it does not align with the wishes of certain influential sub-groups and the CofC/SACS cabal.
2-The General Assembly understands (or at least has sufficient information to make it clear to any fool) that SMALLER CLASS SIZES PRODUCE BETTER RESULTS except when it costs too much.

So do we want better educated kids or do we want to be stuck circling the drain in the same fashion we have for the last 30 years?
The only charter schools that are performing ANY better are under the authority of County School Boards with strong involvement and commitment from PARENTS. But the State wants to waste money on another dubious experiment rather than come off the hip and ensure adequate K-12 funding for classes under 20 kids!

Astounding.