Gov. Nathan Deal has issued a response to the surprising news yesterday that State Schools Superintendent and fellow Republican John Barge was breaking rank and opposing the charter school constitutional amendment on the ballot in November.
Barge argues that the amendment simply creates another needless bureaucracy to do what the state Board of Education can do and already does: Approve charters rejected by local boards of education. In this time of fiscal Armageddon for public education, Barge estimates that the creation of an appointed Charter Schools Commission will divert hundreds of millions from schools.
While negative, Deal’s response is far more temperate than that of GOP House leader Ed Lindsey of Atlanta, who sent Barge a blistering letter, which I posted yesterday. Please read it as it’s high drama.
Deal sent this note to Republican lawmakers:
I am discouraged that Superintendent Barge has changed his position since the campaign trail and no longer believes parents should have public school options for their children. His new position doesn’t change mine. I stand with 2/3 of the General Assembly and will uphold the promises I made when I ran for office: Parents and students should have public school options; this is the best form of local control.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog