“Charter school amendment is the epitome of small government.”

Many folks are submitting opinion pieces on the Nov. 6 charter school amendment vote. I am going to start running these pieces as the vote draws nearer.

Here is one in favor of the amendment from Virginia Galloway, state director of the Americans for Prosperity, a group formed in Georgia in 2006 “to promote economic freedom, less taxation, spending and regulation at the local, state and federal level.”

By Virginia Galloway

The State School Superintendent claims that he is conservative and is opposing the Charter School Amendment on Nov. 6 because it creates bureaucracy. I’m a firm believer in limited government and work hard against the encroachment of big government policies on our daily lives. And if you’re like me, you know it happens all too often.

But the simple truth is, the charter school amendment is the epitome of small government because it ultimately gives parents more power and freedom to choose the best education for their children.

The bureaucracy Barge refers to is the charter school commission, declared unconstitutional last year by a 4-3 vote of the Georgia Supreme Court. The commissionallowed groups of parents to start their own public schools, if they could submit a viable charter plan. Before the commission was created, charter schools were rarely available in Georgia because local school boards routinely turned down virtually all applications.

At its peak, the commission had seven unpaid commissioners and five paid staff. The commissioners were from all over the state and were not compensated for mileage to and from their meetings in Atlanta. At one of its last meetings, the commission voted to cut its revenues by one-third.

That doesn’t sound like big government to me. In fact, Washington, DC, should take a lesson from the Peach State’s former commission.

More importantly, what if you send your child to a traditional public school? What bureaucracy manages your child’s education?

“Local” public schools face oversight from the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgia State Department of Education, regional education offices, local school boards and their central office staff, and local school councils.

There are over 4,000 employees at the U.S. DOE. In fiscal year 2011, the state DOE had about 1,200 employees who were paid a total of $50 million in salary and almost $2.5 million in travel costs, according to open.georgia.gov.

Additionally, local school systems typically have 5, 7, or 9-member school boards. These boards employ administrators in their central offices and administrators in individual schools. According to the DOE, school systems in Georgia spent a total of $1.6 billion on general administration and school administration. This works out to $1,000 per student.

(Fiscal Note: If school boards could cut these administrative expenses by 20 percent, then we could give every Georgia teacher a $3,000 raise or give property taxpayers some relief. According to the Georgia DOE, per student spending on public school bureaucracy has more than doubled between 1996 and 2011.)

Finally, there are RESAs, Regional Education Service Agencies. There are 16 RESAs in Georgia.

RESAs are a layer of government between the state DOE and local school systems. RESAs have directors whose salaries average $100,000 and received about $4,000 per person in travel, according to open.georgia.gov. Not counting teachers of special needs students in regional schools, RESAs employ over 600 employees who are paid $27,000,000 in salary and over $1,000,000 in travel.

If your child attends a traditional public school, there are about 7,500 bureaucrats plus another $1.6 billion in local bureaucracy governing your child and your child’s teacher.

Bureaucracy by definition is a system of administration marked by rigidity, red tape, and proliferation. That makes the current traditional school a bureaucratic nightmare.

It’s apparent why Georgia’s chief school bureaucrat does not want to give you the option to send your child to a charter school by recreating an alternate authorizer— it removes a fraction of the power of his massive, multi-tiered bureaucracy.

Vote for small government and getting government out of private decisions, like how to best educate your children. Vote yes for the 5,000 plus Georgia students on charter school waiting lists. Vote yes for the charter school amendment on Nov. 6.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

73 comments Add your comment

LongTimeTeacher

September 24th, 2012
2:17 pm

Everyone hates taxes and big government until it affects their pet project. Keep what I want. Get rid of what benefits others.

bootney farnsworth

September 24th, 2012
2:22 pm

now – where is the money gonna come from?

“when you wish upon a star…”

Dunwoody Mom

September 24th, 2012
2:25 pm

Ok, this is funny..which just proves the point that these people want to help themselves to taxpayer funds, but don’t want any accountability with regards to its use.

“Local” public schools face oversight from the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgia State Department of Education, regional education offices, local school boards and their central office staff, and local school councils

Really?

September 24th, 2012
2:33 pm

Said before….this is not about charter schools. 200 charter schools already in the state. If denied by local, appeal to state DOE. If Charters are so much better because some state requrements are waived then waive for all schools. We all need to work together to improve education in the state. Too much divisivness. Public, Private, Home school, Magnet, local approved charters, State approved charters…..and now state commission approved charters? How many more choices until everyone is happy?

damage control

September 24th, 2012
2:36 pm

“Charter schools were rarely available in Georgia because local school boards routinely turned down virtually all applications.”

1) That is within the right of the local school boards, and it’s within the rights of local citizens to vote out the board.
2) With no citation given, I’m not going to accept that “virtually all” applications were turned down. Prove it.

Outer Perimeter

September 24th, 2012
2:46 pm

Seems like Chip Rogers is for smaller government only when it will benefit him and his friends. Probably Shady Deal and friends/family also.

Jerry Eads

September 24th, 2012
2:47 pm

This is truly delusional. Central control with no representation is indeed smaller government once local control gets eliminated. Reminds me of a country in Europe some years ago.

Oh – RESAS are funded by the districts to SERVE them. RESAS are not, nor have they ever been, a “layer” BETWEEN districts and the state.

Ron F.

September 24th, 2012
2:51 pm

RESA’s are Education Service Agencies. They offer professional development and other SERVICES. They’re not a layer of administration overseeing schools; they serve the schools. They run on a relatively small staff and budget for what they provide, which in my area is valuable, cost-effective professional development.

One would expect a numbers cruncher like this to have a better grasp of the subject at hand.

verdi73

September 24th, 2012
2:55 pm

If you want local control over schools where you can actually hold someone accountable vote no.If you want state control with unelected officials(they are appointed) making decisions for you with no accountability vote yes.

gsmith

September 24th, 2012
2:58 pm

no need for charter or private schools when neighborhood schools were occupied by kids from families that actually lived in those neigbohoods. now that district lines have been changed to promote social engineering and the ( brilliant middle school idea ) was brought in our public schools have gone in the toilet and the market for private schools has gone through the roof!! the only decent public schools are now miles away NORTH OF THE METRO AREA… the way things are going ATLANTA will be like Savannah, where the only kids who attend public schools will be minorities and hispanics.

Aquagirl

September 24th, 2012
3:07 pm

the charter school amendment is the epitome of small government because it ultimately gives parents more power and freedom to choose the best education for their children.

What if the unelected state board doesn’t want a charter school where those parents live?

And what if I, a TAXPAYER don’t want my tax dollars spent in a certain way? If mommy and daddy don’t want me included in the decision making process they can take their grubby hands off MY money.

Ms. Galloway, I’ll pass on your 20 lbs. of manure in a 10 lb. bag.

Ed Wynn

September 24th, 2012
3:29 pm

What purpose do RESAs serve now that professional development is not required for teacher re-certification? I renewed my certificate in 2011. Good for 5 years and no PLU requirement. In addition, my RESA was no help to a high school social studies teacher.
Maybe they are helpful, but to me, they were cushy jobs for failed administrators.

what's best for kids???

September 24th, 2012
3:35 pm

Come on, Virginia,
Do you still believe there’s a Santa Claus?
I love the idea of choice for parents, but we need to start small…public school choice and work from there.
And the question remains: why do we need another committee for charter schools? So that the committee/commission can monitor the committee/commission already in place?
I applaud Dr. Barge, actually. Not a huge fan in the beginning, but he is honest and forthright in his opinions.

Bernie

September 24th, 2012
3:36 pm

This Charter School push is nothing but a disguised political correct version of a STATE planned support and a return to SEGREGATION. This time it is carefully crafted to avoid all of the pesky issues of the past. This plan benefits the Lucky FEW
at the expense of the thousands of other students.

“Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters, cannot be trusted with important matters.” – Albert Einstein

MAY

September 24th, 2012
3:41 pm

Aquagirl, there will be no charter school plopped down in a community that hasn’t requested it. Part of the petition process is to ‘prove’ community support. If you can’t do that, you won’t be approved. Remember, it was the Cherokee BOE that said, our community doesn’t want a charter school option and now there are more than 800 kids in that state approved charter school (because they had proof the BOE didn’t want to acknowledge but the commission did pay attention to).

Those parents can leave any time they want and go back to their traditional public school option. There are great schools in Cherokee County but some parents are looking for something a little different. Maybe they like the idea of expeditionary learning or single gender options. Charter schools don’t have to be an alternative to something awful. Sometimes they’re just an alternative that fits the family looking for that approach.

ByteMe

September 24th, 2012
3:43 pm

Big government is the new “small government”. So says the Orwellian Party of fake conservatives and their corporate masters.

JD

September 24th, 2012
3:46 pm

Hey Virginia — the solution is not local and not elected — hardly what our founding fathers desired as a model of doing the people’s will…

Btw, isn’t your group yet another out of state organization foisting its ideas upon our state? And, has any other state adopted your program? (Hint – zero is a real number).

Aquagirl

September 24th, 2012
3:50 pm

Aquagirl, there will be no charter school plopped down in a community that hasn’t requested it.

May, that’s the point. Whether or not you get a charter school depends on popular sentiment, not the individual wishes of parents.

This amendment provides a process where small groups of people can hijack tax dollars regardless of what their neighbors think. If the voters in Cherokee want a charter school the school board can approve one. If the parents of one precious snowflake don’t agree with the majority they can either move or find a private school.

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:00 pm

“If the voters in Cherokee want a charter school the school board can approve one.”

And what if the school board doesn’t want the charter because it infringes on their turf and takes money out from under their control? I know – vote them out.

So what if 51% of the county voters wants the other 49% imprisoned in ineffective and bad public schools? I know – move or send your kids to private schools.

I am so glad I had the wherewithal to move to good school system locations ( and had private schools for a couple of years). No way was I going to subject my kids to the local Cherokee public school.

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:08 pm

“RESAS are funded by the districts”

Are RESA workers teaching kids? If not, they are “administration”.

catlady

September 24th, 2012
4:11 pm

I was certain I misread the title; no such luck. How delusional is this?

To quote our tea-partiers–Keep your %$^^# hands out of my pocket!

In the local area, taxpayers voted out three board members (3 for 3) who disappointed the people with their actions in the las year, including refusing to consider a locally run charter school. When the two others come up for a vote, they will be summarily dismissed as well. People DO have power, IF they choose to use it!

Aquagirl

September 24th, 2012
4:12 pm

So what if 51% of the county voters wants the other 49% imprisoned in ineffective and bad public schools?

Oh, the cat’s out of the bag….people WANT kids imprisoned in ineffective, horrible schools. Riiiight. Drama queen much?

Funny how the 49% don’t have a problem reaching into the 51%’s pockets. If you want their cash, they get a say. In case you slept through History and Civics, this is called “taxation with representation.”

If you have a problem with that concept moving is a good idea. Pick somewhere you don’t live under the US Constitution.

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:15 pm

You know, the school boards keep telling us they are turning down charter schools because they won’t be “effective” or they won’t “manage money openly and well”. I think we need a state commission to shut down any local public school system that this would apply to (which is a LOT of them).

catlady

September 24th, 2012
4:16 pm

Our local RESA fixes the copier machines. Or did, till we found a cheaper way to do it. I agree that RESA has gone the way of the dinosaurs.

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:17 pm

“people WANT kids imprisoned in ineffective, horrible schools.”

Sure seems like it. How many APS school board members have been voted out?

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:19 pm

“people WANT kids imprisoned in ineffective, horrible schools.”

I have blogged it time and time again on here – there are several basic changes that need to be made to improve schools – but they can’t or won’t do them.

They are:

REmove discipline problem children from the classroom

Enforce attendance and tardiness

Eliminate social promotion

Re-examine our cost effectiveness with respect to SPED students

catlady

September 24th, 2012
4:20 pm

And by the way, Ms. Galloway–black is white, white is black; up is down, down is up; you go far enough left you end up on the right; we kill people to “liberate” them.

Mountain Man

September 24th, 2012
4:22 pm

“Funny how the 49% don’t have a problem reaching into the 51%’s pockets. ”

If the Constitutional Amendment pases, it won’t be because 49% vote for it. Polls say 58% of people favor the amendment. Just remember if it passes, that the majority has spoken. Or it sounds like you want the 42% to control the wishes of the 58%.

Jaynie

September 24th, 2012
4:30 pm

I live a pretty good distance south of Atlanta and we have a great and diverse school system in this county. I do NOT want some state bureacracy taking my tax dollars and spending them against the will of the people in this county. We are small, we are effective, and we support our local schools here. I know that is not true in other counties and cannot fathom how folks in Clayton, DeKalb, Atlanta, etc., can turn around their school systems if the voters do not vote out the school board that has brought that school system down. It is not always possible nor even desirable to move nor can everyone afford private school tuition. But that will not convince me to vote for this amendment. I feel the same way about this amendment as I felt about the transportation fiasco. I simply do not trust the state to spend my tax dollars properly.

Ron F.

September 24th, 2012
4:31 pm

If the majority is in favor of the amendment, then it becomes the law of the state. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, then it will be a heck of a lot more difficult to fix. And that’s what bothers me. I’m no political science major, but I think legislation to clear up any confusion about control over setting up schools could be introduced and handled without a constitutional amendment. That’s just my opinion and it worries me when we start amending the constitution to give the legislature that level of authority without much accountability. That and the fact that we have a known lawbreaker as governor just makes me nervous. This isn’t about improving schools as much as it is about political power, and that makes the whole amendment idea questionable to me.

Aquagirl

September 24th, 2012
4:35 pm

If the Constitutional Amendment pases, it won’t be because 49% vote for it.

If it’s worded at all like most amendment measures on the ballot 98% of voters will be clueless as to what the hell they’re voting for.

hssped

September 24th, 2012
4:49 pm

RESA has never done anything for me….been to a couple of conferences (but didn’t get much out of them). I never understood their purpose.

My plan is to open a unique charter school if this bill passes. After 18 years, I know what the parents in my community want. I plan to provide them with it.

I don’t know about other counties but we have kids from Fulton county in our schools because their charter schools closed down. I checked into it and it is legal, although extremely frustrating for those of us that pay the higher home prices/taxes/etc of the county.

Whatever.

Hillbilly D

September 24th, 2012
4:55 pm

If it’s worded at all like most amendment measures on the ballot 98% of voters will be clueless as to what the hell they’re voting for.

Which is why I say that when any amendment is up for a vote, unless you’re 100% sure what you’re voting for and what it’s going to do (which is almost never), vote against it.

On the Charter Schools part of it:

I still don’t see how this applies to people who live in rural areas (like me). Many counties only have one high school and one middle school. So is that one school going to be a charter school or what we have now? Either way, no choice involved for the locals, you go to the one school that you have.

Cactus

September 24th, 2012
4:56 pm

It’s big business that profits the politically powerful and out-of-state, for-profit education management firms that are quite comfortable greasing political palms to get a bite out of the huge education market in Georgia and elsewhere. The tab for helping our ethically challenged political leaders and raising the ROI of these for-profit “education” corporations is paid for by average Georgians who want to do the right thing by children but who have been misled by Republicans they thought they could trust. The language of the charter school amendment is intentionally misleading; if our elected officials were so sure of the righteousness of this amendment, why would they try to “trick” Georgians into voting the way they want. I believe it’s because they know this self-serving legislation would not withstand critical scrutiny by voters who honestly want to create new opportunities for students to excel. If you want to get a glimpse of Georgia’s future should this amendment pass, look at the state of Florida which moved in this direction under the “leadership” of……you guessed it, Republican Jeb Bush……according to reports emanating from that great state, the education management corporations are running “amok” with the taxpayers’ money feeling no sense of constraint, no sense of transparency and no sense of accountability. Regardless of whether you are a Republican, Democrat or Independent, and regardless of what you believe is good or bad about public education, you owe it to yourself (in my opinion) to really look into the charter school issue and ask yourself questions such as, “Why would our state’s elected leadership invest so much of its political capital in this one issue to the point of threatening funding for Gwinnett Tech if the local Chamber didn’t reverse its opposition to the amendment?” Another good question to consider is whether the GOP’s decision dating back to “Go Fish” Sonny to reduce state funding for public schools by $4 billion wasn’t part of a plan to so erode public support for public schools that there would be an appetite for a market-based solution; I think Georgians with common sense, regardless of party, might want to chew on that and see who profits from what has unfolded. It certainly hasn’t been our children who now attend public schools 140-170 days a year in contrast to their future competitors in other nations who spend more than 200 days a year in school. Another question I would suggest we all consider is where has this worked in other states and what has actually been the experiences (good and bad) there. I think charter schools are great and needed, but there is a means for them to come to fruition in Georgia. My son attended a charter school, and it was a good experience for our family; it came into being under the auspice of a local board of education I helped elect as one voter and it reflected input from all of the parents who cared to participate. That’s the way it’s supposed to work; not through some board appointed by an ethically-challenged Governor and a self group of self-serving dolts who populate our General Assembly. Let’s vote for or against the charter school amendment on the basis of a clearly worded ballot measure (not going to happen this time), a clear understanding of where the money is going today and in the future (both under the table now and over the table later), where this has worked in other states or how it hasn’t worked, and whether Georgia students will actually benefit. Stanford University has shown that one-third of charter schools outperform their peers in conventional public schools, one-third perform equally well as their peers in conventional schools and one-third actually underperform their peers in conventional schools. Not exactly a great endorsement for charter schools, but certainly not damning enough to suggest charters shouldn’t be attempted. We have got to get better for the sake of our children, but turning our tax money over to an ethically-challenged Governor, his political hacks and the self-serving interests of profit oriented education management corporations isn’t the answer. Why would we ever want to give up our voting power to determine local school boards in favor of anyone appointed by this band of folks? I believe they are counting on our ignorance, our apathy and their “cleverness” to scheme their way into a highly profitable situation that benefits them rather than taxpayers or children. Whether we let them get away with it is up to us entirely in November. I am a lifelong Georgian of more than sixty years, and while I have not always agreed with what my fellow citizens have voted to do, I have always thought them to be driven by good, common sense. I have never felt that they were anyone’s fool, and I don’t believe that today. I hope we will see voters take the time to really think about this issue and then vote as their conscience dictates. I do hope that voters will see in the charter school amendment issue the same sort of big government, top-down, my way or the highway power play that directed the TSPLOST issue. It’s the same gaggle of self serving folks in charge, and I believe it’s time to tell them we are paying attention and won’t swallow anything they say or sell.

Old timer

September 24th, 2012
5:03 pm

I am a believer in charter school…that being said an amendment to the constitution is going to far. If local school boards will not approve charters, elect new ones. Many of us believe truely in less government. Many of us believe in choice for our children. The cream will rise and schools might actually begin to do better, insist on better behavior from students, as their will be others to take their place.

Once Again

September 24th, 2012
5:24 pm

The epitome of small government would be for government to get completely OUT of the education business altogether and allow a fully free and competitive marketplace to deliver educational services that meet customer’s needs in a manner that responds to the direct democracy of voting with your dollars.

Charter schools simply maintain the socialist government funding mechanism, maintain the intrenched bureaucracy, dangle a carrot in front of the faces of parents desperate to escape the failed government system, all without providing the serious freedom and accountability that parents woefully need.

Much like the way vouchers would simply destroy private education by allowing government meddling, charter schools will only destroy even more school opportunities and will likely burn parents out who otherwise have shown the initiative to try something different for a change.

I would encourage all charter and voucher supporters instead to work for a truly free market in which innovators and entrepreneurs are allowed to design and customize affordable educational options without government interference and meddling. In the end, only a free market will ever achieve the goal of a fully educated public because only a free market has the inherent incentive to please its customers.

And as for voting actually changing anything – if voting actually changed anything, it would be illegal.

mountain man

September 24th, 2012
5:44 pm

“If it’s worded at all like most amendment measures on the ballot 98% of voters will be clueless as to what the hell they’re voting for.”

And you are one of the fabulously intelligent 2% that think that only you can be right.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

September 24th, 2012
6:31 pm

@MAY “Aquagirl, there will be no charter school plopped down in a community that hasn’t requested it.”

Are you certain about that? Once you let the cat out of the bag, you will have a hard time catching it again!

As the folks in St. John’s County, Florida found out (including some state senators).

Excepts:

“Three proposed charter schools are seeking to come into St. Johns County including two run by what’s been called “Florida’s richest charter school management firm” and the third with ties to a Tampa area educational company.

Why they’re coming to what’s considered one of the best school districts in the state puzzles two charter school supporters from opposing political parties — State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, and State Sen. Bill Montford, D-Tallahassee.

Montford warned that the charter schools would have a detrimental effect on St. Johns County Schools.

Charter school proponents say the schools help students gain better academic results through innovative programs, greater parent involvement and educational choice. They see charter schools as providing an opportunity for students in failing schools.

But St. Johns County schools aren’t failing. Based on Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test scores, the district has ranked No. 1 in the state for four years in a row.

The district would lose about $12.8 million yearly in state funds and need 200 fewer teachers based on the peak number of students that could go to the new charters.

State Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, expressed surprise when told of the charter requests and wasn’t sure why they wanted to come to a successful district such as St. Johns County.
“Why fix or try to fix something that’s not broken?” Thrasher said, noting people are “happy with the schools, they’re performing well and they do a good job.”

Thrasher has been a proponent of charter schools and said he did vote for districts to give more consideration to charter schools with a proven track record. But, he said, the schools are primarily intended to go into areas where there is the most need, usually urban districts.

The only reason for the charter schools coming would be “profit, and I hope that we realize that profit should not be the primary goal of an alternative school. There’s nothing wrong with making a profit but you sure wouldn’t want profit at the expense of public schools, especially in a district that is high performing.”

State Sen. Montford, a former Leon County school superintendent, agrees.
“A charter school is supposed to provide an option in those districts where they have struggling schools. … I’m quite surprised and a little dismayed they would come to St. Johns County. It causes me not only concern but a little confusion as well,” Montford said, noting he’s been a supporter of charter schools as a “viable option” since he was a principal.

“I find it highly unusual that any charter school company would apply to enter into a district such as St. Johns County. … St. Johns sets the pace; they’re one of the top ranked districts not only in the state but in the country,” Montford said.

Read more: http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2012-08-26/three-profit-charter-schools-apply-st-johns-county-baffling-thrasher-who

The comments are especially interesting, as many are from parents in the district where it appears no one asked for the establishment of a Charter school.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

September 24th, 2012
6:38 pm

@mountain man “And you are one of the fabulously intelligent 2% that think that only you can be right.”

The amendment proposal is worded in an unnecessarily confusing and obscure manner. The ONLY reason I can come up with for the convoluted style of the amendment, and the ambiguous manner in which it is written (which made both of my parents question if they should vote for or against it – even when they KNEW what their opinion on the matter was) is to deliberately mislead the public into voting in a way which is NOT in keeping with their intentions. There is absolutely NO reason for the amendment to be written in such a manner. It should be written in a clear, concise manner that allows voters to know EXACTLY what they are voting for or against.

Pride and Joy

September 24th, 2012
7:07 pm

Exactly. Charter schools are the epitome of small government.
Dunwoody Mom says about charter proponents “these people want to help themselves to taxpayer funds, but don’t want any accountability with regards to its use.”
Dunwoody Mom, “these people” ? These people ARE taxpayers. It’s THEIR money. They have a right to say what the govt does with THEIR money.

bootney farnsworth

September 24th, 2012
7:10 pm

said it before, say it again

Charter schools need corporate sponsors to help defray costs.
Ginny, go getcha some.

Tired

September 24th, 2012
7:13 pm

So if someone from Baldwin County can vote on my DeKalb County schools, can I also vote in Baldwin County?

John Konop

September 24th, 2012
7:19 pm

Before we start this debate should not make sure the proper controls are in place? I do see a need for charter schools in certain areas. But why would anyone support an unelected board to make financial decisions over a local school board accountable to voters? This reminds of the T Splost debate, in that I support new infastructure, but the proper controls were not in place via picking the projects…….

Tony

September 24th, 2012
7:20 pm

This piece does not even deserve a response. Unfortunately, it is based on the same kind of twisted logic being used by all the pro-charter folk. Bottom line – how is the state going to afford paying the $5,000 per child rate for charter schools when it can not even pay the $2,000 rate for regular public schools?

catlady

September 24th, 2012
7:23 pm

I imagine that many of those voting for this also pay little in school taxes anyway, making use of the tax writeoff they can get by giving their tax money to a private school. If so, they have no skin in the game, do they?

Prof

September 24th, 2012
8:18 pm

I’d like to build on this earlier post addressing author Virginia Galloway:

JD, September 24th, 3:46 pm: “Btw, isn’t your group yet another out of state organization foisting its ideas upon our state?”

If you click on the link provided above about Americans for Prosperity, you learn that this is a national conservative site–Tea Party, I would guess– based in Arlington, VA, that seeks “to engage citizens in the name of limited government and free markets.” It advocates cutting taxes and government spending, and not much else. Georgia’s charter school amendment is only one of many issues it’s trying to influence around the country.

I’m a native New Yorker myself, but I believe the Southern term for such people/organizations is “CARPETBAGGERS.”

John Konop

September 24th, 2012
8:22 pm

It looks like on a percentage basis Cherokee Charter pays more in adminstrative cost than Cherokee county public schools.

John Konop

September 24th, 2012
8:30 pm

Prof,

In fairness the Tea Party in Georgia is split on this issue. I am not a member, but I know one of the leaders of the movement Debbie Dooley. And she has pointed out in public that many Tea Party members are working against the amendment via the set up ie read my above post. I will give Debbie credit, because she made the exact same points about the lack of controls with T Splost. I do think we need infastructure, but when Debbie posted all the issues regarding the projects I voted against it.i give Debbie Dooley a big thumps up for being very consistent on this issue and TSplist.

3schoolkids

September 24th, 2012
9:02 pm

She states- “Local” public schools face oversight from the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgia State Department of Education, regional education offices, local school boards and their central office staff, and local school councils.”

A State Charter Commission school faces oversight from the U.S. Department of Education, the Georgia Charter School Commission, the Georgia State Department of Education, the Governing Board of the foundation running the school, and the Charter School Board. Out of all of the people involved in overseeing the school you might have 2 parents on the Charter School Board (no voting majority). How is that parental involvement?

Virginia Galloway, I ask you to put your money where your mouth is and post a list of all of the active Charter Schools in Georgia where the actual startup Charter Petition was completed by a group of parents whose children were previously enrolled in the local public school serving the community.

Prof

September 24th, 2012
9:37 pm

@ John Konop, September 24th, 8:30 pm.

I didn’t mean that Tea Partiers are carpetbaggers (many seem pretty native to Georgia), but the Americans for Prosperity organization.