Two influential House members urge support of charter amendment

Two of the strongest charter schools amendment supporters in the state General Assembly are House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, and state Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, D- Austell.

Here is a column the pair wrote in favor the November amendment: (For another view on the constitutional amendment, please see column I posted earlier.)

By Jan Jones and Alisha Thomas Morgan

Between now and November, hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising will be spent telling us all the differences between President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

They will disagree on nearly every issue, but one area where they have found common ground is the need for more public charter schools. We feel the same way in the Georgia House of Representatives.

While there are many issues that our constituents expect us to draw a hard line in the sand and oppose much of what the opposition party supports, education reform is frankly too important to let our differences in political parties get in the way.

As the Republican Speaker Pro Tem and a leading Democratic voice on education, we are together asking voters to support the charter school amendment on the November ballot. The amendment does something very simple but very profound – it will allow the state to create a commission to hear appeals when charter applications are denied by some school boards and superintendents.

Some school systems in Georgia have embraced the charter concept, while others have been more obstinate. Many are unfortunately worried more about who has the authority and power in education decision-making rather than what is best for our kids.

True local control should begin with giving parents the option to make more decisions and to get more involved in their children’s education. Charter schools are public schools that are free from many of the onerous mandates that schools are under these days.

They may separate boys and girls into different classes or schools, or have a more specific curriculum focus on science or math. They may be a virtual school with no building. These types of options are not right for every student, but for some they offer the kind of opportunity that can literally be life-changing.

Some school systems are going to tell you that public charter schools take money away from other public schools, but that’s just simply not the case. Any school approved by the state charter commission will operate with no local contribution – only state funds will be available. Those local dollars are kept by the school systems and used as they see fit, actually increasing the amount of money per student enrolled they have to spend.

We’ve tried the “one size fits all” approach to education for decades, and we’ve had too many students fall through the cracks. Let’s increase the educational options for parents, students and teachers by voting “Yes” for public charters on Nov. 6.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

85 comments Add your comment


October 1st, 2012
12:40 pm

Rep. Jones & Morgan:
Wonderful words…lots of pretty words…just the type of rhetoric the uniformed love to hear.

Now, let’s get down to the nitty gritty….

How are you going to pay for more charters?

Who will cover the start-up costs and where will that money come from?

Do you intend to cut the public school budget even more?


October 1st, 2012
12:50 pm

…but, but, but this is an idea from those evil cons!

living in an outdated ed system

October 1st, 2012
1:05 pm

Great article. Rep. Morgan is a rising star and one of the most courageous politicians we have in this state. I have heard her speak and we should be supporting her for her courage to put policy over partisanship. She truly cares about public education in the state of Georgia and ensuring our children are prepared for a 21st century world.


October 1st, 2012
1:08 pm

Rep Jones & Morgan:

Over 70 school districts are operating with a deficit. At least 4 school districts are broke, and over 20 school districts are still furloughing teachers and students.

Please explain how the charter amendment will improve the situation in these districts?

Please outline your efforts during the 2012 legislative session to help these struggling districts.


October 1st, 2012
1:09 pm

Thank you both for working together….it can be done. I remember a few years ago when the charter school commission was established the opponents said, ‘if they want it, let the state pay for it.’ Now that you have successfully brought this forward, the opponents are still against it. Benita Dodd had a fantastic article a few days ago. I encourage readers of this blog to continue educating yourself and read this article too:

sneak peak into education

October 1st, 2012
1:12 pm

Republican Jan Jones-as a member of the ALEC education committee your motives have nothing to do with providing ALL students of GA with a quality education. In fact, your sweeping austerity cuts show that those in the Legislature do not care for public education. As is stated in ALEC’s agenda, you stand for the privatization of our public school system and this constitutional amendment is just one step closer to making that happen. What about showing some honesty in your motives and that of your fellow ALEC members-your only motive is to provide opportunities for big corporations to come in and pillage the coffers of Georgia’s educational system.

Everyone who reads this blog should watch the Bill Moyer’s special “The United States of ALEC”. This will open your eyes as to what you will really be voting for on November 6 and it has nothing to do with the children, as Jan Jones and her sidekick contends, but it has to do with providing unchecked and unlimited power to a limited few who will, in turn, make the for-profit charter school providers very rich. Follow the money, folks.

John Konop

October 1st, 2012
1:14 pm

I agree the “one size fit all approach” has been a failure. Jan Jones and I both agree the ” one size fit all approach” does not work. The difference between Jan and I from reading the op-ed posted is I think we need to fix the NCLB as well as add charter schools, with more fiscal accountability.
The right and the left have this issue all screwed up. The truth is we have increased the rate of kids prepared for college at an amazing rate over the last 30 years. The problem is in my opinion, is with kids we are pushing into a 4 year college who would be better served at a tech school. And the kids who are being pushed out because they are in a 4 year prep or out curriculum.

I read an interesting study in the last 20 years we have increased amount of kids taking the SAT by 60 percent. Btw that is when SAT scores started falling. A bell curve on aptitude tells at best we could prepare is about 30 percent for 4 year college from what I read.

Ironically Jeb Bush runs around telling people how we are failing 66 percent of the kids. And if we just had charter schools, tutoring…..we could somehow change the bell curve. The bizarre part is we have close to 4 million vocational jobs for that 66 percent. The solution is simple, but both sides are looking in the wrong direction.

I will give credit to John Barge and many in the legislator trying to deal with this via new bills. But it needs to be coordinated better in our schools via waiving 4 year prep requirement. And this should be the major focus…….

I have made the same point on this issue for years. We need to let the requirements flow from a 4 year college, trade school, JC……..for students to either get a high school degree with real job skills and or the prep requirements for a 4 year institution. Also we need to combine resources between higher education and high school from facilities, staff, administration…..

The above would lower the dropout rate, create work ready graduates for the 4 million job openings in the vocational field, prepare 4 year college bound students better and save tax payer money.


October 1st, 2012
1:15 pm

Let’s not forget that the husband of Alisha Thomas Morgan makes his money on charter schools. As for Jan Jones, her state house colleagues cannot stand her. She is a snooty North Fulton resident who wants to split Fulton County into Milton County for the same reason she supports charter schools – to allow the more affluent to have choice – not to give choice to those who need it most but cannot afford it.


October 1st, 2012
1:15 pm

very well said. good to see that they get the key issue…..being that too many local school systems (and boards??) view charters as competition for money that the educrats want to maintain complete control over. In a way, it reminds me of how local politicians had to be overruled when it came to civil rights 50 years ago. Back then, the local pol’s viewed it as risky to their continued rule. Now, the local school admins seem to view charters as risky to their continued control of the huge amounts of money that we spend on public education (as a reminder……twice the Dollars per student, even after adjusted for inflation, as we spent 30 years ago.. with ZERO increase in key test scores).


October 1st, 2012
1:23 pm

baffling how some people view charters as “giving rich white kids a chance to go to a private like school”…..when they already have that option (they can pay for it themselves). The real beneficiaries of charters are poor kids who want to learn. They don’t have the money to pay for private, and are thus stuck in the failing schools, surrounded by thugs who spend every day dragging down the few students who really want to better themselves.

Charters offer pretty much the only (desperate?) chance for these kids to escape. Sadly, people with an ulterior motive (usually wanting to keep control of the money for themselves) try to slam the door of opportunity on these kids.

It’s unconscionable how the same people who berate others for not caring, are willing to sacrifice these children, just so they and their educrat and bureaucrat cronies can maintain control of the massive amount of public education dollars.

Rob Adkerson

October 1st, 2012
1:29 pm

The economics department at Georgia Tech has demonstrated without question, that local school district schools will BENEFIT financially if a Charter school opens in their district under this bill. The gate guards of the failing system vehemently oppose this measure because it represents choice and competition that would further expose the depth of failure. We must once and for all stop allowing them to hold our children hostage in a monopolistic system that has been near the bottom nationally for decades. Please seek the truth, it is on the side of school choice. There will be a free roundtable event on October 23rd in Cartersville where we will dispense once and for all with the lies and misinformation of the failed system and get all of the facts on the table. Stay tuned to that website for more details.


October 1st, 2012
1:38 pm

No, no, no no on this amendment. If you do not have caring and involved parents, no school will succeed. Local boards may not solve all of a county’s educational needs, but they are local and answerable to the local taxpayer. The first thing cut in the state budget is education. This is a political ploy to provide tax payer money to schools over which they have not control. I thought Raw Deal and his cronies were all for smaller government…I guess they are except when they want their political cronies to be able to dip into taxpayer money.

Get the politicians out of education and let educators do their jobs.

John Konop

October 1st, 2012
1:42 pm


……… twice the Dollars per student, even after adjusted for inflation, as we spent 30 years ago.. with ZERO increase in key test scores)…….

This is only true because we are testing way more students. The problem is in my opinion, is with kids we are pushing into a 4 year college who would be better served at a tech school.We have done a good job in general with students in the bell curve based on aptitude for 4 year colleges. The debate is do you really think any education system can beat the bell curve on aptitude? BTW no place in the world that has top tier education does not do tracking by aptitude, not one size fit all.

…… Findings released Monday by the non-profit College Board show that 57% of 2012 graduating seniors who took the SAT, which it owns, earned a combined score below what it says is necessary to show that students can earn a B-minus or better in the first year at a four-year college……….

……..The SAT and ACT reports attribute the relatively flat scores partly to an increasingly diverse pool of students taking their tests. The College Board, for example, reports a 61% increase since 2008 in the number of low-income test takers, based on requests for fee waivers……

Beverly Fraud

October 1st, 2012
1:43 pm

Will Alisha Thomas dare show her face on this blog and discuss her husband’s financial interest in charter schools? (If indeed what the earlier poster mentioned is true)

bootney farnsworth

October 1st, 2012
1:47 pm

I still wanna know how they intend to pay for it


October 1st, 2012
1:50 pm

Rob Adkerson, please provide a link to the Georgia Tech study you referenced. I cannot find it on the Economics School web page. Is it coincidence that one of the econ school’s professors has been serving on the board for two of the state commission schools (Christine Ries)?

Maureen Downey

October 1st, 2012
1:57 pm

@beverly: You can hear David Morgan address the conflict himself in this Marietta Daily Journal interview:

Beverly Fraud

October 1st, 2012
2:00 pm

“education reform is frankly too important”

Jan Jones, if education reform is so “frankly too important” to you, show up on this blog, along with Ed Lindsey and Fran Millar and answer a SINGLE question:

What have you guys, the party of “the rule of law” and “personal responsibility” do empower teachers to hold STUDENTS accountable for discipline (the rule of law) or academics (personal responsibility)?

Can you point to a SINGLE piece of legislation that empowers teachers to hold students accountable for values you CLAIM to hold dearly?

Fran Millar?
Jan Jones?
Ed Lindsey?


C Jae of EAV

October 1st, 2012
2:04 pm

@Rob Adkerson – Like @Cellophane, I’m looking for some emperical data published the GA Tech economic department regarding the study of public edu funding under the preposed amendment. Please point inquiring mind in the appropriate direction.

Beverly Fraud

October 1st, 2012
2:07 pm

@Maureen, thank you. One down three to go. Now if the esteemed Jones/Lindsey/Millar triumvirate can address why they don’t empower teachers with their own CLAIMED values…

Otherwise, they really do look like a group of privateers, with the only thing going for them is that they are in opposition to the PUBLICteers.

No wonder people are home schooling these days.

Jerry Eads

October 1st, 2012
2:09 pm

We’re still talking centralized, nonrepresentative government. Is democracy perfect? No, but it beats the daylights out of independent, responsible to no one but the moneyed elite central control, which is what this these folks seem to be after.

YOU ALREADY HAVE AN AVENUE FOR CHARTER SCHOOLS. IT WORKS. IS IT PERFECT? NO. DOES THAT MEAN LOCAL CONTROL SHOULD BE STOLEN FROM THE VOTERS? NO. There was a guy about 70 years ago who thought that was a good idea. I’d suggest that didn’t work so well. It would be reasonable to guess it won’t work very well here either.

What these people are saying is you’re too stupid to run your own lives, so they need to do it for you. That’s usually what the Democrats are accused of doing. In this case, Republicans clearly want to make your decisions for you. Hm.


October 1st, 2012
2:16 pm

Currently 2/3 of the public schools in Georgia are on less than 180 day calendar (used to be the norm by regulation) for students and less than the 190 day work (used to be the norm by regulation)schedule for teachers. The state has the constitutional obligation to provide funding for public education. The funding of public education has not been met for years in our state and now $6.7 billion has been cut from the K-12 education budget since 2003 as our state enrollment has increased. Rep. Jones and Morgan have little to no interest in restoring funding to public education in Georgia and this can be supported by their voting records over the years. The shifting of the funding burden to the local boards of education should carry with it a decrease in state regulations. (not enough relief has been provided) The two Representatives harmonious words ring quite hollow. Both have pushed for this legislation without standing up and answering why they have abandoned public education. I would guess each of their answers would not be so harmonious. This amendment will require funding from the state and I would ask them both to explain where would this funding would come from? K-12 education is 37% of the state’s budget currently at 7.2 billion dollars. Wonder what that number will look like in just a few years if they both have their way. Maybe Rep. Morgan could replace the current lexus she drives with a shiny new one. Rep. Jones will just fade back to her North Fulton bubble and get a thrill knowing that she has accomplished diminishing public education in Georgia two a dual system once again. What happened to our forefathers proclamation that public education was to develop a ctiizenry that would support the republic they fought to preserve. A common good! I don’t think they would recognize our current governing bodies nor the type of people that are serving in that capacity.

Maureen Downey

October 1st, 2012
2:18 pm

@Rob, I just spent about 20 minutes trying to find the Tech study as well. Can you post link?

Pride and Joy

October 1st, 2012
2:25 pm

Rob said it best “We must once and for all stop allowing them (public school boards) to hold our children hostage in a monopolistic system that has been near the bottom nationally for decades.
The “old” way has been given way too much money and way too much time to figure it out with embarassinga nd horrible results….
GA has been and is bottom of the education barrel.
It is TIME for a CHANGE.
And the change is CHOICE.
I will be voting for charter schools and lobbying for vouchers too.

John Konop

October 1st, 2012
2:27 pm


In all due respect, I have posted that this amendment does not have enough protections in it for me to vote for it. With that said Fran Miller has been a leader in trying to bring back vocational education. Both sides of this debate in my opinion should tone it down and focus on the issue.

DeKalb Inside Out

October 1st, 2012
2:30 pm

Like you said, county boards serve the county and answerable to the all taxpayers in the county.
But, Charter School boards are answerable to the local community. If they don’t provide a superior service, they shut down. That’s not local control, that’s MICRO control.

This amendment addresses the constitutionality of the state to approve charters and doesn’t create more government.

Get the politicians ouf of education? Great idea! Let’s start with GSBA, SACS and the Superintendents.

John Konop

October 1st, 2012
2:31 pm


………. Rob said it best “We must once and for all stop allowing them (public school boards) to hold our children hostage in a monopolistic system that has been near the bottom nationally for decades……

This statement is wrong when you normalize scores for the fact Georgia has way more students taking the SAT. You realize Georgia Tech, Emory, U of Georgia are filled with public school graduates from Georgia. You realize your statements are an insult to many of them?

Ed Advocate

October 1st, 2012
2:33 pm

Was going to post on Rep Morgan’s gross conflict of interest re: school choice polifieration, but several others here beat me to it. Vote No on the 6th. The amendment is about money to be made and money to be paid. Overconfident posters on this and other blogs today have posted about Amendment 1’s guaranteed passage–my gut tells me that Amendment 1 proponents wouldn’t be scurrying if they weren’t worried. As more and more voters learn more about this misleading ballot initiative, they’ll reject it–just like TSPLOST.

Beverly Fraud

October 1st, 2012
3:19 pm


In all due respect, I have posted that this amendment does not have enough protections in it for me to vote for it.

@John, I get that; it’s the moral equivalent of replacing the Soviet Politburo with Somali pirates.

“With that said Fran Miller has been a leader in trying to bring back vocational education.”

This may be true, but the question remains, why has the party of “the rule of law” and “personal responsibility” done next to nothing to help teachers hold students accountable for either?

After all those are their “core values” are they not?

The Deal

October 1st, 2012
3:20 pm

Sorry, voting YES. If you had asked me 10 years ago, I would have yelled NO at the top of my lungs. After 10 years in the metro Atlanta area, DeKalb to be specific, I am now in support of someone having an overriding say over the morons that run our school system.

Contrary to what is popular to say, the board is not accountable to the voters. Our board has 9 members, divided into districts. I am only represented by 2 of them (1 if the board shrinks by 2). There is nothing I can do to influence voters from the other districts, nor do they want people from other districts coming into theirs and telling them how to vote, particularly if our race and socioeconomic situations are different. We are trapped by administrators who are on a power and money grab, and there is nothing that can be done about it. Nothing. If we can slowly change the rules to take away some of their power, I am all for it.


October 1st, 2012
3:25 pm

‘Onerous mandates”

Now that should be the subject of discussion! How one person can change school traditions and values because if offends them. Yes I want more charter schools with no government involvement.

DeKalb Teacher

October 1st, 2012
3:30 pm

Traditional public schools would do better if we had more money. I mean a lot more than fully funded, because our numbers were bad even when we were fully funded.


October 1st, 2012
3:36 pm

Vote NO to…continued robbery of public schools
….profiteering by private (out of state) companies using YOUR tax dollars
….allowing more graft by the most graft-ful legislature and state officeholders
….adding more government, not less
….moving government AWAY from the voters
….allowing Georgia’s dumb@$$ electorate to be duped again

Show your power, voters! Make those who take advantage of you for their own profit begin to fear! Remove those from local school boards who do not follow your wishes! Remove from the legislature and other state office those who seek to profit on YOUR back!

Show some intelligence; show some spine!

Mary Elizabeth

October 1st, 2012
3:41 pm

I will vote NO to the constitional amendment. In my opinion, this amendment is more political than it is educational.


October 1st, 2012
3:44 pm

Whether driven by naivety or actual financial gain, these “leaders” are acting as surrogates for P. T. Barnum who believed a sucker is born every minute or Ayn Rand who believed that the future would be determined by a select group of “supermen” who owe nothing to society. Readers concerned about the truth and the needs of Georgia students won’t accept the assurances of this pair of elected “leaders.” There is a reason why the Governor and his political henchmen (or henchwomen, if there is such a word) have invested so much political capital in the charter school amendment issue, and education isn’t it. It is all about money from for-profit education management corporations going into the pockets and the campaign coffers of those in influence who push this agenda on behalf of the corporations involved. Investigations into these corporations are currently underway in Florida and elsewhere. Georgia voters will see clearly what is going on here as they did with the TSPLOST if they will take the time to look. This amendment is the culminating event in a strategy that was hatched several years ago by those who wanted to so bankrupt public education that a gullible population would enthusiastically embrace a market based alternative. According to State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, who opposes the proposed amendment, our elected “leaders,” including the esteemed Jan Jones, have stripped approximately $5 billion from our public schools during the past several years dating back to “Go Fish” Perdue. During these years, the number of school days for our students has declined from 180 to 140-150 in many places, and scores of local school systems are on the verge of bankruptcy. “Leaders” such as Rep. Jones and Morgan have transferred more and more financial responsibility onto local school boards while proudly thumping their political chests and touting their fiscal responsibility. Every reader and voter should be insulted at Jones and Morgan’s guile and the fact they don’t think voters are bright enough to figure this out. This is a gullibility test for all of us. This ain’t leadership, ladies, and neither is selling out the vast majority of Georgia children, who actually need your advocacy, to the profit hungry corporations from out of state who cannot wait to get their hands on Georgia tax money. I would say, “Shame on you,” to Jones and Morgan if I thought it might help, but they drank the Kool-Aid served by the Governor and his self-serving political agents early-on and are no longer in a position to represent anyone other than the for profit education management corporations that dangle contributions before them and tell them to dance..

John Konop

October 1st, 2012
3:48 pm

Beverly Fraud,

You are very bright person, who is well informed on the issue. I do understands the passion on both sides depending where you live. One side feels trapped by the school district their kids attend. Another side has good schools and see this bill as a land grab for private companies that we leave many of us holding the bag. That is why I proposed the compromise of school districts, with issues having a separate process track for charters, also the extra controls in place.

Beverly Fraud

October 1st, 2012
3:50 pm

“Every reader and voter should be insulted at Jones and Morgan’s guile and the fact they don’t think voters are bright enough to figure this out.”

Sadly @Cactus, I can’t blame them for not underestimating the ignorance of the electorate. They voted Victor “Walking Small” Hill back into office after all.

Mary Elizabeth

October 1st, 2012
3:53 pm

Cactus, 3:44 pm

I agree with your comments. Thank you for expressing the detail.

DeKalb Teacher

October 1st, 2012
3:57 pm

Voting No … me too … this is what I have:

1. Traditional public schools would do better if we had more money. I mean a lot more than fully funded, because our numbers were bad even when we were fully funded.
2. For-Profit companies contributing to ALEC are greedier than the For-Profit companies that work for traditional public schools.
3. County Boards are pro charter as long as the charter is good.

Renee Lord

October 1st, 2012
4:26 pm

Parents will not choose to send their children to poorly performing charter schools. Most parents do not have a choice if the local school is failing to meet their child’s needs. Amendment One will give parents options.

Ron F.

October 1st, 2012
4:41 pm

Well, after twenty-plus years of willful underfunding of its legislated obligations to public education, why should we believe the state will fund its charter schools? And do we believe they will suddenly stop the “austerity” cuts currently implemented year after year? Options are needed, but are we looking for yet another quick fix to something that we’ll throw lots of money at and in the end get nothing better? Fools rush in as they say.


October 1st, 2012
4:42 pm

Liar(s) liar(s) pants on fire! I am feeling exceptionally eloquent today. Jan, do you think we are that stupid?

Ron F.

October 1st, 2012
4:45 pm

Renee: when parents get involved, the school performs better because the kids know the parents are watching. The type of school is irrelevant in the end. This amendment is about giving those with the mobility the choice. The kids who are “trapped” are those whose parents aren’t involved as it is, and charter schools won’t fix this problem.

DeKalb Inside Out

October 1st, 2012
5:11 pm

What are “involved” parents to do when the principal is part of the “Friends and Family” program? Without choices, that student is stuck unless they can afford private schools or the other alternatives.

It takes a lot of parents working along with principals, teachers and the administration to turn a school around. Quite often there aren’t enough people in those said groups. What is a parent to do when their aren’t enough caring parents in the school or the principal doesn’t care or isn’t qualified?

I just assume send my kids to Ivy Prep in South DeKalb and be done with the whole lot of them.

DeKalb Teacher

October 1st, 2012
5:14 pm

What if the Charter School isn’t any better?

I’m with Ron,
Traditional public schools need a lot more money. We have the formula. We can do it.

DeKalb Inside Out

October 1st, 2012
5:17 pm

If the Charter School isn’t any better then people like me will chose to not go there and it will close down. Either way, I get to decide what is best for my kids.

Mary Elizabeth

October 1st, 2012
5:19 pm

Renee Lord, 4:26 pm

“Most parents do not have a choice if the local school is failing to meet their child’s needs. Amendment One will give parents options.”

There already exists, by law, a means of appealing the decision of local Boards of Education which might deny a given charter school’s application. That means of appeal is to the State Board of Education via the State Superintendent of Schools. This amendment is unnecessary.

bootney farnsworth

October 1st, 2012
5:21 pm

@ John,

while not speaking for Beverly, I think I understand where he’s coming from re: Fran Millar.

no matter what good works he might be trying to do, his constant shrill whining and attacks on
education, while not making any obvious effort to lead from the front (show us your cuts, Fran),
he has lost everty possible ounce of credbility in these discussions.

for me, this is nothing new. for years I watched him talk out of both sides of his mouth on GPC.
crapped all over us until he thought he could use us.

bootney farnsworth

October 1st, 2012
5:25 pm

@ Ron

my concern is: what kind of charters will they fund?

feminist education?
creationism studies?
football academy?]
the Sonny Perdue fishing institute?

I do support the concept of charter, but as old as I am I’ve seen this sort of thing play out far too many times when the gov’t makes vague this will fix it all promises, and the cure becomes worse than the disease.


October 1st, 2012
5:26 pm

“The amendment does something very simple but very profound – it will allow the state to create a commission to hear appeals when charter applications are denied by some school boards and superintendents” it says in the above article. What a distorted piece of propaganda. I can just hear Jan Jones talking down to everyone. Appeals from local school board decisions can already be made, and have been made, to the state education department. The difference here is that a new state bureacracy is created that will do much more than this. Essentially, the burden of proof would be on the local school board to show why the decision of this new state agency should be reversed. Further, other important provisions would endow this new bureaucracy with essentially the power to create a parallel quasi-public school system managed by for profit education corporations, most of them out of state. This non-elected new agency would be appointed by the Governor. I am not surprised that Jan Jones is leading the effort. She has long been a shill for the Koch brothers financed ALEC group which has been pushing their privatization agenda in this and many other areas. As to Alisha Morgan, I don’t know much about her or her motives, but I find interesting the comments by some posters pointing out her conflict of interest. As to Jones, her crocodile tears of concern for public schools would be more credible if she had not consistently voted to gut funding of public education at all levels since the Republicans gained control of state government. I agree with State School Superintendent Barge, this new agency should not even be considered until all public education cuts are restored, teacher furloughs and layoffs ended, and class sizes reduced to nationally recognized acceptable levels.