In response to AJC editorial, Gov. Deal says charter amendment deserves voter approval

The AJC editorial board comes out Sunday with an editorial urging the defeat of Amendment One, citing the cost of creating a new bureaucracy to approve charter schools when one already exists.

Here is a counterpoint to that opinion from  Gov. Nathan Deal.

By Nathan Deal

Georgia parents enjoy a multitude of choices when shopping for a pair of jeans, a car or a bag of potato chips.

And when it’s time to go off to college, their children can choose a campus that fits them best.

The diversity of options in the marketplace shows that competition and choices drive innovation and improvement. It demonstrates that one size does not, in fact, fit all.

We would abandon a grocery store that didn’t give us options, so why don’t we demand the same from the public education system?

All parents want their children to do better than they did, but that can’t happen if they don’t have access to high-performing public schools.

When they go to the polls this November, Georgia voters have a chance to assure that parents can choose what’s best for their family and child.

Too many school districts in Georgia offer nothing but mediocre or even failing schools. In those situations, parents deserve the chance to demand something new, but they often hit a brick wall with their local school boards.

If passed, the constitutional amendment gives those parents hope. It would restore to the state the ability to charter schools. That would hardly qualify as a revolution; on the contrary, this simply takes us back to the policy we had before a misguided Georgia Supreme Court ruling struck down the state’s charter school approval process.

Unfortunately, school boards eager to maintain their monopoly have spread misinformation about what the charter school amendment would do. So let’s clarify the facts.

First and foremost, any school created by the charter commission will be a public school that is free of charge to any student living in the attendance zone.

Second, any school chartered by the state is paid for by the state, not the local school board. Opponents of the amendment claim that the charter commission will start schools and then hand the bill to the local school system. The truth is that the amendment expressly forbids the state from reducing the amount of money it provides local schools.

Despite the fact that the state provides all funding, locals still maintain control of the schools. The only role the state plays in the administration of the schools is in providing accountability. Charter schools that don’t perform get closed, as opposed to an underperforming regular school that can fail generation after generation.

And the accountability pays off. When compared to the state school system as a whole, state charter schools achieve Annual Yearly Progress at a higher rate. More telling, they significantly outperform the other schools in their districts.

A great example is Ivy Prep School in Gwinnett County. Here we have an overwhelmingly minority all-girls school – from demographics that generally score lower on standardized tests – that is outperforming the general population in Gwinnett County schools, which are some of the best in the state.

Autumn Smith attends seventh grade there.

“I live in a neighborhood where the behavior, education and parent resources aren’t up to the standards I have been taught to expect. Therefore, I went in search of a good school,” Autumn wrote to her local newspaper, explaining that her local school suffered from gangs, drugs and violence. “I’m not going to sit back, relax and wait for change that might not come until my grandchild is in school. I want change, and I want it now. I deserve to have a choice in what school I want to be in. I just don’t understand what the problem is if charter schools are performing better than other schools, when being funded less.”

A middle-schooler whose talents may have withered on the vine has instead seized her chance for excellence and achievement. It’s an opportunity she would have missed if she and her family didn’t have an option to escape a school that couldn’t live up to her expectations.

Approving the constitutional amendment will increase competition, give parents better options, encourage innovation and give students such as Autumn Smith a chance in life they might not otherwise get.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

91 comments Add your comment

Vast Right Wing Conspiracy

November 3rd, 2012
10:16 pm

You liberals want choice when it pertains to killing not-yet-born children, but do not want choice when it comes to educating children. Very odd, but not surprising – support for Big Abortion (is it true that Eric Holder’s wife owns an abortion mill here?) and Big Public Unions.


November 3rd, 2012
10:20 pm

South G….Double ditto!

If charter schools is so great why did (crappy dirty) Deal go to such extreme measures to use deceptive WORDING on the ballot..

Deal Sued Over Charter School Amendment

Vote No for our children and grand children.

Impeach Nathan DEAL.

Vote NO on


November 3rd, 2012
10:28 pm

i will vote YES

Mary Elizabeth

November 3rd, 2012
10:29 pm

I posted the following remarks at 4:31 pm today on the Atlanta Forward blog in response to Gov. Deal’s editorial posted there. I’ll repost my comments here for readers of this blog, also, to weigh. See below:

Amendment One is about the privatization of public education. There is much money and power outside of Georgia behind this effort in Georgia. On the front page of Sunday’s AJC is this headline: “Billions behind charter issue: Some large donors have ties to for-profit managment firms.” There are long-ranged, and societal transforming, goals within this national Republican agenda regarding the privatization of America’s public institutions and of America’s public programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

Don’t be fooled and do not fail to see into this long-ranged agenda, even if it is not as blatantly stated as it should be for citizens to weigh carefully, as fully informed citizens, the long-ranged ramifications as to what this transformational change in America’s public institutions will have upon their lives and upon the lives of their children.

Vote NO on NOvember 6 to Amendment One.

Disgusted in Augusta

November 3rd, 2012
10:34 pm

I couldn’t agree with South Georgia any more!
John Barge for Governor in 2014…he is the only state public official that is not willing to bend over and squeal like a pig for Nathan Deal. Jan Jones, Chip Rogers & Company…you are next. The people of Georgia now see straight through you. Enjoy your limited time with the Deal regime.

Kim Smith

November 3rd, 2012
10:56 pm

The key here is in the statement “The only role the state plays in the administration of the schools is in providing accountability.” Deal will form another board of his cronies. Just like every other appointment people who have no accountability to the people of Georgia when they get on these boards. And more importantly this is bigger and bigger government. Vote NO.


November 3rd, 2012
11:01 pm

In my opinion, Mary Elizabeth and Kris read this matter clearly; this is not about improving educational opportunities for Georgia’s children. This is about sending our tax money to “for profit” education management corporations owned by out of state interests who have either already delivered financial gifts to our ethically challenged Governor and cronies or have promised future rewards in exchange for passage of this amendment. Kris makes one of the most damning points when he or she appropriately asked why it was necessary to cloak the real intent of this amendment in Mom and Apple Pie language that belies the truth. If this amendment is so virtuous, why must the language on the ballot be written in such a way that it is at best grossly misleading and at worst a deliberate lie. Should we trust a Governor who does not trust us? He and the Lt. Governor and the Speaker of the House approved the deceptive language on the ballot, and I think all Georgians, regardless of political affiliation or preference on this measure, should ask why? Why shouldn’t they trust voters to make the right decision, whatever that is, on this or any other measure? If they will lie to us about this, what else have they lied to us about in the past, and what comes next? I sincerely believe that many people who support the amendment do so because they believe it will help children trapped in non-performing school systems, but I think they will find that the implementation of the amendment, if approved, will favor the children of the wealthy and politically connected who want to transfer their children out of expensive private schools into state approved and state funded charter schools that don’t have to accept all children as traditional public schools do. This is a cruel hoax foisted upon low-income parents who recognize education as the route out of poverty for their children; I do not believe they will find the welcome mat out for their children at the charter schools for the well-heeled under this Governor. Adding insult to injury, our ethically challenged Governor, who seems to see himself as Huey Long and Georgia as the new Louisiana, would try to sell us the idea that local schools won’t lose money to state approved charter schools. He says this after joining with Go Fish Perdue to strip nearly $5 billion from public schools serving more than 90 percent of Georgia’s children. He and Go Fish couldn’t find money for public schools under the state’s “austerity” measures, but they can find millions for the new charter school system. If you think this is about improving education in Georgia then ask yourself why this ethically challenged Governor and his cronies were willing to threaten education funding for Gwinnett Tech if the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce didn’t reverse its opposition to the amendment. This isn’t about education; this is about a well-orchestrated multistate effort by ALEC which is working with the Koch brothers, the Walton clan and other wealthy business people to impose their ideology on this country, and they have enlisted the willing hands and hearts of far-right nut jobs within the GOP who see money for political campaigns and money that will enrich them personally as incentives to play ball. And no one likes to play ball like the Governor who was ethically challenged in Washington as a Congressman and brought his affliction home with him and into the Governor’s Mansion where everything that our state owns is up for sale at taxpayer expense. If people want to vote in favor of the charter school amendment, that is certainly their right, but I hope the right minded and the good hearted of all parties will look at this amendment for what is really is and not what our ethically challenged Governor and his cronies say it is. They don’t trust us and I don’t think we should trust them.


November 3rd, 2012
11:12 pm

Governor Deal, unless you and all your friends are digging into your own pockets to fund these state approved charter schools, then all the taxpayers will be paying for these schools even when our address in not in the attendance zone. You show your true character as you bash public education and teachers when you and the governor before you have underfunded education for the past 10 years. You don’t deserve voter approval.


November 3rd, 2012
11:18 pm

Governor, how dare you promulgate this disinformation.

First, if you care about little Autumn at Ivy Prep, stop raiiding the education budget. Fund the schools to the levels promised in QBE. Stop interfering with Sec. Barge and trying to foist your political cronies into his cabinet; allow him to rely on his experience rather than your own poitical expedience in supporting – or not – intiatives affecting public education in Georgia.

Stop spewing sanctimonious hypocrisy about charter schools and what this amendment actually delivers. It does not one thing, not ONE, for parents, students or taxpayers. You flat lie when you suggest that charter schools have outperformed traditional public schools – there is no such research, and you wouldn’t care if there were. You and your political associates like Chip Rogers and Jan Jones want to get your hands on the public school dollars, so you can get paid off to allow access to those funds by your corporate sponsors. That is what this amendment is about. Nothing else.

This amendment would permit you to make more appointments of unelected, unqualified cronies like your communications specialist who now controls the GaDOT budget, your pal with no experience who now sits on the Ports board, the woman you just shoved into the chair of the lottery commission with such arm-twisting that one board member resigned in protest over your tactics, delivering one of the most successful lottery programs in the country into the hands of a person who has absolutely no experience in lotteries, management or gaming. These are the kinds of imcompetent, graft-driven patsies you would put in charge of chartering schools, of site selection (real estate and construction deals) , of administration (for-profit education management corporations), of curriculum (deep-pocketed ideologues like the Koch brothers), of no-bid suppliers. You have thus far shown yourself to be utterly conscienceless and corrupt in the appointment of people that we taxpayers then cannot get rid of, and this amendment would only give you more opportunities to display this questionable skill.

If this amendment could stand on its own merits, you and your Secretary of State would not have had to lie about it in the misleading preamble and ballot language that has already been challenged in court. You know as well as anyone that if voters understood what this amendment actually did, it would meed the same fate as the T-SPLOST you tried so hard to shove down our throats. Instead, you have embarked on a dual campaign of lies and deflection on the one hand and hard core political intimidation on the other, desperate to keep voters from knowing either what this is or how many knowledgeable people are dead set against it.

This editorial is a disgusting display of hypocrisy. You have been part of de-funding public education in this state for years; it’s a lot too late to suddenly assume the mantle of care and concern for Georgia’s students. Your job is not to find ways around, under or through our Constitution when your big donors want easier access to taxpayer money. it is to use the public funds wisely to accomplish goals in the public interest. This amendment does neither, and to suggest otherwise is to ask Georgia voters to ignore your track record of disastrous appointments and very questionable ethics.

You should be ashamed.


November 3rd, 2012
11:21 pm

@Maureen is there any data about how many parents take advantage of HB251 transfers? (I hope I got that number correct.) Parents have to provide transportation in those transfers just like they do with charters – and that seems to be a larger issue than the mandatory parent volunteer issue…. if you can’t get the kids to the school, why bother enrolling them?


November 3rd, 2012
11:23 pm

Children benefit from all types of diversity. When you set up special schools for specially talented kids, it causes a brain and talent drain from the general school they came from. And, having kids go to special interest schools, can severely force them into tracks too early in life. It is what China does, to the great detriment of the children.

We can improve our schools without these “trendy” gimmicks. It certainly could be fool’s gold.

If John Barge has reasons to think this might not be the best time (God knows Georgia is at critical juncture, given the Atlanta scandal, and the recent disclosures of our true drop out rates), we need to wait, and plan a good bit better.


November 3rd, 2012
11:35 pm

Thank you Cactus .

Enough hiring unqualified family and cronies…And closed locked door pocket lining.

What would be necessary to start IMPEACHMENT process?

Vote NO NO Amendment One.

A Teacher, 2

November 3rd, 2012
11:50 pm

So, Governor Deal, if this amendment is such a great idea, why was it deemed necessary to word the ballot question in such a deceiving way? If the amendment is good, it should pass on the merits of the idea. I can assure you that there are many people that are now watching what you and the legislature do and don’t do. It will take a while, but we are no longer going to put up with this foolishness.

A Teacher, 2

November 3rd, 2012
11:51 pm

Oh, and I voted no.

A Teacher, 2

November 3rd, 2012
11:53 pm

Oh, and I have been a card-carrying Republican all my adult life. I also voted against every Republican on the state level that I could vote against. I assure you that I am not the only one thinking in that direction, either.


November 3rd, 2012
11:56 pm

“The AJC editorial board comes out Sunday with an editorial urging the defeat of Amendment One”

You could knock me over with a feather – who could have possibly seen that coming? Only several dozen biased articles against it.


November 4th, 2012
12:00 am

It is not news to me that AJC is not supporting amendment one. It was very obvious anyway.


November 4th, 2012
12:11 am

The first comment here really bothers me. Why insult? Is this how we discuss an important educational issue? The fact that within five minutes of this news, the first comment is an actually an insult and it is approved by AJC is really really worrisome. AJC please approve my comment as well.

Political Mongrel

November 4th, 2012
12:16 am

Governor, you’re only fooling yourself, and your letter is full of half-truths. I’ll be overjoyed when you’re bounced out of office at the end of your one and only term.


November 4th, 2012
12:31 am

I would like to reprint here an email I recently send to one of the leaders in the Georgia House of Reprentatives concerning the Charter Schools Amendment:
“I am in favor of passing this amendment.  That said, I believe that local school boards of education, by and large, are a driving force in opposition to the amendment.  Why is that?  It is because of their concern of loss of political power and control. This amendment, if approved, will give parents another choice and strong voice in the education of their children with a way around dysfunctional local boards.
“And, believe me, there are many dysfunctional local boards in Georgia.
“One rural local board of which I am familiar is a good example, but is not unique.  They have had at least seven superintendents in the last fifteen years.  Good superintendents have left because of board mismanagement and micromanagement, among a number of other improper practices.  Now they have a person serving in the role of superintendent who has never been a school level administrator and who has never had experience in leading a school system.  This is to the detriment of their children, who have little choice other than to attend local schools, which are deteriorating in academic achievement and enrollment.
“With passage of this amendment, parents and other citizens, will, with proper action under the new Charter Schools law, have a way around the local board.  This is exactly why most boards in the state oppose this amendment – loss of political power and control.
“If I remember correctly, we have 180 public school systems in this state.  Most are small and without the resources of large systems such as in Metro Atlanta.  Parents in these small systems must, must have a way to give their children a quality education, and I believe passing the Charter Schools Amendment is a way, indeed the way, to do so.
“In conclusion, I will quote my comment to a column by Maureen Downey in the AJC on October 19:
‘Whether one supports the charter schools amendment or not, the fact remains that there are many school systems in this state where the local school board members are untrained, incompepetent, biased, clueless, power hungry or all of the above.  And the ones who lose in this mess are the children whose parents have no option except to send them to the local public school.  It is a shame that we have come to this situation.  Charter schools may not be absolutely perfect, but what is?  Charter schools will, however, give parents a real chance to get around incompetence and give their children a decent education.’”
I urge all Georgia voters to remember the public school children when deciding which way to vote on this issue. A very large number of our Georgia children are in the grip of local school systems with dysfunctional boards that would never allow a charter school into their districts. And that is where the students now languish.

Private Citizen

November 4th, 2012
1:40 am

First thought: Sometimes the periodic letters from figureheads are written by people on their staff. I have not read any of Mr. Deal’s writing to know if, in strict terms, this is his own work. Anyway, it seems to be accepted for the “big letter” to go out and those in the know will tell you it was written by someone else. The letter seems a little engineered / assembled.

PS As long as there is prohibition of drug laws, there will be urban children who will earn money as workers meeting the market demand. It’s good pay. If anyone actually cared about economic efficiency, it is sensible to decriminalize soft drugs that do not injure the users, i.e. marijuana, and tax it and regulate distribution, and otherwise treat it as a public health issue. I guess to do that you would have to admit having a public health system, something the rest of the world has come to expect.

Much of the charter school talk involves getting away from the “bad kids” and this letter plainly references “gang” environments and such. These problems, too, can be fixed, but it must be done in an intelligent way. In a similary way that Mr. Deal’s public education system is shown to be economically inefficient, the same reasoning can be applied to the state monopoly over drug prohibition and the attendant costs of law enforcement and incarceration. Putting an 18 year old Georgian in jail for 6 months for having a joint does not make a lot of sense when president’s Clinton, Bush, and Obama have all smoke marijuana. There’s a way to have prosperity in Georgia if anyone care to get there. Charter schools may be a part of it. Health care and addressing excessive incarceration, and missing out on the monies from taxing and regulating soft drugs may be a part of it, too. To be fair, decriminalizing soft drugs may be a third-rail issue for a politician due to that the uniformed public would react negatively at the mention of it. The same public that goes bankrupt when they get sick, the same public with the many divided families due to that incarceration has quadrupled due to drug laws. The same public that accepts paying taxes and getting very little services in return for monies paid. In other countries, that have community medical centers, preventitive medicine, and city owned hospitals for serious treatment. When the person gets better, they go home with their finances intact. This is not the case in Georgia. So let’s take some of this excellent economic efficiency reasoning and as long as we are going to have an educated populace, let’s have some prosperity to go with it. Vote for the charter amendment, stop prosecuting personal use of soft drugs, tax and regulate soft drugs to increase revenue. Begin conceptualising some public health care. It’s needed.

Private Citizen

November 4th, 2012
1:50 am

PS got a nice car wash today because a family was washing cars to raise money for someone in their family that needs an operation. This resulted in a good bargain for me. For $5. I had four people hand wash and dry my car. It’s the plantation system.

Sounds like how they do it in India, except when someone gets desperate for operation they rob a bank. This is one of the themes of the recent Indian movie “Barfii.” movie trailer:

Top School

November 4th, 2012
6:08 am

GoodoleWay politics at its best. The Deal Way…that continues to hide the Atlanta Way…

Expose how much his lawyer legal buddies have made to USE 180 scapegoat educators in the APS cheating scandal.

Why haven’t the administrative officials responsible for creating the cheating environment been charge for their wrong doing.

Deal is all about creating jobs and income for his buddies.
Any creation of a Charter School includes a KICK BACK for Governor Deal.

A real investigation by the AJC would expose how much money has been spent on legal fees and the DEAL investigation in APS cheating. The useless expense that has produced nothing but lined the pockets of the DEAL CLAN.

Bertis Downs

November 4th, 2012
6:30 am

see also:, in which some Grady HS students explain Amendment One pretty succinctly. It’s a strange set-up when the lifeboat manufacturers’ reps are in charge of the ships’ maintenance. And if it is such a great idea, why the tricked-up language and multi-million dollar ad campaign thanks to all those outtastate donors poised to enter the GA education “market”? Support our local schools– No on Amendment 1. See also And to see more of the dots connected:


November 4th, 2012
6:51 am

“…and give students such as Autumn Smith a chance in life…”

Lest we forget, a chance she was initially stripped of by the $6 Billion in “Austerity Cuts” imposed by the Perdue/Deal team in the first place.

Kim Smith

November 4th, 2012
7:10 am

@pointcounterpoint Deal has his ducks in a row for the funding…’s called the Hope Scholarship! Vote No!


November 4th, 2012
7:35 am

How much out-of-state money was spent drafting that letter for his signature?

Eddie Hall

November 4th, 2012
8:18 am

Gov. Deal, Are you so out of touch you think YOUR endorsement will save this?! I hope you see this as what in MANY ways it is, a vote on you and your policies. We voted down your money grab in TSPLOST, we will vote down this attempt to take over our schools. You say the state will fund the schools? They have CUT funding 4 years in a row now? As this happens, the schools either suffer or LOCAL property taxes rise. I am paying MORE tax either way, whether I write the check to the state or the county. I do realize that is part of the “smoke and mirrors” game you and Rep. Rogers and several other like to play. Take credit for a tax cut, when you just passed the tax on to the local government. Based on your appointments so far, Do we really want someone YOU apponted deciding to spend our tax dollars instead of someone we elected? No sir, I won’t be fooled by anymore of your promises. I will be voting NO! Hopefully in two years I will have a choice to vote no on your other policies!

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
8:22 am

Yes we know inviting ALEC to the party is the moral equivalent of extending an invitation to privatize maritime operations by inviting Somali pirates into the mix, but seriously, how can anybody complain about “budget cuts” in education when the educrats THEMSELVES have refused to cut central office administrative BLOAT?

-$2100 for chairs (note: for EACH chair) in a DCSS central office conference room

-Over a MILLION dollars in bonuses based on WIDESPREAD, SYSTEMIC cheating in APS?

-$40,000 to investigate the source of a RUMOR, courtesy of Edmund Heatley in ClayCo?

And on…and on…and on…and on…and on…

As bad as this amendment might be, we are still left with the reality that we haven’t yet convinced an asteroid to have a moment of Christ-like consciousness and sacrifice itself by crashing into the educational monolith in Georgia, . Therefore, as bad as this amendment might be, it might be the ONLY way to get the education monolith to listen.


November 4th, 2012
8:24 am

It is very sad when the governor resorts to outright lies to justify his position. Too bad we have to wait two more years!

Georgia’s schools are producing higher achievement results than ever before, and there is no evidence that supports the claims that charter schools will improve student achievement.

The smoke-and-mirrors discussion about funding makes me laugh because the governor and his cronies have cut public education funding for 10 years in a row. Now, they want to add a new funding mechanism for charter schools that pays double per student. The claim that this won’t take away from traditional public schools is quite disingenuous because they have already cut funding for the students in those schools!

The governor favors the education of 5% of Georgia’s students through charter schools rather than the 95% of all the other students. Is this the way to improve student achievement? Hardly.

Ed Advocate

November 4th, 2012
8:26 am

Note to whichever staff member drafted this letter for Governor Deal: it cheapens the debate and is not persuasive to start the Governor’s piece by comparing kids and schools to potato chips and blue jeans. Even I know this, and I’m a product of those traditional public schools you’re slamming.

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
8:28 am

“We voted down your money grab in TSPLOST, we will vote down this attempt to take over our school”

@Eddie, if this amendment, as awful at its potential is, does pass, it will be for the EXACT same reason TSPLOST failed.

TSPLOST failed because people didn’t trust the government. If this bill passes, it’s because people don’t trust the school board/educational monolith, and are willing to accept a “Deal” with the Devil in order to feel that have a choice.

But at least we got good fishin!


November 4th, 2012
8:34 am

There has been much talk of dysfunctional local boards and the need for this appeal process. Could some point me to the appeal process for dysfunctional state officials?

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
8:40 am

“Georgia’s schools are producing higher achievement results than ever before, and there is no evidence that supports the claims that charter schools will improve student achievement.”

@Tony, but what do you tell a parent who wants to vote Yes because they are tired of hearing their child say “Johnny told the teacher to F—k off! again today and we had to wait twenty minutes for him to calm down because nobody from the office came to get him even though he threw a chair in anger?”

And if we think this is not uncommon in schools throughout many districts in Georgia we are simply lying to ourselves.

As bad as this amendment might be (read: spending taxpayer money on the ‘Sarah Palin Science Academy where students can learn how cavemen made maps by flying pterodactyls over the land) how can you blame the parent whose child is suffering and whose local school board is NOT responsive, because they are too busy with “retreats” and marveling at $2100 chairs?

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
8:46 am

“There has been much talk of dysfunctional local boards and the need for this appeal process. Could some point me to the appeal process for dysfunctional state officials?”

There isn’t one which underscores the fact that people are willing to accept this Deal With The Devil™ because that’s how little faith they have in the local school boards…a LACK of faith that has been FULLY earned.

Pride and Joy

November 4th, 2012
8:54 am

I am a LIBERAL DEMOCRAT (voted for Obama twice) and I voted YES for amendment one.
I hate the tea party and wouldn’t likely ever vote for a Republican but in this instance governor Deal is right — we need a choice. We cannot allow our children to languish and waste their lives in schools that can’t teach.
Vote YES!

Mary Elizabeth

November 4th, 2012
9:13 am

Be aware that the Preamble to Amendment One – as stated on the ballot – is pure propaganda. To corrupt the voting process in this manner says much about the motivations behind those who created Amendment One, and who are its proponents.

Don’t be fooled. This amendment will not help most of the students in Georgia’s public schools. It will, instead, take funds away from traditional public schools.

Vote NO to Amendment One on NOvember 6.


November 4th, 2012
9:26 am

Governor Deal – how do you sleep at night? Wait…vampires are most active at night…


November 4th, 2012
9:26 am

So public education has a monopoly and there is no choice. Are there no private schools? Is there a restriction that prevents families from moving to other school districts? Is it wrong for local communities to decide where and how property taxes ear marked for education are to be spent?

The original reason for mandatory public education was to preserve our democracy. If any democracy is to be preserved the citizens must be educated and informed. This is the vested interest government has in education. It was never a “for profit” venture.

If we are going to privatize public education then let us end all public funding for education. Since public schools are so bad…just get rid of the whole idea. Each family can decide where and how to use their property tax money to educate their children.

In this scenario ….we will have perfect competition. No government subsidies. No government regulations. The product…our children’s education…should be top notch. There will be no more bad teachers and local school boards trying to control local money.

Mary Elizabeth

November 4th, 2012
9:33 am

“If we are going to privatize public education then let us end all public funding for education. Since public schools are so bad…just get rid of the whole idea. Each family can decide where and how to use their property tax money to educate their children.”

This is where we are headed. Thanks for putting it so succinctly.

Dr. Monica Henson

November 4th, 2012
9:39 am

Point/Counterpoint posted, “all the taxpayers will be paying for these schools even when our address in not in the attendance zone.”

That’s exactly how ALL public schools in Georgia are funded with the state portion. You pay taxes to the state, and the education portion of those state dollars are divided up and allocated to all 181 public school districts, the state schools for the deaf and the blind, and the state-chartered schools.

Amendment One changes nothing about the distribution of state education dollars. You will continue to fund public schools all over the state and not just the one in your attendance zone, even if there were no such thing as a charter school in Georgia.

Dr. Monica Henson

November 4th, 2012
9:42 am

Autumn Smith’s parents weren’t looking for a public school with more funding to spend–they sought a public school that would provide a top-quality education for her, and they found it in Ivy Prep. At a lot lower cost to taxpayers (which includes Autumn’s parents) than their local district school.

South Georgia Too

November 4th, 2012
9:43 am

Governor Deal compared having choices in schools is justified because we have choices when purchasing potato chips!!! Are you kidding me? He also wrote, “Too many school districts in Georgia offer nothing but mediocre or even failing schools.” Well then Governor are you saying its OK to start a new system for some students while letting the majority of students remain in those “mediocre or even failing schools”?. Why not use the power you already have to fix all the mediocre schools for all the students? And Governor why not support and fund the schools we already have? New bumper sticker…’No Deal For Teachers’…or ‘No Teachers For Deal’. I hope John Barge runs for governor.


November 4th, 2012
9:44 am

I support our Govenor who has the courage to stand up for the parents and children of GA. He is doing his part to pull Georgia’s failing education system out of the bottom THREE in the nation.
Failing charter schools will close, can we say the same of some of our continually failing District Schools? It’s time for options for children tied to failing schools based upon their zip codes. The amount that will be spent on charter schools is very small in comparison to the millions and millions spent on public education in Georgia, and we are still near the bottom. Please vote YES for this great opportunity for the children of Georgia who deserve a choice in public education.


November 4th, 2012
9:54 am

Our gobernor should ask himself what role HE, and his PARTY, have played in the “Too many school districts in Georgia offer nothing but mediocre or even failing schools.” Billions in cuts, while public schools face increased numbers of students, and increased numbers of terribly needy and troubled students, while being called upon to do more and more with and for these students–does he think it happens magically?

I’ve got an idea: Let’s establish charter schools that take on the TOUGHEST kids, and see how successful they are! Leave the public schools for those who are well-behaved, and have parents who are involved in raising them. Then, let’s sit back and watch the “miracles” that charter schools can accomplish. Because we are reminded, constantly, that ANYONE can teach the best and brightest. Therefore we should send those kids who are NOT the best and brightest to these miracle-working institutions. I mean, you believe they work miracles, and for less money, right?

Prove it.


November 4th, 2012
9:55 am

Oops. “governor”. Sorry about the error.

Private Citizen

November 4th, 2012
9:57 am

jezel you say If we are going to privatize public education then let us end all public funding for education. Since public schools are so bad…just get rid of the whole idea. Each family can decide where and how to use their property tax money to educate their children.

That’s pretty much the current set-up for getting health care for citizens in Georgia. The problem with this approach is that you lose efficiency. It’s the same reason a truck was invented instead of having twenty people walking down the street each carrying a bale of hay.

It’s a confounded thing how governing in the United States has become such a jip (or would that be “gyp” as in “gypsy”) for the citizens. But there must be cause and effect. I think part of the cause is when Reagan and co. took apart the anti-trust laws so that now the major medias: internet provider / tv and radio stations, as owned by very few companies own everything. That means they can blast you with misinformation and incoherence. Interesting effect. They’ve got coodination alright. It costs less money to provide coordinated “talking points” as news. There very little reason to do any reporting other than putting up a facade. Meanwhile, the public is completed discoordinated and in a condition of incoherence. Hey let’s see what the Comcast monopoly is telling us today. This is where students, families, scientists, and academics have to go to buy internet servie in Georgia. Well, let’s see. For starters on the mainpage you will not find the word “internet.” Oh, now there’s an ad for “Walking Dead” and a cell phone ad. So they’ve already got a 100% monopoly on wired internet for my address five miles from the courthouse in a major city, they’ve bought NBC, and they want to move into cell phones, too? And as soon as my “special deal” is up I’m supposed to pay them about $900. a year for one wired internet connection? This is the type of thing that anti-trust laws used to protect from. Back to the Comcast main page, now it says “This is a movie theater” in the middle of the page and shows two girls in a park.

????? ????? ?????

This is the effect part of Reagan taking apart anti-trust laws. Now we get our brains scrambled in place of news.

South Georgia Too

November 4th, 2012
10:03 am

Teachers remember the old campaign buttons…”Boot Barnes” ? Its time for a new button…”No Deal”.

Private Citizen

November 4th, 2012
10:10 am

And yes, I think the internet connection part is important since printed textbooks are now obsolete. In Lyon, France (socialist oooh! oooh!) they’ve got government coodinated municipal wi-fi wireless internet for the city. That means there’s no internet bill for the people (students) who live there and you can jump in your Citroen and take a drive around town and use the web, too without paying Cricket for 10Mbps mobile and then instead they provide 0.5 Mbps. (my reason experience paying them $50. for a month of mobile internet).

The French as smart. The use efficiency. For such a small country they sure build a lot of stuff including the Marta electric train cars in Atlanta. They have have very high rate of technology literacy as well. More than a decade ago, French school children were each give a usb “flash drive” at the start of the school year on it with the software they needed for the year. Let’s compare websites for level of design quality.

Lyon has more than a one thousand year lead on us as far as getting their act together, but at least they care enough to do it. I guess the French are more than “potato chips and blue jeans.” They also get annual checkups. We don’t.

Beverly Fraud

November 4th, 2012
10:12 am

What the “No” crowd doesn’t seem to want to address:

Yes, it’s a Deal With The Devil™

Yes it’s like inviting Somali pirates to provide “competition” to the maritime industry.

But what do you tell parents who want to vote Yes, because they see, time and time again that trying to get the educational monolith to serve their needs is even less realistic than trying to get the North Korean government to embrace democracy?

What do you tell those parents?