Charter-school amendment not about charter schools

According to its backers, the proposed charter-school amendment on the ballot in November is intended to empower parents. As Gov. Nathan Deal put it back in May, “Georgians all across this state embrace the idea that parents should have more options and that parents should be more involved in the process of the education of their children.”

Parental involvement is good. Empowering parents is good. And charter schools have a legitimate, even important role to play in education in Georgia, which is why local school districts already have the power to create them, and why they continue to use that power. However, it’s one thing to embrace charter schools as an educational option. It is something else entirely to claim that creation of a new centralized state charter commission — a commission that is appointed, not elected, that has the capacity to spend hundreds of millions of tax dollars, and that is not answerable to voters — somehow moves power closer to the people. It does exactly the opposite.

By design, it strips local voters, local parents and local officials of authority over charter schools and places it in the hands of those controlled by state politicians.

That’s precisely why the Georgia Parent Teacher Association — a group whose primary goal is to improve public education through parental involvement — has come out so strongly in opposition to the measure.

“We cannot support this constitutional amendment, which will create an inequity in funding, siphon funds from local public schools where the great majority of the students in Georgia receive their education and deny parents meaningful engagement,” the group said late last month, reiterating a position it had taken earlier.

Backers of a state charter commission also like to depict themselves as champions of poor and inner-city students who find themselves trapped in poorly performing schools and need charters as an escape route. It’s a curious thing, though. Most of those pushing this constitutional amendment have no history of concern for poor Georgians in any other context. Not in health care, housing or employment, and not in any other aspect of education. Their sole area of concern seems to be expanding access to charter schools.

Maybe it’s just the cynic in me, but could it be that by feigning concern for poor children and their parents, well-connected, largely affluent parents also open the door to creating quasi-private schools for their own children, using taxpayer money diverted from the public school system?

I ask because urban school systems in Georgia have already made a significant commitment to charter schools. Some of those schools have performed well; others have not. That’s the nature of such experiments. But Atlanta Public Schools boasts 13 charter schools, and DeKalb County lists 13 of its schools as charters. Using the flexibility given it by current state law, the entire school system in Fulton County has gone to the charter form.

So why, exactly, do we need a separate, unaccountable and costly level of state bureaucracy again? Where is this vast unmet need for charters that can be addressed only through creation of a new state bureaucracy? It does not exist.

On the other hand, if the amendment passes, what will exist is a small, politically influential group of people with the power to recast public education in this state without oversight and independent of the usual checks and balances. And those who are going through all this trouble to seek that power clearly intend to use it.

– Jay Bookman

358 comments Add your comment

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:10 am

It’s not about education.

It’s about MONEY

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:11 am

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
7:12 am

I can not back charter schools for the simple fact that you’re taking taxpayer money and giving it to a group, sometimes a for-profit group, for the supposed purpose of improving the educational system. Part of the dysfunction of the educational system comes from the incessant need that politicians have to strip money from education. You can’t debilitate something and then complain that it’s broken. Hell, you broke it.

So why, exactly, do we need a separate, unaccountable and costly level of state bureaucracy again?

Because the state GOP here in Georgia love themselves some “Big Government”. You hear them level charges at Democrats for that same thing, but it’s all just a smoke screen for them to implement their version of big government.

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:12 am

Jay

I am very sorry for your loss of your great friend

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:21 am

Bro

It’s not BIG if the GOP creates it.

It functions so much better when THEY create a whole NEW division to oversee the the handouts :-)

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

September 17th, 2012
7:22 am

“So why, exactly, do we need a separate, unaccountable and costly level of state bureaucracy again?”

Most likely so somebody can make a profit….

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
7:26 am

By design, it (Georgia’s constitutional amendment) strips local voters, local parents and local officials of authority over charter schools and places it in the hands of those controlled by state politicians.”
====================================================

This is an outstanding column which speaks truth to power. Thank you for it. I am most grateful to the press which seeks a deeper truth than surface spin about what this amendment is about, in its essence. There is much money and power coming from outside of Georgia to insure passage of this amendment. Citizens must ask why this is happening. In fact, 96% of the nearly $500,000 an advocacy group has raised to persuade Georgians to amend the constitution has come from out-of-state donors. Only 4% of those funds have come from donors from Georgia. (Source: Friday’s AJC, page 1, article by AJC’s Wayne Washington, entitled, “Money pushing for vote not local.”)

I will post a series of short posts on this thread which will provide links that will explain in more detail the deeper motivations behind this amendment’s existence, which has the potential to change the landscape of public education in Georgia and throughout the nation.

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:26 am

I hope our “small government conservatives” have plenty of Motrin on hand. There’s gonna be some extreme stretching today.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
7:27 am

It’s not BIG if the GOP creates it.

Yeah, you’re right. I jumped the gun a bit on that one. All the GOP is doing is trying to ensure the free market can profit at the expense of taxpayers. I’m sure there’s a paper trail that leads to some elected official’s wallet somewhere. :)

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
7:32 am

Republican legislators in Georgia are, evidently, coordinated with, and connected to, a national Republican agenda of privatizing education throughout the nation. (See link, below, as well as the link that follows, in my next post.) The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has many corporations among its members, as well as some of Georgia’s legislators. Rep. Jan Jones, the sponsor of this amendment, when it was HR 1162, is a member of ALEC.

Some public charter schools use private corporations to manage their schools. This is a beginning step toward the privatization of public schools. (See link in my next post.) Some predict that voucher legislation will follow, based on precedence in other Republican dominated states. Privatizing education will, imo, ultimately lead to an educational industry that will be a means of greater profit to some corporations, and certainly much more so than is present within traditional public schools, which are primarily not based on profit.

http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/05/09/how-alec-is-quietly-influencing-education-refor/184156

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:34 am

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

September 17th, 2012
7:34 am

It’s all about smaller government, isn’t, Republicans?

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
7:34 am

Please read the link, below, for more information regarding ALEC and the privatization of public education.

I urge readers, also, to read the last link within that link, in which the words “excellent primer” are highlighted in blue ink. From the article in the link, below, are the following words:

“Check out this EXCELLENT PRIMER (caps are mine) by University of Wisconsin-Madison professors Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education, and Julie F. Mead for a deeper understanding of how ALEC undermines public education and how companies like virtual education providers Connections Academy and K-12 Inc. have wrangled their way to a pretty sweet deal. . . .”

http://www.educationvotes.nea.org/2012/05/03/alec-puts-its-fangs-to-education/

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:37 am

Bro

Most of the GOP has gotten real good at the paper trail (Romney’s 401k) so that might be a dead end.

I am doing a project right now that the fed regs have changed on the AML (Anti Money Laundering).

Banks will be required to track closer the people that seem to be moving a lot of cash back and forth.

Should be fun who turns up :-)

Thomas

September 17th, 2012
7:37 am

Why aren’t all kids allowed to go to the best of the best schools. Why should they be held back from being 1%ers? Why do we have a politicial elite and the rest of us have to send our kids to “normal” schools?

Unlike occasional teacher union opponent Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel does not send his kids to public schools. Instead, Emanuel’s children attend one of the most elite prep schools in Chicago, the University of Chicago Lab School, where the annual tuition is more than $20,000. (Emanuel has repeatedly refused to answer questions about why he eschews public schools for his children, telling reporters that it is a private family decision.)

President-elect Barack Obama and his wife have decided to send their kids to Sidwell Friends School. Michelle Obama confirmed yesterday that Malia and Sasha, the incoming first daughters, will enroll at the pricey private school when the family moves into the White House in January.

stands for decibels

September 17th, 2012
7:39 am

could it be that by feigning concern for poor children and their parents, well-connected, largely affluent parents also open the door to creating quasi-private schools for their own children, using taxpayer money diverted from the public school system?

Yes.

Decatur Joe

September 17th, 2012
7:39 am

You quote GaPTA as being against this but you failed to explain why GAPTA is on the verge of losing their membership with National PTA because of this issue. National PTA seeks quality authorizers of charter schools, recognizing 1/2 of all charter schools across the nation are authorized by an entity other than a local board of education. And please tell me, when was the last time you had complete confidence in the boards of APS, DeKalb, Clayton, and/or Cobb to make a decision more important than the purchasing of toilet paper? Or are we to assume you hold these boards up as models of good governance?

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
7:39 am

Vote “NO” to the amendment to Georgia’s Constitution in November. This amendment is not necessary. A means to establish public charter schools that work with, and are authorized by, local school districts already exists. Moreover, parents may presently appeal any decision made by their local school district, regarding denial of authorization of a specific public charter school, to the state Board of Education via the state Superintendent of Schools.

I am as concerned about the many students who will be left behind in traditional public schools, when a few students flee from them to attend charter schools, as I am for those few who leave. I desire that all students in Georgia achieve their individual academic potential. We must sustain our traditional public schools and work toward making them better. We can no longer afford to cut funding to traditional public education by over 4 billion dollars in five years, as Georgia’s Legislature has done, and expect Georgia’s traditional public schools to improve.

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:41 am

President-elect Barack Obama

AAAhhhhh HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Not even a good cut-and-paste job. Either that or you’re still living in 2008. How’s the pain feel from there? Are you worse off than we are now?

Common Freaking Sense isn't very Common

September 17th, 2012
7:42 am

Thomas

No one is against private schools, but to use tax payer dollars to send the kids there.

If the family decides to send their kids to private schools THEY need to pay for it.

My parents did it without taxpayer assistance. So parents need to make the sacrifice not the taxpayers.

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
7:44 am

I heard the Chairman of Georgia’s Educational Committee say publicly, “We are going to pass this amendment bill,” before the vote for HR 1162 was even cast. His mind had been made up as to the outcome of that bill, whatever citizens had to say in their public speeches to the House Education Committee, on that day of the Committee’s meeting during the last legislative session. Georgia’s Republican legislators, imo, are entrenched in this privatization of education movement.

Traditioinal public education can be improved, but it must be better funded, and programs must be developed to improve it – with genuine commitment from Georgia’s leaders. Public charter schools, working with and through local school districts, can help in this regard. Former Gov. Zell Miller had made a genuine commitment to public education and to public school teachers. As a result, under his leadership, legislation was passed that helped to improve traditional public education in Georgia.

Moreover, I do not want my tax dollars, that were previously used for public education, being used to enhance the profit margins of some corporations that have latched onto the “educational industry.” I imagine that there are other senior citizens, without school-aged children, as well as childless couples, and singles without children who, likewise, do not want their tax dollars – that had been meant for the “public good” through public education – used to enhance the profit margins of corporate interests of quasi-private “public” schools. If some parents desire to send their children to these quasi-private schools, then they should pay for them from their taxes, and not from the taxes of those citizens who do not have children in public schools and who, especially, do not support the gradual privatization of public schools, which will enhance the profit margins of private corporations.

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:45 am

Now there’s an interesting thought: if we got rid of private schools would public schools suddenly be better off because they’d have an influx of demanding 1%ers’ kids expecting to get a better education?

Jay

September 17th, 2012
7:48 am

“Instead, Emanuel’s children attend one of the most elite prep schools in Chicago, the University of Chicago Lab School, where the annual tuition is more than $20,000.”

So Thomas, since you want to give all students access to such wonderful schools, if all kids should be “allowed to go to the best of the best schools,” as you yourself put it, I take it that you would support vouchers of $20,000 each, or spending $20,000 each on public-school students?

Is that what you’re arguing here?

Because that’s doubling or even tripling what taxpayers pay now…. Are you willing to put your money behind your talk? Or is it just talk?

ken

September 17th, 2012
7:48 am

Lots of parental involvement sure helps. But the involvment seems to be on the sports field instead of academics.

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:49 am

Because that’s doubling or even tripling what taxpayers pay now…. Are you willing to put your money behind your talk? Or is it just talk?

More than triple. And it’s not just talk… it’s SOMEONE ELSE’S cut-and-pasted talk.

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:49 am

Why do we have a politicial elite and the rest of us have to send our kids to “normal” schools?

I went to private schools and my parents were solidly middle class. If you want to spend your money on monster SUV’s and other crap, that’s your decision.

Why, just the other day I was in the grocery store and the woman in front of me was buying filet mignon while blabbering on her iPhone about government handouts for charter schools. Then she drove off in her Escalade.

JamVet

September 17th, 2012
7:49 am

Any bets that the intentionally uninformed, poorly educated, BIG government, Republican voters in this state pass this measure by a wide margin?

Many of them have been enraged since we took their prayers to Jesus and Adam & Eve stories out of the classroom, and now they pretty much detest and distrust public education.

And in their minds, if this somehow weakens it, that is good. Especially if the mooches get a big fat subsidy that someone else is paying for…

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:49 am

But the involvment seems to be on the sports field instead of academics.

It’s more fun to yell at refs than at english teachers.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
7:52 am

NoCom

The paper might not be there, but I’m sure there are some bits and bytes floating around that light the path to the yellow brick road. I’d be interested at seeing the results of that extra tracking myself.

—————————

President-elect Barack Obama and his wife have decided to send their kids to Sidwell Friends School.

:shock: :shock: :shock: :shock:
Are you making predictions about this coming November???

Karl Marx

September 17th, 2012
7:52 am

“Traditioinal public education can be improved, but it must be better funded” Well we have been trying that for years and it has failed. It is time to try something different.The “if we just had more money” excuse for public schools just doesn’t cut it any more.

barking frog

September 17th, 2012
7:53 am

The state officials you elect
will determine how your tax
money is spent.

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:55 am

@Karl: so you’re saying that it’s time the taxpayers funded for-profit private schools — where they can self-select the kids they want to teach — that are chartered outside local government control? Or are you just babbling about nothing related to what we’re talking about?

ByteMe - Got ilk?

September 17th, 2012
7:56 am

The state officials you elect
will determine how your tax
money is spent.

I swear frog, just a little effort and your postings would be haiku.

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:57 am

It is time to try something different.

Yes, we need MORE government to solve this problem!

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
8:00 am

“These state authorized charter schools will also result in reduced funding for local public schools. Public schools have already experienced over $5 billion in austerity cuts that resulted in larger classes, teacher furloughs, program eliminations and fewer days spent in the classroom. According to State School Superintendent, Dr. John Barge, over $430 million will be needed to fund these new state authorized charter schools over the next five years. Given Georgia’s difficult economic times and the fact that the state budget will not provide increased funding for education (in fact most areas of the budget will be cut by an additional 3%), that $430 million will likely come from existing education funds used now to support education in local public schools. The state authorized commission charter schools will receive their funding from money diverted from local public schools which will negatively impact those local schools.These state authorized charter schools will also result in reduced funding for local public schools. Public schools have already experienced over $5 billion in austerity cuts that resulted in larger classes, teacher furloughs, program eliminations and fewer days spent in the classroom. According to State School Superintendent, Dr. John Barge, over $430 million will be needed to fund these new state authorized charter schools over the next five years. Given Georgia’s difficult economic times and the fact that the state budget will not provide increased funding for education (in fact most areas of the budget will be cut by an additional 3%), that $430 million will likely come from existing education funds used now to support education in local public schools. The state authorized commission charter schools will receive their funding from money diverted from local public schools which will negatively impact those local schools.”

http://sandysprings.patch.com/articles/georgia-pta-cannot-support-charter-school-amendment

barking frog

September 17th, 2012
8:01 am

Byte Me
More words are not more
wisdom.

stands for decibels

September 17th, 2012
8:02 am

Any bets that the intentionally uninformed, poorly educated, BIG government, Republican voters in this state pass this measure by a wide margin?

Per usual, they’ll vote in haste and repent at leisure.

Racism and School Desegregation Laws

September 17th, 2012
8:03 am

The Southern states do not have a good history of providing a quality education for all students….Voting for this new amendment will take this state back several years…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9ACS4PgDFA

stands for decibels

September 17th, 2012
8:07 am

that $430 million will likely come from existing education funds used now to support education in local public schools.

yeah, well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few kids eggs.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:08 am

“Traditioinal public education can be improved, but it must be better funded” Well we have been trying that for years and it has failed.

Got proof to back that statement up?

http://www.ajc.com/news/news/opinion/budget-cuts-in-education-failure-isnt-an-option-fo/nQLYC/

At first glance, it might seem business as usual as the 2009-2010 school year begins. It’s not, thanks to a ravenous recession that’s ripped multimillion-dollar hunks from Georgia’s state budget.

In recent weeks, school districts around the state have been scrambling to respond to a 3 percent cut in education funding announced by Gov. Sonny Perdue to help address stubbornly dropping state revenues.

And, given historic levels of state spending on education, we’ve got to make sure every penny invested in schools buys the best possible result. Georgia was a middling state in school spending even before the economic bust. A U.S. Census report released last month ranked Georgia 25th among states in per-pupil spending for 2006-07. Georgia’s $9,127 per pupil put us ahead of Montana, but behind Nebraska on the list.

And education budget cuts have a history in Georgia. Each fiscal year since 2003, “austerity” reductions have been made in state funding, totaling more than $1.5 billion since 2003.

So, according to this, Georgia has never been one to simply throw money at education, even before the economy collapsed. Given the fact that since more than $1.5 Billion have been cut from education since 2003, and one would think that almost 10 years of CUTTING education would mean that the idea of throwing money at education hasn’t been an issue for close to 10 years. It’s no coincidence that the cuts also match the GOP takeover of Georgia’s government either.

Funny that since the GOP took the reins, they haven’t completely collapsed the educational system here. I can’t say they haven’t tried it though. Maybe they need to cut educational funding some more. Why not shoot for $3 Billion in cuts in 10 years? There’s still another year to go.

My money, my vote

September 17th, 2012
8:08 am

Amendment 1 does not require parental involvement. Decisions will be made by an appointed – not elected – group in Atlanta. Amendment 1 uses your tax dollars but you have no voice. Amendment 1 expands state government. Today, if a local board denies a charter, the charter folks can appeal to the state – and have. Last year the state approved several. Amendment 1 is a duplication of bureaucracy. Check out http://www.votesmartgeorgia.com, click on Follow the Money to really understand what this is about. It’s not education, it’s not about charter schools and it’s not about kids.

Adam

September 17th, 2012
8:10 am

I think we can safely say at this point that pushing charter schools is an ideological initiative, and those behind it cannot be blind to the fact that it shifts taxpayer money into privately funded schools, subsidizes people who do not need assistance with private school funding, and removes funding from public schools (which further weakens them). All of these effects are, no doubt, the point of doing this. But, like most things the pushers of agendas like this do, they won’t admit it because they know it won’t get public support if the truth is known about what it actually means.

In addition, all objective evidence points to there being no net gain in educational outcomes as a result of these initiatives. And if you were to broaden the scope, and look at how public schools have been doing since the change put into place in other areas, you would find they were diminished and the students that got shifted to the private systems did not actually do any better. But no one has done such a study on the effects this has on school children who DON’T get shifted.

Whatever

September 17th, 2012
8:15 am

Jay,

I agree with what you said here. Say no to the charter amendment. We need more local control.

Now, let’s take that to the next logical step, enforce the Constitution, and limit Federal powers over the states back to where they should be. Local control is best on every level.

Ed Advocate

September 17th, 2012
8:16 am

@ Decatur Joe: you are a paid registered lobbyist pushing this amendment. Your personal and professional quest to tear GA PTA apart which has included trips to DC to lobby national PTA on your position and which also includes bashing GA PTA at every turn and exaggerating disagreement between state and national PTA is getting very tedious. Do your job! Convince Georgians on the merits of the amendment, but don’t denigrate good organizations doing great work for Georgians because they disagree with you.

Marty Huggins'

September 17th, 2012
8:16 am

Brosephus™
September 17th, 2012
7:12 am

I thought GA did not allow for profit entities to run Charter Schools.

Not 100% and tried to do some quick research. I found some states allow it but did not see GA lusted as one listed

Can you point me to where you got that information

Fly-On-The-Wall

September 17th, 2012
8:19 am

Follow the money trail. It will lead us to the corruption of the Republican Party here in Georgia and probably across the nation. How can someone honestly say that education is working fine here in Georgia when the Republicans have been cutting the education budget ever since they took power? If you don’t fund it, it WILL fail.

JKL2

September 17th, 2012
8:20 am

Jay- I take it that you would support vouchers of $20,000 each, or spending $20,000 each on public-school students?

Washington DC says,”What?” Where are these discount schools?

Whatever

September 17th, 2012
8:21 am

Fly,

Without money how can GA not cut? We are bringing in less revenue so cuts are necessary.

The Feds should also be cutting so we don’t rack up huge debt.

How come everyone wants to spend money we don’t have? Both sides have this problem. How about we demand they fix it?

kayaker 71

September 17th, 2012
8:23 am

Yeah, let’s all stand up and give a big old school cheer for the Atlanta Public School system and all of those bright, conscientious, and dedicated teachers in Clayton county. The biggest school scandal in the whole country when teachers are caught helping students to cheat on exams to help teachers keep their jobs and the parents of all of these kids are supposed to like it. Why do you suppose that the majority of parents would give their eye teeth to get their kids into a charter school? The teachers unions and the present system hasn’t worked for Atlanta and all you libs are gripping about it because some Republican proposed something, anything, to improve our kids chances at a good education. Yeah, liberals, with a graduation rate of 52% of Atlanta Public Schools, everything is great….. hell, we don’t need to fix a problem that doesn’t exist. Jeez.

My money, my vote

September 17th, 2012
8:23 am

One need only look at the charter schools asso. very own report on the DOE web site to see that their children perform no better than public school kids. The charter people will tell you they want district to district comparisons. Of course they do. They take kids from all over the state.

The “families” in families for better public schools (one of two groups behind this)? Seriously? Just look at all the out of state for profit companies flooding the “families” campaign to get this passed.

Wait til their movie “Don’t Back Down” comes out later this month. It was funded by a guy who wants to see creationism taught in classrooms. He also owns (among his 130 companies) Regal Cinemas.

barking frog

September 17th, 2012
8:23 am

Funding public schools at
the same level with more
students going to private
schools can result in
excessive costs per child
and funding cuts, also.

Fly-On-The-Wall

September 17th, 2012
8:25 am

Whatever,

The point is that the Republicans were cutting funding to the educational system even before the recession.

Since you asked a good question – spending money we don’t have; both sides have this problem; how about we fix it – what would you recommend? Please make sure you keep any feelings for the Federal issues out of the State ones because States must have a balanced budget and based on that Georgia isn’t spending money it doesn’t have.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:26 am

I thought GA did not allow for profit entities to run Charter Schools.

I did not specifically claim that Georgia had for-profit charter schools. I simply stated that some charter schools are operated by for-profit groups. I don’t agree with the concept of giving any private school access to taxpayer dollars. If a school wants to operate independently, then they need to find funding independently. If the county and it’s residents decide they want to move their entire school system to a charter-based system, then that’s on them. They will all still be funding their own schools.

As a taxpayer, I have funded public schools in Georgia for more than 8 years without having a single kid attend school here. I have no problem with ensuring the school system is funded to provide the best education possible in my county as I know that will help my overall property values. I will not agree to having my taxes go towards funding anybody’s private school education, even if it’s my own child. If I decide to put my child in a private school, I will pay for it myself. That is not a responsibility of the taxpayers to fund.

Thomas

September 17th, 2012
8:27 am

I fully agree Adam. The political elite should be allowed to send their kids wherever they want and then fuss and fume and public school teacher strikes where 99.97% of the teachers are scored above average. Why would we deviate from such a great system?

I think we can safely say at this point that pushing charter schools is an ideological initiative, and those behind it cannot be blind to the fact that it shifts taxpayer money into privately funded schools, subsidizes people who do not need assistance with private school funding, and removes funding from public schools (which further weakens them).

David Farrar

September 17th, 2012
8:27 am

Vote “YES” on the Charter School Amendment as the only means presently at our disposal to empower the consumers of public education, the students, and, in the case of juveniles: their parents, from the clutches of “ORGANIZED LABOR” and state bureaucrats.

If you want a better public education system in Georgia: empower its consumers.

ex animo
davidfarrar

Whatever

September 17th, 2012
8:28 am

Fly,

I commend GA for keeping a balanced budget. However, you can’t keep the Feds out of this discussion as they send tons of money (that they don’t have) to schools. That also needs to be worked out.

My recommendation to you is not to complain that your state cuts money to schools when they don’t have the money to begin with. That’s disingenuous.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:28 am

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:57 am

It is time to try something different.

Yes, we need MORE government to solve this problem!
+++++++++++++++++++++++

Which is exactly what Nathan Deal and your beloved Republicans are proposing Aquagirl. More Gov’t. But a Gov’t that has no voter control. Seee then they can steal the money and give it too their friends.

How can you support this? Have you lost your mind? Instead of posting quaint little bumper sticker phrases THINK about what you are postign dammit. You are too smart to be playing this “Republican/Democrat game with our childrens future.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
8:29 am

“By design, it strips local voters, local parents and local officials of authority over charter schools and places it in the hands of those controlled by state politicians.”

Local school control has not proven successful considering how badly American schools are. Federal control is way too distant. I think mayoral or control by the governor strikes the right balance.

TaxPayer

September 17th, 2012
8:31 am

Rupert Murdoch believes in education. So much so that he has a division, the Eudcation Division, of his company devoted to it. Isn’t it nice to know that he cares so much about your children’s education.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:31 am

Vote “YES” on the Charter School Amendment as the only means presently at our disposal to empower the consumers of public education, the students, and, in the case of juveniles: their parents, from the clutches of “ORGANIZED LABOR” and state bureaucrats.

That’s funny. Voting Yes will do no such thing. If you’re worried about “organized labor” in education in the state of Georgia, then you’re worried about the wrong thing. If you’re worried about state bureaucrats in Georgia, then pay more attention to who you’re voting for, especially in primary elections, instead of blindly voting along party lines.

Most of all, simply being more involved in the educational system will produce better results than changing Georgia’s Constitution. Funny that the party that always talks about following the Constitution is also the party that always wants to change it to suit their needs, whether on a state or federal level.

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
8:32 am

How can you support this? Have you lost your mind?

It was early. I messed up the sarcasm tags.

Joseph

September 17th, 2012
8:33 am

Here’s where your wrong Jay. You have no clue what its like to have a child in a failing school system with no option but private school. In the mind of a liberal parents should be forced to send their kids to public school and just suck it up. Where your seriously flawed though Jay is that parents are appointed by other parents to sit on the board and the PTA and held accountable. This, in rural area’s works much better with all the voter fraud through absentee ballots that goes on. But of course that’s something you deny too so that’s a whole different argument…

Granny Godzilla - Union Thugette

September 17th, 2012
8:33 am

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
7:49 am
Why do we have a politicial elite and the rest of us have to send our kids to “normal” schools?

I went to private schools and my parents were solidly middle class. If you want to spend your money on monster SUV’s and other crap, that’s your decision.

.
.
.
.
Well said

Same here…my folks spent every dime they had sending 7 kids to
really great Catholic schools…

It was more important that houses and cars and vacations and color tv’s.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:33 am

I think mayoral or control by the governor strikes the right balance.

Yep, if you’re thirsting for autocratic rule.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:34 am

Charter Schools are a way for the wealth envy crowd who tote the mail for the one percenters to get ME to pay for THEIR damn private schools, the bunch of greedy, government supported slime balls. If you want to send YOUR kids to private schools then sacrifice like I do an PAY FOR IT YOUR DAMN SELF, YOU REPUBLICAN WELFARE SLUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

Marty Huggins'

September 17th, 2012
8:35 am

Brosephus™
September 17th, 2012
8:26 am

Ok thanks, was just curious about the for profit thing.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:35 am

LOL Aquagirl: You had me worried.

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
8:35 am

The following excerpt is from the Washington Post’s article entitled: “How the Walton Foundation spent 157 million on education reform in Washington DC and other places.”

(For the information of the public, from Friday’s (9/14/12) AJC article on Georgia’s constitutional amendment, entitled “Money pushing for vote not local,” are these words: “Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton of Arkansas has given $250,000 to the cause.”)
———————————————————————————

“The three are leaders of what education historian Diane Ravitch termed ‘the billionaire boy’s club’ (in her best-selling book The Death and Life of the Great American School System ) because they are run by the super-wealthy who promote the privatization of public education and high-stakes standardized testing as the school reform solutions.

The money these foundations pour into public education has an important effect on the shape of education reform, which some critics say is undemocratic because the priorities are selected by wealthy businessmen who want to support their own pet projects. Another big issue in the movement toward privatizing public education is whether it is a good idea to make public schools dependent on the good will — and business fortunes — of private entities.”

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/post/how-walton-foundation-spent-157-million-on-ed-reform-in-dc-and-other-places/2011/06/28/AGhLy0pH_blog.html

TaxPayer

September 17th, 2012
8:37 am

We know our constituency needs an education, so why not profit from it. – Santorum’s inner mind.

TN_Realist

September 17th, 2012
8:38 am

This is one more amendment that has no rational need to have been introduced, as others have noted, and has no rational need to be passed by the voters in GA. Funny how Goverment involvement is reviled except when it comes to something you are in favor of or will make money off of.

Have a good day all.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

“Some of those schools have performed well; others have not. That’s the nature of such experiments. ”

Tech High is gone and Aylanta charters are going down the tubes because APS cut the funds paid to charter’s so they could continue to pay absurd benefit increases to APS teachers. How’s that sitting with everyone.

And Tech High didn’t serve yuppies.

Jay your skepticism isn’t crazy. But maybe some optimism is needed too.

barking frog

September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

Fred™
Blood pressure.

Marty Huggins'

September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

What is the option if a parent lives in a failing school’s district and that parent does not have the funds to send their child to private school?

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:40 am

Marty

No problem.

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
8:41 am

LOL Aquagirl: You had me worried.

I have a lot of people worried, join the club.

kayaker 71

September 17th, 2012
8:43 am

For all you liberals that deny that there is a problem in public education, try watching the movie, “Waiting for Superman”. It is an eye opening, cogent portrayal of our system of public education in the US. It portrays the teacher’s unions as self serving, entrenched people who are more interested in their own benefits than educating our children. Hell, just look at the Chicago. Those “dedicated” public servants demanded a 30% raise when they already make an average of 71K/yr before benefits for working only 9 mos of the year. They were offered 16% and turned it down. Only 15% of Chicago 4th graders can read and with a 56% graduation rate, only slightly better than Atlanta, they should be well on their way to produce more than just a few Rhodes Scholars out of that bunch, should we not?

Mick

September 17th, 2012
8:44 am

Excellent column jay – it’s another case of slithering politics, the times they are a changin…by the way, are there any great investigative journalists left? This whole episode of an anti-muslim film, 911, and romney issuing a statement so fast on its heels should raise some red flags…where there is smoke there is most certainly fire…

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:44 am

What is the option if a parent lives in a failing school’s district and that parent does not have the funds to send their child to private school?

They have the same option as every other parent, including those in superb districts… become more active in their child’s education. Doing that involves more than just making sure the child attends schools. Being more active requires knowing what’s going on with their local BOE, elections, and what’s going on within the school itself.

I have a 4 year old who will enter the school system for the first time next fall. My goal is to ensure my child is already capable of reading, writing, and counting before she sets a foot onto whatever school grounds she attends. I haven’t decided whether I will put her in public schools or if I’ll foot the bill for a private education. Either way, I actively work to ensure she’s going to be prepared either way.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:45 am

Joseph

September 17th, 2012
8:33 am

Here’s where your wrong Jay. You have no clue what its like to have a child in a failing school system with no option but private school.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Try getting your lazy ass off the blog here then and getting a second job, or a third job…………. blog less your failed ideas, and work harder. Isn’t that the Republican way? Quit trying to use the Government to stick a gun in my face to steal MY money (that I worked hard for) to send YOU child to private school because you are too lazy to work for yourself.

I’m tired of you welfare slugs on the Government teat stealing my money. WORK. Become a high achiever and then you too can send you kids to private school you welfare king.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
8:46 am

“Because that’s doubling or even tripling what taxpayers pay now…”

Not in APS. It would be a big increase (40-50%), but not doubling

And if you could get the same quality of education across the board, I’d say go for it….

Paul

September 17th, 2012
8:48 am

Morning, Granny

“Most likely so somebody can make a profit….”

It does appear both bases are covered – money and power.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:48 am

barking frog

September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

Fred™
Blood pressure.
++++++++++++++++++++

My blood pressure is great frog. I’m just sitting here laughing my butt off watching all these REPUBLICAN HYPOCRITES as they whine for more welfare. It’s freaking hilarious. I’m about to go upstairs and pop some popcorn to go with my coffee as I watch these WELFARE SLUGS whine about trying to get more welfare money.

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
8:49 am

I want to highlight the following excerpt from Sarah Knopp’s article on the charter school movement in America. The below describes what is happening in Florida’s charter reform movement.

Link below. (I strongly urge readers to read the full 20 page, well documented link, which is replete with revealing detail regarding the charter school movement in America. Ms. Knopp is a teacher in San Francisco.)
——————————————————————

“And then there is corruption. Celerity, a nonprofit charter school that made an attempt to co-locate on the campus of Wadsworth Elementary in Los Angeles, contracts out all its services to a for-profit firm, Nova, run by the same owner. This backdoor model—of a nonprofit funneling dollars to a separate, for-profit entity—is common. Kent Fischer explained it in the St. Petersburg Times:

‘The profit motive drives business…. More and more, it’s driving Florida school reform. The vehicle: charter schools. This was not the plan. These schools were to be ‘incubators of innovation,’ free of the rules that govern traditional districts. Local school boards would decide who gets the charters, which spell out how a school will operate and what it will teach. To keep this deal, lawmakers specified that only nonprofit groups would get charters. But six years later, profit has become pivotal…. For-profit corporations create nonprofit foundations to obtain the charters, and then hire themselves to run the schools. (Footnote 34)″ ”

http://www.isreview.org/issues/62/feat-charterschools.shtml
———————————————————————————–

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:52 am

Those “dedicated” public servants demanded a 30% raise when they already make an average of 71K/yr before benefits for working only 9 mos of the year. They were offered 16% and turned it down.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/education/ct-met-chicago-teachers-strike-details-20120917,0,1230224.story

Teacher pay: The union and Chicago Public Schools appear to agree on a traditional salary schedule that other districts have begun to abandon. CPS teachers will be eligible for three kinds of raises: a base raise; a “step” raise for adding a year of experience, and a “lane” raise for a master’s degree and additional graduate credits.

The automatic base increase would be 3 percent in the first year and 2 percent in the next two years, under a three-year contract. If the contract is extended to a fourth year, the base raise would be 3 percent. Step and lane increases would continue, though it was not clear how much they would be. Some steps will be larger than others, as a way to retain experienced teachers.

Overall, CPS spokeswoman Becky Carroll said, the raises would be 17.6 percent, on average, over four years. Raises would vary, with some teachers potentially getting raises in the “late 20s (percent),” Carroll said, especially if they earn a graduate degree or more credits. CPS teachers on average earned $71,236 in 2011, state data show.

So, if they turned down 16%, why would the average be 17.6% with the potential to get to the 20’s if one pursues graduate degrees or further their training/education with additional credits? Wouldn’t it be a good thing to offer a reward for those who further their education and/or training for the purpose of better educating the students?

Anyway, I know it’s not unheard of for people to not allow an ideological rant to go without posting…

Mary Elizabeth

September 17th, 2012
8:52 am

I do not want to see school children used for the profit motives of profiteers of public school education. Vote NO to this amendment in November.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
8:52 am

Bro I’m for accountability

Which doesn’t exist now

Btw, you’re a good guy, but this is a stupid statement: “I did not specifically claim that Georgia had for-profit charter schools. I simply stated that some charter schools are operated by for-profit groups. ”

For obvious reasons.

Mick

September 17th, 2012
8:52 am

yaker

Waiting for superman is a film for the gullible. Notice how the people who get “picked” for these schools have complete parental support. The public schools have to accept every student regardless of socio-economic status. How motivated is an elementary student that lives with his cousins aunt, who smokes crack, going to be??? Yet, you and countless fools will blame who? The teachers unions…the problems are complex and charter schools are the flavor of the month..go sub in an inner city school if you want truth…

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
8:53 am

Marty Huggins’

September 17th, 2012
8:39 am

What is the option if a parent lives in a failing school’s district and that parent does not have the funds to send their child to private school?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Quit being a loser, work harder, pay more taxes so the rich can pay less and then vote Republican. You should have made better choices, gone to church more and not had kids you couldn’t afford. Get a better job. If you were smarter and worked harder you wouldn’t be in this position. Besides, they aren’t going to build charter schools for you anyway. They are going to be for the rich folks in the suburbs. The STATE is going to control that cash and they are going to pay off their rich friends first. What can YOU do for the Republican politicians if you can’t even afford to educate your kids? That’s right NOTHING so what are they going to do for you? You guessed it, same as they are doing now. NOTHING except beat you down. So you keep voting for these folks you silly little goose.

See how easy the answer is?

Aquagirl

September 17th, 2012
8:53 am

What is the option if a parent lives in a failing school’s district and that parent does not have the funds to send their child to private school?

Maybe that parent should get involved in their child’s school. Join the PTA, talk to other parents, and so forth. Or homeschool. Or quit spending money on crap like iPhones or gas-guzzling SUV’s.

If they don’t like the police services in their area they don’t get a subsidy for rent-a-cops either.

Paul

September 17th, 2012
8:53 am

Morning, Mick

Still have my email address/phone #? If so, please drop me a line. I have something to discuss off-line.

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:55 am

Fred @ 8:48

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

It is quite enjoyable to watch, isn’t it?? Maybe I should do the popcorn thing myself.

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Normal Free...Pro Human Rights Thug...And liking it!

September 17th, 2012
8:56 am

Off topic, but I guess y’all had seen this

http://www.thenation.com/blog/169968/wisconsin-judge-rules-walkers-anti-labor-law-null-and-void

Makes you glad to be an American. Justice prevails.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
8:58 am

Normal 8:56 not over yet

You libs

September 17th, 2012
8:58 am

Separate but equal 2.0

Mick

September 17th, 2012
8:59 am

paul

No, I don’t…lost some papers at the airport security check and your phone # seems to be one of them. If you have my cell, just call and I’ll get in touch. Also, might be in plano at the end of october…let me know…

Peadawg

September 17th, 2012
9:00 am

Brosephus™
September 17th, 2012
8:52 am

Those teachers in Chicago need to get the f back to work. The schools are under-performing and the teachers want a raise? :lol: Yeah right.

Fred ™

September 17th, 2012
9:01 am

So how am I doing as a Republican? Do I have all the lines right? Looks good so far to me.

But on a serious note: If what a charter school does is so good, then do that same thing in ALL the public schools. Quit segregating.

We all know that the bottom line is that the charter school movement is based solely on the desire of parents to get their children away from “those people’s” children.

Jm

September 17th, 2012
9:02 am

I think given the quality of the dialogue on here, we can say liberals are as much cro-magnon as the cons.

The lack of intellectual rigor is astounding.

Mick

September 17th, 2012
9:02 am

**The schools are under-performing**

Funny, but back in my day if the school was underperforming, the students usually were held accountable also, its not just the teachers…

David Farrar

September 17th, 2012
9:03 am

Brosephus™

September 17th, 2012
8:31 am

Being “involved with” without being “empowered in,” as are the teacher’s unions and state bureaucrats, is meaningless. Once you have the power to decide which educational facility gets your child’s educational dollar, you will be empowered to make the kind of changes presently necessary to significantly increase the academic achievel levels of all schools in Georgia.

EMPOWER THE CONSUMERS OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IF YOU WANT BETTER PUBLIC EDUCATION. IT’S JUST THAT SIMPLE.

ex animo
davidfarrar