The brewing of a bruising fight over charter schools

For the last couple years, the focus has been on transportation as the public policy issue likely to dominate the 2012 political season.

But the Georgia Supreme Court may have changed that with its recent decision that declared the state’s involvement in the establishment of public charter schools was unconstitutional.

A small crowd braved the rainy weather to attend a rally for charter schools at the state Capitol on Thursday. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

A small crowd braved the rainy weather to attend a rally for charter schools at the state Capitol on Thursday. Bob Andres, bandres@ajc.com

Specifically, the court said the state had no business depriving local school systems of nearly $8 million in funding in order to establish alternative schools in their midst.

The only way to overturn the 4-3 decision is through a constitutional amendment that would be presented statewide to voters in November 2012. All the ingredients for a knockdown, drag-out fight are there:

– School choice is a foundational tenet of current Republican philosophy. Depending on the GOP nominee for president, turning out core voters could be a concern. The charter school issue might provide a tempting, second reason to flock to the polls.

– The private foundations that have underwritten the charter school movement in Georgia are also likely to finance a substantial campaign to restore the legal status of 16 charter schools and the 15,000 students they serve.

– Georgia’s 180 public school systems and hundreds of local PTA chapters are just as likely to fight any effort they think might siphon off funding for the other 1.6 million students in Georgia public schools.

– Three state Supreme Court members will be up for re-election at the same time. Chief Justice Carol Hunstein and Justice Hugh Thompson were among the four who declared the Georgia Charter School Commission constitutionally invalid. So there will be an opportunity to put real-life faces to an otherwise dry and complicated issue. (Note to oddsmakers: Hunstein decimated her well-funded opponent in 2006.)

But the charter school matter is far from a slam-dunk. To be placed on a general election ballot, a constitutional amendment requires two-thirds passages by both chambers of the General Assembly.

The effort will be spearheaded in the House by Speaker pro tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, who noted that the measure to establish the Georgia Charter School Commission in 2008 passed her chamber with 120 of 180 votes.

But Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, the chairman of the Senate education committee, thinks much arm-twisting will be required. “Once you get out of the metro [Atlanta] area, your two largest employers are your school systems and your hospitals. I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure,” Millar said.

Millar and Jones concede that the topic of vouchers will have to be avoided at all costs.

The Senate, thrown into disarray by a GOP leadership squabble, is where the measure could most easily be blocked. “I strongly believe in local school systems having control of the schools they pay for,” said Senate Democratic Leader Steve Henson of Tucker.

Yet, according to some, getting a constitutional amendment out of the Legislature would be the easy part.

B.J. Van Gundy, a member of the now-mothballed Georgia Charter Schools Commission and a longtime Republican activist, is already scouting for money to use in next year’s campaign.

Much of the cash would have to go toward explaining exactly what a Georgia charter school is — a public school that isn’t bound by the usual rules or regulations. In return, it is held responsible for producing higher results. Set forth in a charter.

“It is always a challenge, even with intelligent people who understand things like school choice — they don’t understand charter schools,” Van Gundy said. Worse, because presidential elections attract the highest number of voters — nearly 4 million in 2008 — that message would have to reach a very large statewide audience.

That’s expensive. And meanwhile, Van Gundy said, the argument from the other side is simpler. And cheap. “The local school districts can all put out signs that say ‘Protect local school money — don’t let it be taken away by the state,’” he said.

Perhaps with that dynamic in mind, some Republicans have begun to recast the implications of the state Supreme Court’s decision — among them Jones, the No. 2 ranking member of the House.

“To me there is a much broader issue,” she said, pointing to the court’s declaration that local school systems have “exclusive” control over education.

“The Supreme Court reinterpreted the partnership between the state and school boards in educating Georgia students. Essentially, the court eliminated the state’s ability to protect its brand,” Jones said.

Can the state remove dysfunctional school board members now? Set classroom sizes? Punish systems riddled with cheating administrators?

“Can parents, can taxpayers, hold the state accountable for education paid for with tax dollars? I believe the state Supreme Court has said no,” she said.

The speaker pro tem said she didn’t know what a constitutional response to the Supreme Court decision might look like, but she’s hoping for a non-controversial, bipartisan approach like that used to address reductions in the HOPE scholarship.

“There are many types of schools that, over time, will not fit neatly into attendance zones,” Jones said. To think otherwise, she added, is “akin to tethering Georgians to landline telephones.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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53 comments Add your comment

Ah ha!

June 25th, 2011
3:27 pm

If there were any such thing as accountability in the school system, do you think that every single educated Georgian would be the P-brained stunt-wanker that he truly is? In this real world that we all must endure, accountability in any bureaucracy is the most unheard of thing I’ve ever heard of. And we must accept that the dunce-cap challenged board members are the poster-child proof of the peter principle.

‘muff said.

Larry Major

June 25th, 2011
4:01 pm

Currently, the state DOE can approve charter schools, which get full state funding. If these schools want local funding, it has to be approved by the local taxpayers who provide the money.

I don’t see what needs to be fixed.

Also, the last “good idea” from this crew was an appointed commission that took state education funding away from Gwinnett students and treated our kids like doormats.

Don’t be surprised if the larger issue for our state representatives is to convince the people who put them in office that they don’t think our kids are second class citizens. After what they did, it won’t be easy.

Confused in Gwinnett

June 25th, 2011
4:18 pm

Larry,
So I don’t quite understand. What changed since the 3 denials of Ivy Prep three years ago ? GPCS now obviously thinks they are worthy of funding with local taxpayer money, albeit many content that they are getting shafted on the local portion of the allotment. It is the same girls, same founder, same single gender, same everything, same building. So what do you think changed their mind ?

Tony

June 25th, 2011
4:32 pm

The issues surrounding charter schools as one avenue of improving “choice” are being oversimplified and exaggerated. Perhaps, a good healthy debate about the issues would serve both sides some good.

Of the two schools that were both turned down yesterday, neither had an innovative plan that distinguished them from the public schools in their areas. The claim that the schools provided a way out of failing schools didn’t apply to either situation, since both Coweta and Cherokee have excellent schools.

The real problem with Charters as they are currently being pushed in Georgia is the fact that our state is not even fully funding its regular schools. Once they meet this constitutional requirement, perhaps then they can look at ways to offer choice.

khc

June 25th, 2011
4:36 pm

another bank bites the dust, thank you repub party of ga

David Hoffman

June 25th, 2011
4:48 pm

Jan Jones brings up issues that have nothing to do with the Georgia State Supreme Court ruling. The court said a state agency cannot steal local taxpayer supplied school funding to pay for charter schools the local school board did not approve. If the State of Georgia wants to fund state administered and approved charter schools, then the State of Georgia can pay for them out of state taxpayer revenue. The court did not say the State of Georgia could not enforce laws and regulations dealing with other issues. And who the heck refers to public education administration as “…the court eliminated the state’s ability to protect its brand.”. Jones sounds like an ad agency executive, not a person with public school leadership experience. Disgusting.

Alabama Communist

June 25th, 2011
5:12 pm

No doubt the greatest enemy to public education is the Republican Party, the next time some half wit Republican Tea Party Clown uses the Constitution as the excuse for Charter Schools, remind them that Thomas Jefferson was the first American to push for Public Schools….

Not fooled in Gwinnett

June 25th, 2011
5:13 pm

So GCPS pays for food service, transportation and provided a fully renovated half empty building for the students attending the Gwinnett, Math & Science & Technology charter. Their petition at the state DOE also allows them to provide extra funds for students if they find it necessary.

For Ivy Prep, they offered squat of those items and are so arrogant apparently they didn’t even put a pen to the paper for an agreement. But with a wink and a nod, seem to still fool the public that the school was offered a fair deal at 4300 per FTE. No food, no transportation. no building. most importantly no bad press for Gwinnett. Talk about separate and unequal, I feel like we are turning back to an era most of us would prefer to forget.

So as these districts start to whine about quality charter schools sapping funds off local taxpayers – hand them a mirror and ask to be transparent about their prized LEA district start up charters.

Urban Dweller

June 25th, 2011
5:16 pm

If even some urban (Atlanta) Democrats unite with Republicans to support the charter movement, then I bet the chances for passage of a constitutional amendment would increase dramatically.

Taxpayer

June 25th, 2011
6:43 pm

Out here in Cobb, most all of the elected folks who support “charters” already have their kids, sort of like Clark Howard and his Westminster, Olens and the International School, Erhart’s Old Dominion and another private school, Chip Rogers, and yes even Bobbie Franklin and his private school etc etc. What kids are really being helped ? Most charters and private school just control applications, acceptance and enrollment and have very little additional value ad in reality but their marketing protrays quite a different story..

Laurie

June 25th, 2011
7:36 pm

We don’t need private parties profitting off our public school system which is already resource strapped. Enough said!

catlady

June 25th, 2011
7:57 pm

Laurie, we already have private schools profiting off of taxpayer money in the sped vouchers. We also have private schools profiting off taxpayer money with the sweetheart (wink, wink, nod, nod) program where you can pay your taxes, instead of into the state of Georgia coffers, into the scholarship funds of private schools, dollar for dollar. Either way, you and your neighbors are paying for those private schools who participate.

I’d like to see turned down charter schools allowed to apply to the state for full funding (from some redirected resource, no doubt) for funding for 2-3 years. Then, if the charter “proves itself”, the public BOE would be required to take it in. However, no exclusions of sped kids allowed.

Our public schools need to get a handle on what parents are looking for with charters: smaller classes, tighter discipline, higher expectations. There is no reason regular public schools cannot do this, but they have chosen the easy route: no expectations for anyone except teachers. We can see that that doesn’t work! Let’s find things that DO work!

catlady

June 25th, 2011
8:01 pm

One more thing: the state currently requires local taxpayers to pay for education in other counties. It is called Fair Share, and it takes several million a year from my poor, rural, 75% free lunch, Title 1 system and send to “poor” systems such as Gwinnett. That really is galling.

findog

June 25th, 2011
8:32 pm

Jim, Jim, Jim,
We are going to have to expand charter schools here in Georgia to keep the progressive LGBT families away from the regressive incest families now that the Republicans of New York have approved Gay Marriage…

Ronin

June 25th, 2011
8:50 pm

catlady,
***I’d like to see turned down charter schools allowed to apply to the state for full funding (from some redirected resource, no doubt) for funding for 2-3 years. Then, if the charter “proves itself”, the public BOE would be required to take it in. However, no exclusions of sped kids allowed.***

That’s a good idea. The bottom line is. Georgia schools are lagging behind the rest of the nation.
Your idea would allow an alternative option. While some people are so vigorously support the current education model is beyond me. We are last or near last in most testing scores. Why keep repeating the same behavior when its proven that it’s not working.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Albert Einstein

Jennifer

June 25th, 2011
10:14 pm

Catlady –
I am from Gwinnett and you are right on target. Gwinnett though does have many schools with students in high poverty BUT the district choses to do that as the status quo. They could be using socioeconomic indicators to balance out the wealthier communities with those less affluent. Plus here we have corporations galore and heavy political connections. I feel for the real rural areas – I have been, and I have seen the awful lack of resources.
And please let’s not forget about the horrendous profit makers that no one seems to ever think twice about – OMBUDSMAN – alternative schools for students tribunaled out of the traditional school that make money off of kids and on top of that provide no education for the students.

paulo977

June 25th, 2011
10:16 pm

Alabama
Communist

“half wit Republican Tea Party Clown uses the Constitution as the excuse for Charter Schools, remind them that Thomas Jefferson was the first American to push for Public Schools….”

Great way of speaking the truth …like it or not!!

Barry

June 25th, 2011
10:50 pm

If I don’t like my local sheriff, can I get a voucher to pay for private security?

Stoic supporter of change

June 25th, 2011
10:56 pm

The debate over charter schools is not a convoluted one. As usual the south is resistant to change, an inevitable fact of life. We have watched the demographics change in Georgia and have done nothing different to our education system but add a few smart boards in classrooms of grossly undertrained teachers. This states inability to accept charter schools indicates that Georgia has found a place of complacency that will leave us worlds behind other states and the competitive global market. While you may live in your cozy suburb with your school that makes ayp every year please understand that our state is providing million of students with an inadequate education And your child is no exception. Our average sat score lags behind the nation along with our graduation rates. So congratulations to Georgia continue to run on the treadmill and watch the world leave us behind thousands o f children at a time

Publicola

June 25th, 2011
11:04 pm

@Ronin gets it right. We’re at the bottom of the heap in education so why are so many scared of providing options to parents?

@Tony what does ‘fully funded’ mean? I saw a tv interview a few years ago where a school official was asked how much money schools needed and she answered “you can’t give us enough.”

Simple idea

June 25th, 2011
11:39 pm

Allowing parents, most expecially those who are unable to afford choice, to have options within public education is not stupid, not irrational, not a Republican agenda, and not an attemptmto destroy public education. It is meant to enhance public education. How does it feel for a parent who does not believe their zoned public school is cutting it for their child? Even for wealthy parents who want to utlize their tax dollars through public education, charters provide a choice. Imagine how empowering it must be for a parent to be able to say to themselves, “what is the best setting for my child, the traditional public school or the charter public school?”. Take the power out of the hands of elected officials in the General Assembly and local board of education and put it in the hands of parents.

Jo Q Citizen

June 26th, 2011
12:25 am

I do not support charter schools. I do however support your school tax dollars being given back to you in the form or a voucher. allowing you to send your child where you want them to be educated. A private school education should not be paid for by the tax payer. Choice is not what this is about at all. Public school parents want a private school education without paying the extra dollars out of pocket that private school parents are paying.

Larry Major

June 26th, 2011
12:52 am

@Confused, I really don’t know what changed; it’s my punishment for missing ONE board meeting. I know Ivy Prep submitted multiple petitions, which included a boys’ school to address the single gender issue, and maybe they finally fixed their budget, but that’s just a guess. I’ll have to find out next month when I take the pledge never to miss another meeting.

Charter schools are PUBLIC schools

June 26th, 2011
1:26 am

Jo Q Citizen @12:25 am

You are completely confused. Charter schools are public schools. Don’t believe? Check out the Georgia Dept. of Education on Charter schools. Sounds like you might learn all sorts of new things.

As for vouchers, that is siphoning off money to private schools.

Charters schools = public schools
Vouchers = money sent to private schools

Charter schools are PUBLIC schools

June 26th, 2011
1:34 am

Oops, forgot the link.

Here are the Ga DOE FAQs on charter schools:
http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/pea_charter.aspx?PageReq=PEACSGENFAQ

Note the second question and answer in the first section (Charter School Basics).

“Are charter schools public schools?”

“Yes. Charter schools are public schools. As such they receive public funding, cannot charge tuition, must have fair and open enrollment, must be secular, and are required to serve all student populations, including students with disabilities and English language learners.”

Fire Eater

June 26th, 2011
4:50 am

The more money that is spent on the public fool system, the dumber the kids seem to get. Recent test score show that the districts that spend the most per student have the lowest test scores. For example, Forsyth county was on top of test scores in one category while Dekalb was a the bottom of the same category. The city of Atlanta spends more per student than anyone else yet their scores are rock bottom.

People, you should really send your kids to private school or homeschool. The public fools exist to produce pliant tools.

The Centrist

June 26th, 2011
6:57 am

“The city of Atlanta spends more per student than anyone else yet their scores are rock bottom.” Actually for elementary schools, it is Bibb County, but what the heck. “Researchers found that one-third of Georgia high schools have low graduation rates and that those 130 schools are not limited to urban areas: 32 are located in cities, 36 are in the suburbs and 37 are in rural areas.”

jconservative

June 26th, 2011
7:19 am

Can the State legally send money to the 180 local school systems?

Tom E. Gunn

June 26th, 2011
8:04 am

Just as this court decision gives local control BACK to the local school boards, (as it should be)
a change in the law would center more power and control in Atlanta. Don’t fall for it.

John

June 26th, 2011
8:25 am

It is funny that conservatives shout and scream about about no child left behind “get the feds out of our local schools – local schools should have local control” but just as quickly shout and scream about charter schools “get the state in our local schools – local schools should have state control.”. I have no problem with charter schools but they should only be allowed if the local school board authorizes it. After all the funding will be coming from the local school boards budget and no one in Atlanta has any business telling someone in Cordele how our where their school dollars should be spent.

Michael in Decatur

June 26th, 2011
8:28 am

The first priority of ‘public’ schools in GA is to provide jobs for adults. Administrators, teachers, security, custodians, food service, counselors, maintenance, coaches, band directors, choral directors, etc, etc. The second priority is deliver quality programs and instruction. If your local school is unacceptable, you have two choices. Move or find a private school (while you continue to pay for the ‘public’ school).

I have no idea what the state is doing to help educate kids, They appear to be more focused on jobs for adults. Kathy Cox’s integrated math program was a complete disaster that cost millions in new books and training for teachers. Thanks for nothing Kathy!

We need more competion locally. Parents need choice. Schools need to fight to attract and keep students, like colleges.

Today your local school is just a baby-sitting service for any child who happens to live in the district. And if doesn’t matter if they are here legally or not. The more kids the better. That way we can hire more aduilts….

.

d

June 26th, 2011
8:54 am

Here’s the big problem. The state created a lot of regulations for public schools to bind them from being innovative to meet the needs of their students and then said, well, public schools aren’t working so let’s create charter schools that don’t have all the regulations that traditional public schools have….. Um, how about we look at the regulations that are causing the problems to begin with and maybe rewrite all of Title 20…… This rewrite cannot be done by the politicians though, classroom teachers (and not just the suburban classroom teachers) need to be a part of this.

Also, let’s fully fund QBE (unlike the $3 Billion that our previous governor cut from QBE funding during his 8 years in office). I’m not saying “throw money” at the schools, but let’s fund them the way they are supposed to be funded and reevaluate what’s going on. I’m sure with all the furloughs and cutbacks we’ve had the past few years causing teachers to take on second or third jobs just to pay their bills isn’t helping them be the most effective teachers that they can be.

catlady

June 26th, 2011
9:23 am

d: Let’s fund them the way that the state’s own rules and regs say they are supposed to be funded. I don’t want EXTRA money (although with the change in demographics, we need it) I just want to have the money we are supposed to, by Georgia law, have!

We had “austerity” cuts before we even had austerity situations!

Jennifer

June 26th, 2011
10:27 am

Larry Major – my recollection is that GCPS did not deny Ivy the first three times based on budgets, that was never even mentioned as a significant issue. The denials were based on the single gender issue, or at least that was the rationale Alvin shared at the board meeting to the public.

What do you think about GCPS not providing transportation, food and facilities like they do for the technology charter – as discussed in an above post ? To me that doesn’t seem like “treat no school less favorably”. I am interested in your thoughts on that.

Ronin

June 26th, 2011
10:54 am

@Michael in Decatur @ 8:28, You’re one of the few people that actually understands this, K-12 education and beyond is a jobs program, funded primarily by property tax. All these Master and PhD programs at the collegiate level offer higher paying teaching positions, yet offer little if any substance to actually improving education for elementary, middle or high school students. The primary purpose of most advance degrees in liberal arts is to create more positions to have teachers to teach the courses and facilitate the need for same. Educational leadership PhD’s,
education D. are basically programs to “qualify” you for an advanced position. It’s just another way to extort more money from the taxpayer for something that obviously, based on test scores, doesn’t work either.

Georgia is near last place in national testing, improving the process and experience should be the primary focus and objective. However, this debate appears to be more over who maintains authority over the delivery of the education process vs. improving it. So, to that end, parents will either have to pay a private school, home school or move to a state that has a better public education process.

Based on the current mindset and education jobs programs. The Georgia Department of Education appears to be perfectly content on remaining ranked 48th, 49th, or 50th in national test scoring.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

Choosey Republican

June 26th, 2011
12:13 pm

Charter schools give taxpayers the ability to get some form of return on their investment. With over $9,000 going to each GA school student annually, money is obviously not the answer to better educated kids.

Create competition. Remove the monopoly. Watch kids get a better education and Georgia attract more business and jobs.

Michael in Decatur

June 26th, 2011
1:18 pm

1) $9000 per student per year? I wonder how that ranks with other states?
2) I’m not bothered by our rank in SAT scores. If you’re breathing HS junior you’re taking the SAT in GA. It’s a by product of the Hope scholarship, imo. Not every HS Jr in North Dakota takes it.
3) Don’t ever talk to me about the problems of GA schools without talking about classroom discipline. We pay for education and we get baby sitting. Instead of viewing ‘public’ education as a ‘right’, it should be a privilege. Let’s admit students based on their parent’s involvement and accountability. Let’s issue report cards for parents. And every time a student is called into the office, the parent has to come as well. And 3 strikes and you’re out.
4) We’ve invested millions of dollars in technology for schools. Why? Technology is supposed to allow us to do more with less; to make us more efficient; to reduce the need for human resources. Instead, our payrolls have increased. Technology investments must have a return on that investment. If computer-based training is the way to go (I’m not saying it is) then we should expect a reduction in payroll.
5) Let’s outsource the food services. Lease the cafeteria space to private enterprise. Let them manage the operation. It’s the parent’s job to provide for their kids. No more ‘free’ lunches.
6) Eliminate foreign language translations services. If you can’t speak English, find a faith-based program in your area that is sympathetic to your situation. Don’t expect me to pay because you can’t communicate.
7) Eliminate the state Board of Education. What do they do that improves instruction and/or classroom discipline?

The Centrist

June 26th, 2011
2:15 pm

Question: With over $9,000 going to each GA school student annually, money is obviously not the answer to better educated kids? Answer: Yes it is. Tuition is more than $15,000 annually at private schools with some form of name recognition and history. Forget schools like Westminister, Marist, Lovett and Woodward. They run more that $20,000.

The Centrist

June 26th, 2011
2:23 pm

Question: After all the funding will be coming from the local school boards budget and no one in Atlanta has any business telling someone in Cordele how our where their school dollars should be spent? Answer: Atlanta has enough problems of it own and gets blamed for politicians and politically appointed bureaucrats from places like Cordele, Ranger, Bonaire, and Millen, who come to Atlanta to tell everyone how school dollars should be spent. Tell us one state legislator from the City of Atlanta that has pushed for State designated charter schools or school vouchers. Crickets chirpping.

Cutty

June 26th, 2011
3:25 pm

So the two largest employers outside of metro Atlanta are school systems and hospitals, and these same people hate government? WTF?

yuzeyurbrane

June 26th, 2011
4:04 pm

It worries me that the 2 leading advocates for the charter schools are 2 of the most right wing members of the legis. Some have likened their positions on educ. as mostly geared towards reimposing de facto racial segregation. And they have certainly been leaders in gutting public education by billions of dollars over the last few years, including the turning of the HOPE Scholarship into a quasi-voucher program (the state gives fixed amt. and student pays the difference). I would hardly call HOPE emasculation non-controversial although they did roll some Democrats into going along with a threat of worse. The fact is that I will believe Ga. is serious about teaching a well-educated populace that attracts 21st Century industries when I see the public educ. budgets being raised dramatically rather than gutted with scarce funds siphoned off to private parochial schools.

Roach

June 26th, 2011
4:20 pm

No, of course I don’t think that local school boards are well-qualified to pass on the qualifications of prospective school operators. But the state level folks have overseen the systematic underfunding of our schools statewide, so what makes them qualified to judge credentials?

Here’s an idea: hire some of the people running **successful** (in terms of student outcomes) charter schools and systems to serve on a commission whose sole job is to evaluate the credentials and plans of prospective charter school operators–just like the state bar evaluates the credentials of prospective judges. Then, when the charter school applicant goes before the local school board, they will carry with them an evaluation from a knowledgeable but disinterested third party. So they would not be a question about the operator’s credentials or the plausibility of its plans. But leave the decision, and the local tax dollars, in teh hands of the elected local body.

d

June 26th, 2011
4:48 pm

@catlady – I think you and I are on the same page.

Larry Major

June 26th, 2011
7:13 pm

Jennifer, It isn’t legal for a public school to provide transportation to students in select areas. If Ivy Prep offered transportation, they would have to offer it to all students in all counties, including specially equipped buses for students in wheelchairs. It’s not just financially impractical, but you can’t expect Gwinnett taxpayers to assume a crushing cost for families who don’t live or pay taxes in Gwinnett.

Concerning food, I don’t see the issue. The only thing not included in standard local funding is Title I money, which is federal and would go to Ivy Prep if their students qualified for it.

Facilities funding is an issue, particularly for new charter schools, but this is legally beyond any decision a local BOE can make. The two funding sources for capitol facilities expenses in Gwinnett (and probably every system in the state) are the SPLOST and general obligation bonds, both of which require a voter referendum. A charter school can be included in a bond issue or SPLOST wish list, but the timing involved pretty much eliminates this for a new school. Once things die down a bit, this is something we should discuss with someone who knows about such things, because there’s a lot of legalities involved when creating a public debt.

cam

June 26th, 2011
7:52 pm

Yuzeyurbrane, I agree. Those 2 members and their ilk will not be happy until they destroy public education in this state. What they don’t seem to realize is that a strong public education system is the best economic engine in the world.

Tildon Chavers

June 26th, 2011
8:00 pm

A charter school is really “a public school that isn’t bound by the usual rules or regulations.” So, why not just make all public schools charter schools so none of them are bound by the usual rules and regulations? Problem solved.

Jennifer

June 26th, 2011
8:21 pm

Interesting points. Thanks!

cam

June 26th, 2011
8:37 pm

Tildon, I agree 100%.

Tony

June 26th, 2011
9:30 pm

@Publicola – fully funded means that Georgia schools should be given the money earned through the QBE funding formula.

Paula Havard

June 27th, 2011
1:09 am

The MONEY SHOULD FOLLOW THE CHILD. That is, if the DOE and local DOE actually truly think that they have the student’s best interest in mind. If they do not, then they want “their” money. Oh wait, it is MY money. If I want my child to attend a charter school, then I want MY tax dollars that would otherwise go to her district school to go to said charter school (PUBLIC school). NUFF said. I want my money back from Gwinnett for the millions spent on the case against the commission. Please just send it to the charter schools. Thnx! Referendum anyone?? Of course not. Let’s let the judges legislate.