Your morning jolt: Shift on charter schools or ‘renounce’ GOP, local party tells Cherokee school board

The Cherokee County GOP late Friday passed a resolution demanding that four county school board members reconsider their opposition to the funding of charter schools – or “renounce their affiliation with the Republican party.”

Parents in an overflow crowd watch through a door window from outside the Cherokee County school board meeting during a June debate over a local charter for the Cherokee Charter Academy in Canton. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Parents in an overflow crowd watch through a door window from outside the Cherokee County school board meeting during a June debate over a local charter for the Cherokee Charter Academy in Canton. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

The spat is an outgrowth of this spring’s decision by the Georgia Supreme Court, ruling that the state-issued licenses of 16 charter public schools were unconstitutional because they stepped on the prerogatives of local systems.

Among the 16 was Cherokee Charter Academy. Funding for the school was turned down three times by the local school board, whose members argued against what they said were added costs.

Casting votes against the school were board members Mike Chapman, Janet Read, Robert Wofford and Rick Steiner.

Gov. Nathan Deal eventually came up with $10 million to keep them afloat. Nearly 1,000 students in grades k-7 will begin classes at the Cherokee charter school on Aug. 15.

Here’s a few paragraphs from the Cherokee GOP resolution, which passed unanimously:

Whereas, the recent public statement by Cherokee School Board member Mike Chapman to the press stated “If you feel like the Cherokee County School System isn’t meeting your needs you have the option to move” is both reprehensible and unacceptable.

Now, therefore, be it resolved by the Republican Party of Cherokee County we urge Cherokee School Board members Mike Chapman, Janet Read, Robert Wofford and Rick Steiner to officially reconsider their actions in denying additional educational opportunities for the students of Cherokee County or renounce their affiliation with the Republican Party with whose values they cannot affirm.”

***
Secretary of State Brian Kemp has set Sept. 20 as the date for a special election to fill the northeast Cobb County seat held by the late Bobby Franklin. Qualifying will take place Aug. 15 to 17.

The Marietta Daily Journal reports that the Republican-dominated contest could see the return of former state Sen. Robert Lamutt:

In 2004, Lamutt gave up that seat to run for Congress, but lost to U.S. Rep. Tom Price (R-Roswell).

[Cobb GOP chairman Joe] Dendy said others interested in Franklin’s seat include attorney Craig Dowdy, who ran against and lost to [Chip] Rogers when Lamutt left his senate seat; John Carson Jr., a vice president with SunTrust; Dr. Geraldine Wade of Marietta; and former Cobb GOP Chairman Don Hill.

“It looks like it might be a crowded field,” Dendy said. “It’s good that that many people are interested in it.”

***
In 2005, the state Legislature passed the Women’s Right to Know Act, a measure intended to discourage abortions. The law required that attending physicians send information on the bill’s impact to the state. Walter Jones of the Morris News Service says the data is virtually useless:

The survey doctors are asked to complete is confusing and contains multiple typographical errors. In several instances, doctors are asked for two pieces of data but given only one blank, making it impossible to determine which facts the totals contain. Some questions appear twice.

As a result, it’s difficult to draw conclusions.
For example, the 2010 report shows 26,237 women had an abortion after obtaining information “by means other than on the Web site,” while 50,255 women had abortions “who did not obtain a copy of the printed information by means other than the Web site.”

Does that mean there were 76,492 abortions, roughly twice the statewide figure advocates on both sides quote?

According to the report, 135,000 women were given the chance to hear the heartbeat or view a sonogram, but only 38,000 did. The questionnaire isn’t clear whether the same women are counted twice if they did both, and it doesn’t ask how many still had abortions.

***
Opponents of a mosque being planned by a Muslim congregation in Lilburn are planning a protest tonight, according to 750AM and 95.5FM Newstalk/WSB.

The Gwinnett County city will consider a third request by the congregation for the rezoning of four acres at the corner of U.S. Highway 29 and Hood Road, to build a 20,000 square foot mosque and a parking lot for 200 vehicles.

***
House Speaker David Ralston has named six members of a House committee designed to study horse racing and pari-mutuel betting in Georgia. State lawmakers on the panel are Reps. Harry Geisinger, of Roswell, Tim Bearden, of Villa Rica, and Jon Burns, of Newington. All are Republicans.

Others on the panel:

-Malaika Rivers of Marietta, executive director of the Cumberland Community Improvement District;

- Hank Burnham, of Athens, who served on the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority;

- And John A. Damico, of Cumming, past president of the Georgia Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association. The committee must report its findings to the Legislature by the end of the year.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at a statement from U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss, who voted against last week’s debt-ceiling agreement – declaring that the measure doesn’t do much to address a $14 trillion federal deficit.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

95 comments Add your comment

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
9:29 am

If you support only government schools you support big Government. We need more choices .Government school is welfare maybe pretty welfare but still welfare.

Centrist

August 8th, 2011
9:39 am

Chambliss is right in declaring that the debt-ceiling agreement doesn’t do much to address a $14 trillion federal deficit, and why U.S. bonds have been downgraded.

Unfortunately, the Gang of 6 plan which Chambliss was a part of had BIG problems, too. Political “balance” of raising taxes during a recession and 10% unemployment would have been an economic disaster. It was D.O.A.

The U.S. is headed for an economic shock like Greece unless political leadership gets real, but getting elected with empty promises is a higher priority.

Kevin

August 8th, 2011
9:39 am

Hey Doug If a charter school is funded by the government is it still not a government school?

Big Hat

August 8th, 2011
9:40 am

Renounce, or should it be denounce? Moot point, both require a backbone, so don’t expect the Cherokee School Board to stand up the the Cherokee County GOP jackboot thugs.

Edward

August 8th, 2011
9:50 am

Chapman’s statement that if you don’t like it you can move sounds very GOP to me. Don’t we see that in nearly every statement from GOP thugs in these fora?

And I have to wonder if the good citizens of Lilburn would be protesting the building of a same-size Baptist church on that property? What the mosque builders should do is “sell” the property to a “church”, build a nice christian church on it, then the “church” sells it back to the Mosque and they convert it to a nice Mosque. Sounds like a scheme a right-winger would do, but sometimes you have to play by their rules.

DannyX

August 8th, 2011
9:54 am

“Political “balance” of raising taxes during a recession and 10% unemployment would have been an economic disaster.”

Says who????????

Why do you keep preaching the Tea Party line over and over, it is far, far, far from the center?

Cutty

August 8th, 2011
9:57 am

Kevin is right, it’s still government sponsored schooling. I thought republicans would be more inclined to allow corporations come in take over the schools. Nothing like Goldman Sachs teaching Algebra, and ConocoPhillips telling us all your kids need to know about Science and Chemistry. Imagine the projects they’d have to do.

Cutty

August 8th, 2011
9:58 am

Oh, and look at all the Cherokee Connie’s in the picture. Priceless!

Makes me wonder

August 8th, 2011
10:04 am

How many race horses does Rep. Geisinger own?

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
10:05 am

Kevin I agree with you it is still Government school. I would like to have no government schools but I will take progress . Oh yeah if you send your kids to government schools you are on welfare unless you are one of the few that pay over 10,000 $ a year in property taxes.

Centrist

August 8th, 2011
10:05 am

@ DannyX – did you notice that Obama went along with keeping the current tax rates last year after his populist campaigning about ending the then 8 year old tax schedule? When the rubber meets the road – campaign slogans fall to reality. Too bad that so many gullible people don’t get that, and continue with the campaign rhetoric.

Geitner has been an absolute disaster, but even after he was exposed for not paying his own taxes and continually making absolutely false statements about how the economy and unemployment problems are being solved – there is absolutely no accountability. The leftist media just ignores such incompetence in order to prop up a failing administration.

DannyX

August 8th, 2011
10:16 am

What the heck does your 10:05 have to do with your fraudulent claim that you are a centrist?

“Leftist media,” that doesn’t sound like a centrist. It sounds like typical Tea Party hyperbole.

Brenda

August 8th, 2011
10:21 am

Curious minds would still like to hear the official cause of death of Bobby Franklin.

I'm just sayin'

August 8th, 2011
10:24 am

School board elections are bipartisan. Why would the board members need to renounce or be affliated with the GOP?

td

August 8th, 2011
10:26 am

DannyX

August 8th, 2011
10:16 am

““Leftist media,” that doesn’t sound like a centrist. It sounds like typical Tea Party hyperbole”

Start a conversation with “Centrist” about Abortion or Religion and I am willing to bet he will be more inclined to believe as you do. Most centrist in our country are fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

Roach

August 8th, 2011
10:27 am

Vote exactly like we want or we kick you out of the party? Seriously, comrade?

Centrist

August 8th, 2011
10:28 am

@ DannyX – Being a centrist means I don’t agree with either political party’s platform. You go nuts every time I don’t agree with the left, but are silent when I don’t agree with the right. (examples – religion, abortion, personal attacks on Democrats like Obama and John Lewis). DannyX – ALL centrists are well to the right of your politics.

double

August 8th, 2011
10:30 am

Obama is more centrist than most posting on here.

Elephant Hunter

August 8th, 2011
10:31 am

My official statement to the Cherokee GOP:

Whereas Charter Schools also cost money.

Whereas county tax revenues are earmarked for existing public schools.

Whereas Cherokee County is not authorized to run budget deficits,

Let it be resolved that if Cherokee Charter Academy is to open either: 1) Taxes need to be raised, or, 2) a public school needs to be closed and its funding re-appropriated for the Cherokee Charter Academy.

Beowulf

August 8th, 2011
10:32 am

Why are people so scared of charter schools?

Eli

August 8th, 2011
10:36 am

Look at the electoral repercussions for the school board members…probably nothing.

The steps they would have to take to keep the charter school open are going to be universally unpopular in the county whereas not reopening the charter school will only aggravate what, 1500 parents at most!

Typical GOP, they want the world handed to them on a silver platter, but they do not want to pay for it.

DannyX

August 8th, 2011
10:39 am

centrist: A person who weighs both liberal and conservative ideologies and often takes a moderate view on any given issue.

We’re still waiting for that first moderate view. Our so-called “Centrist” is an extremist.

Real Athens

August 8th, 2011
10:40 am

Doug: Where did you first hear the phrase “Government Schools”.

If you don’t want public education, amend the GA Constitution.

ARTICLE VIII.
EDUCATION

SECTION I.
PUBLIC EDUCATION
Paragraph I. Public education; free public education prior to college or postsecondary level; support by taxation. The provision of an adequate public education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia. Public education for the citizens prior to the college or postsecondary level shall be free and shall be provided for by taxation. The expense of other public education shall be provided for in such manner and in such amount as may be provided by law.

double

August 8th, 2011
10:46 am

DannyX, I doubt you would agree with centrist on religion unless you are athesist.

Real Athens

August 8th, 2011
10:47 am

The GOP is not behind the recent events in Cherokee County. The party of Lincoln, Roosevelt and Ike began it’s dissolution with the ascension of Reagan to the highest office in the land. Wake up folks, Eisenhower warned of corporatism (fascism) in his exit speech to the U.S. population.

The American Legislative Excahnge Council has put forth in “model” bills to change our educational system from top to bottom.

“The board of ALEC’s education task force is chaired by Sen. David Casas (R-GA) of the Georgia State Assembly. The co-chair is Mickey Ravenaugh, senior vice president of the Connections Academy, a division of Connections Education, LLC, which contacts with charter schools and public school districts to offer online lessons to students.

Connections Academy and Connections Education are owned by Apollo Management, LLC, a corporate investor that specializes in real estate, which makes a lot of sense, huh? In 2010, the total revenues for Apollo Management, LLC were $2.1 billion, up from a — $266.7 million in 2008. I’ll leave you to ponder that one…

In the education section of the ALEC documents, there are nearly 70 pieces of proposed legislation, and the biggest push has been in the voucher area, meant to subsidize private schools at taxpayer expense.

ALEC’s goal, barely disguised, is to turn education into big business, with no rules, no regulation, no oversight except their own – and we all know how well that works out – and to completely remove the power from the communities and the states and put it into corporate hands, at the expense of taxpayers, which is basically educational welfare for the private industry.”

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
11:07 am

Just because it is in the Georgia Constitution does make it right. Where do we score again 48 , 49 some where near the bottom . I believe Georgia is the number two home school state in the nation.My children go to private school because on my dislike of the government schools . If you are a conservative and you are pro government schools you are a hypocrite . Again government schools are welfare .Democrats love government school because all of the union jobs and liberal education they get to dish out. The GOP likes the governments schools because the can pawn their kids off to someone else then complain we need GOD in schools while the entire time the having a private Christian school right down the street but not using it because they pay into the government school

dixiedemons

August 8th, 2011
11:13 am

Is this about the Cherokee County GOP or public education ? They sound like J B Stoner and the Ku Klux Klan.

Real Athens

August 8th, 2011
11:16 am

Again you’re spewing incorrect sound bites. There are no “Education Unions” in Georgia. There is no collective bargaining agreement. The Georgia Association of Educators as a voting bloc are no different than the VFW or a mega church. Send your kids to Christian Schools if you like — just not on my dime.

Conservative does not mean Christian — no matter what you’d like to believe.

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
11:24 am

Sounds Bites ? Where do we score at the top or bottom ? Say what you want the government school system is a failure . It eats great teachers and great parents. We have some great people working with our children but the system is bad and is not working. It is time to try something else.Well actually I already am and I love it so keep doing what you are doing and I will keep doing what i am doing and lets see where we end up.

GaBlue

August 8th, 2011
11:24 am

Mr. Craig,

With all due respect, Sir, blow it out your azz. Public schools are what enabled that shinking little thing we like to call “the middle class” to thrive in this country. I know some of you have a problem with the middle class, and that’s why you’re doing everything you can to destroy us. So sorry, but we’re not going down as easily as you’d hoped.

Wild Wild US

August 8th, 2011
11:25 am

Doug, I probably share some conservative values with you, but it’s this radical stuff you’re spewing about public schools=welfare that turns many independent/swing voters off. The bottom line is, most people cannot afford to send their kids to private school. If you can, pat yourself on the back and buy yourself a Coke. If your line of thinking becomes pervasive in the GOP, you will hand over power to the Democratic party. Fact of the matter is, tea partiers, folks who vote GOP b/c they think GOP=Christian, people who vote GOP b/c they think GOP=patriotic, etc., many of these folks are teachers (I have TONS in my family). Ask Roy Barnes what happens if you attack public education. This might be a thoroughly Red state right now, but it can change once there’s a clear disconnect between the private school GOP’ers and the majority of GOP voters who vote that way for other reasons.

deegee

August 8th, 2011
11:30 am

“Among the 16 was Cherokee Charter Academy. Funding for the school was turned down three times by the local school board, whose members argued against what they said were added costs.”

What part of “added costs” does the Cherokee County GOP not understand?

What???

August 8th, 2011
11:39 am

This is disgusting. First, the picture with the article does not show parents in support of the charter school; it shows people in opposition to the charter school. Those against it wore black that night. Furthermore, as a Republican in opposition of this particular charter school, I’m furious with the GOP’s statements. Board members are elected in a bipartisan election. The GOP’s statements don’t make any sense. This charter school’s sole purpose is to turn a profit, not to offer a better choice in education. Already, students with special needs, including gifted students who deserve advanced classes, have been turned away or told the charter school can not meet their needs. How is that possibly better than the public schools who strive to meet the different needs of students?

Refugee from Churkee (Thank God We Escaped)

August 8th, 2011
11:42 am

Cutty

August 8th, 2011
9:58 am
Oh, and look at all the Cherokee Connie’s in the picture. Priceless!

“Cherokee Connies” You are a hoot! White trash with “an upscale attitude”.

td

August 8th, 2011
11:42 am

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
11:07 am

“If you are a conservative and you are pro government schools you are a hypocrite”

That is not true. There are many of us conservatives that think the Charter school approach is wrong. Bailing out on the school system instead of standing up and fighting for your beliefs is being a coward. Stand up and make your local school system better or send your children to private school at your own expense but this conservative does not like paying for private schools. The true conservative principle is not use government funds for private entities. Remember small, local government control is what real conservatives want.

There are plenty of good students in the worst schools in this state and the school does not mean a student is going to be successful or not. If you are a good parent, become involved in your child’s education, help them do their homework, discuss what went on in school everyday and enhance those lessons then your child will be successful.

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
11:44 am

GABlue the great thing is you do not know me. I am also middle class, but I make a choice not to drive a new car or own a big flat screen tv or drink all my money away on friday. I invest in my children others invest in beer and cars. Private schools cost are all over the board .My sisters sends here kids to a school that cost about 2000.00 per year in west Georgia. My school is about 6500.00 per year. People have to make choices I send my kids to a great school others invest in beer and big screen TVs

Laurie

August 8th, 2011
11:47 am

Doug Craig, “Government school is welfare maybe pretty welfare but still welfare”. If this statement is true than a charter school is CORPORATE welfare, as we are still using taxpayor money, but giving it to a for profit entity. The GOP must think us taxpayors are pretty stupid not to see through this line of BS. My question, how much in campaign cotributions did that charter school company give GOP candidates to support them?

Doug Craig

August 8th, 2011
11:51 am

Laurie I actually agree with you. I am no fan of Charter schools.

Well you lost one more member Cherokee GOP

August 8th, 2011
11:54 am

No room for any free thinking here? Welcome to the new GOP.
I am finally done with you GOP. How dare you prohibit thought?
The CCSD 4 made the fiscally conservative decision. It was the right one in this case because not to have made this decision would have meant raising taxes or weakening the cureent schools and thus my property value! But wait that would require thought which no one in the Cherokee GOP will allow. Guess I’m now a full independant!

mark

August 8th, 2011
11:56 am

The GOP blows!!! They are the nanny state. they want to tell all of us how to live and what we can and cannot do with our bodies. Soon my in laws will passway and i can go back up north to the land of the free, blue and left wing!! good luck GA!!

Centrist

August 8th, 2011
12:08 pm

Leftists call all views to their right “extremist”. Not believing it is good to increase taxes during a severe recession with 10% unemployment is quite mainline with folks who have any economics education.

I absolutely believe the truly wealthy who have annual incomes of over a $million/year (some have 10’s of $million/year) are legally avoiding paying progressively scaled income taxes through loopholes, capital gains, and Trusts which BOTH party politicians purposely set up. I doubt they will ever get a tax increase since they are the campaign contributors and many in the U.S. Senate are in that category. Even if they do someday, there are not enough of them to put a dent in the annual budget deficit and expanding debt. Now there are a lot more folks making over $250K per year who will get nailed by a “rich” tax increase – but they are not anywhere near the truly rich category that get the breaks. When/if there is a tax increase on those families, they will react by cutting back on employees in their small businesses and downsize to avoid the tax. Many dual income families will have the spouse with the lower income drop out of the work force, so I guess you could call that a jobs program.

yuzeyurbrane

August 8th, 2011
12:13 pm

next will come the book burning

Edward

August 8th, 2011
12:16 pm

Greed is killing us.

RetiredSoldier

August 8th, 2011
12:20 pm

Centrist-

The solution to those tax loopholes is simple. Adopt the Fair Tax. No loopholes and everone pays something based on consumption. Not progressive? true, but to solve that evryone gets a prebate. What do you think Centrist?

DannyX

August 8th, 2011
12:26 pm

“Leftists call all views to their right “extremist”.

and…

Righties call all views to their right “extremist.”

You are are taking a far right, extremist Tea Party position. What makes you any different from the “extremist” lefties?

Do the math

August 8th, 2011
12:28 pm

Wait, there are Republicans out there that don’t vote lock-step with the GOP Party line? They actually listen to their constituents? How do we get these people off of the school board and into Congress?

rexdogma

August 8th, 2011
12:28 pm

If the Cherokee schools are so bad where there is totally Republican control, put your kid in PRIVATE SCHOOL. WHO CAN THEY BLAME. NO DEMS THERE!

Alexander Hamilton

August 8th, 2011
12:35 pm

Congratulations to the school board (both sides) for doing their job. They did not shirk from their responsibilities and voted as they felt was appropriate.

Never Trust the CCSD

August 8th, 2011
12:41 pm

For years Dr. P. has been hand picking School Board candidates. One school board member has a wife that works as a teacher for the district. One school board member is a former substitute school teacher for the district and was hand picked by Dr. P.

If someone actually did some research into the School Board members campaign contributions, they would find numerous school board members received a significant amount of there campaign contributions came from vendors that conduct business with the Cherokee County School District. These School Board members happen to be the same School Board members that vote lockstep with Dr.P. In essence, the taxpayers of Cherokee County have been “indirectly financing” the campaigns of certain School Board members, who in turn, vote according to Dr. P’s interests.

For one, I’m glad the Cherokee County GOP has put an end to this charade and injustice being crammed down the throat of the taxpayers of Cherokee County by Dr. P. and his cronies.

Centrist

August 8th, 2011
12:46 pm

@ Retired Soldier – I agree that expanding the tax base via the Fair Tax would be good for the economy and get more revenue. But Congress will NEVER let it happen because they buy votes and campaign contributions by juggling the tax code every few years.

@ DannyX – it is you who is out of step and “extremist”. Elections represent voter thinking and the last U.S. House election went overwhelmingly against the leftist tax and spend (stimulus) philosophy. Many TEA Party subscribers got elected – it is the left and the leftist media who try to paint the mainstream as “extremist”.

AJC readers/bloggers are mostly well left of center like the paper itself. Few of my Republican friends bother to read it, and my Democrat friends try to say it represents Georgia voters – but they can’t explain why there are so few Democrat political leaders in Georgia.