Senate Democrat: Deals for jobs, appointments, fueled passage of charter school measure

In the wake of passage of HR 1162, which will put a proposed constitutional amendment for state-ordered charter schools on the November ballot, state Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, accused Republicans of engaging in “corruption” to get four of his Democratic colleagues to switch sides for the required two-thirds majority.

From the press release:

“Republicans will cripple our public school system, the future of our children, their constituencies and the future economy of this state in order to gain a title. Deals have been made for jobs, appointments, redistricting and more. What they have proven in the debate of HR 1162 is that the State Capitol is for sale. It is corruption in every sense of the word,” said Fort.

The senator offered no specifics. Nor did he out Democratic colleagues who allegedly took the favors.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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57 comments Add your comment

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
6:05 pm

This morning we heard that the Supreme Court thinks voters, not the governor, should replace incompetent school board members (or simply suffer the consequences). Anybody here have a problem with voters deciding whether charter schools should be approved and get state/local funding?

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
6:15 pm

I still don’t understand why the proposed net tax increase, sop to car dealers, and rescinding the graduated pension income tax exemption does not rise to the level of being “blog worthy”. This is generally a Republican bashing blog, and those items look to me like raw meat (except Democrats have never seen a tax increase they didn’t like).

Raquel Morris

March 19th, 2012
6:16 pm

Umm Galloway, how hard is it to tell us which four Democrats voted in favor?

Kris

March 19th, 2012
6:24 pm

This further demonstrates how corrupt the Governor and the republican legislators.
Georgia last in public corruption laws

Case in point.
Deal, GOP lawmakers quietly craft tax plan… As usual late night lawmaking…
Need I say Impeach the half/wit governor and fire all his family and cronies he has put on payroll. Recall the legislators. (GOP)
We cannot afford the schools we have why create more schools. Fix the ones we have.
Just saying.

hl

March 19th, 2012
6:28 pm

Will the voters be told that charter schools will take money out of public education?

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
6:40 pm

Will it be obvious to voters that if charter schools are approved that students’ parents’ tax dollars should logically follow them to their new school?

findog

March 19th, 2012
7:00 pm

parents can send thier offspring to private schools if they do not like the minimum state funded variety we provide here in Georgia

findog

March 19th, 2012
7:04 pm

hl, no because we can do anything in the GOP Georgia without any new taxes
you already pay too much in taxes
all we gotta do is catch the welfare queen picking up her food stamps in her bentley

Hillbilly D

March 19th, 2012
7:04 pm

After reading through the HR1162 link that was provided, I find Section 2 of this as troubling as the charter schools part of it.

jumping jack flash

March 19th, 2012
7:13 pm

Georgia is a state that is dominated by Republicans. Three fourths of Republicans don’t believe in the theory of evolution – they think that dinosaura bones and fossilized sea creatures found hundreds of feet down in solid rock highway cuts, all over the state, are a few thousand years old. They are in competition with states like Alabama and Mississippi to produce the stupidist citizens in the country, and church oriented charter schools will certainly help them achieve goal.

td

March 19th, 2012
7:21 pm

Until Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, brings some proof of his allegations to the table, he is nothing more then being a typical lib and bashing those that do not believe the same way he does.

Ivy Mom

March 19th, 2012
7:35 pm

Findog, state chartered schools are using LESS funding than the minimum funded schools you refer to.

Just Wait

March 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

Although I don’t trust a thing the Republicans are doing with schools and our tax dollars, I equally don’t trust anything Hurricane Fort spews out. He is nothing but a glory hound and does nothing for his constituents.

Amazing

March 19th, 2012
7:40 pm

td,

You speak as though Republicans do not bash those who do not believe the same things they believe in. I happen to agree Sen. Fort should provide facts. But, please stop acting like republicans are pure and pristine. They have the same disease as democrats. They are blinded by party loyalty and can see good ideas and thoughts from the other side.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
7:47 pm

findog posted “parents can send thier offspring to private schools if they do not like the minimum state funded variety we provide here in Georgia”

Evidently they may have a third choice of sending their children and school tax dollars to a partially tax funded charter school.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
8:22 pm

Georgia has some fundamental differences from many other states. It is still largely agricultural mostly in the southern half, and few jobs north of the Atlanta metro area. There are strong cultural preferences in these areas that do not value education very highly compared to metropolitan suburbs. At least Atlanta, Macon, and Columbus have large underclass populations with little education and on the dole. Until/unless these ingrained cultures, education, and job opportunities change – it won’t matter that much for large parts of Georgia’s population which political party is in power. The state budget must be balanced, and the effects of taxation and government programs will have only minimal effect.

Will

March 19th, 2012
8:31 pm

Vincent Fort needs to be aggrieved and offended to be sucessful. It’s all part of keeping his constituents motivated and on his side. All of the noise is not about letting tax dollars follow a child from one school to another but is to keep Fort’s constitutents riled up about how they are being injured.
Of course, he does not mention the black familes who are glad to have an opportunity to send their kids to a schools they think will perform better than their public school option. Fort wants his constituents to vote against their own interests and against the interests of their children.

B. Thenet

March 19th, 2012
8:42 pm

The real question is when is Vincent Fort going to have the guts to name names?

Show the courage of your convictions and call them out on it.

Taking down crooked politicians starts with one person willing to throw their political career away to speak the truth.

Look before I leap...

March 19th, 2012
9:25 pm

Gonna try and simplify Centrist’s remarks:

Georgia is, on a state level, non-partisan.
I would agree. If you whistle Dixie, kowtow to the Baptists and think you should be able to carry a gun anywhere or anytime, be you Democrat or Republican, you are gonna get electoral support.

Against homosexuality? GREAT! More votes.
NO drinkin or gamblin or dancin? More votes (but I am reminded of the question: How do you keep a Baptist from drinking your liquor? Invite another Baptist.)

The majority of Republicans in this state are not fiscally conservative, only socially conservative.
They are ram-rodding back door tax increases through as we speak and not a peep from the “CONSERVATIVES” here.

The next time someone buys a new car in the state of GA, you will pay about $1,700.00 more for it. Since most of you will finance it, that will equate to about about an additional $2,500 over the life of the loan.

mark

March 19th, 2012
9:27 pm

Two year notice. In two years I will be vested in the TRS. Then I am out. And out of this state. Back north with my brain.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
9:42 pm

Look before I leap… posted “Gonna try and simplify Centrist’s remarks”

Thanks anyhow. Those are your remarks, not mine other than we agree on your last paragraph.

@ mark – Wish we could say we will miss you (bless your heart). Teachers like you need to live in blue states, anyway.

No Longer Republican

March 19th, 2012
9:46 pm

Going Right fails to mention that the Republicans now running this state are the same as those Democrats… Sonny Perdue was Democratic state senator…Nathan Deal was a Democrat in Congress when I moved into his district. These are the same people so don’t blame it on the party, blame it on the people. The only thing has changed in Georgia politics in my lifetime is the party switch of those in power. The people didn’t change, just their labels when it became popular to take the right wing approach on social issues.

Never been a fan of Vincent Fort, but if he has information he should spout it. Not that is will change anything. Hopefully local school boards will mobilize and defeat this stupid charter school thing before education in Georgia goes below Haiti.

td

March 19th, 2012
9:52 pm

mark

March 19th, 2012
9:27 pm

I do not know how we have not purged libs like you out of our school system and away from teaching our children. I think I might need to have a conversation with Dr. Barge about this topic.

td

March 19th, 2012
9:57 pm

No Longer Republican

March 19th, 2012
9:46 pm

Overall education in the state will not change very much with more charter schools. What you will see is the children of parents that invest in their education will be in the charter schools and receive a better education and score higher on test and then the rest of the children with parents that do not want to invest will receive lower scores. They will equal out and the mean will remain the same.

I do not like the concept of charter schools because I think it allows parents who want to invest to not do the real hard work of reform and have an easy out with just worrying about their own charter school. I plan on voting no.

Look before I leap...

March 19th, 2012
10:02 pm

td

March 19th, 2012
9:52 pm

mark

March 19th, 2012
9:27 pm

I do not know how we have not purged libs like you out of our school

yeah God forbid someone actually presents an opposing ideology and let the child develop critical thinking skills.

You all for brainwashing td?

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:05 pm

@ td – If we purged liberal teachers from our school system we would have to close and consolidate a majority of our schools with tripling our class sizes. At least the teacher unions would be in trouble, though.

td

March 19th, 2012
10:11 pm

Hey guys, trying to have a little fun tonight.

@Centrist: We would only have a problem in metro area.

@ Look: They get enough indoctrination in our colleges we do not need it in the other schools.

No Longer Republican

March 19th, 2012
10:11 pm

Centrist…been around schools in Georgia all my life…believe me a majority of teachers in Georgia are NEO-Conservative. Yes there are a few libs in K-12 schools but they are FAR outnumbered. And there are no teacher unions in Georgia. PAGE and NEA are NOT unions. If there were some unions in Georgia maybe teachers could actually teach instead of cow-towing to whatever the latest whim of the right wing morons at the state department of education are up to.

My wife taught math in GA public schools for years before she passed away last September. The focus from on high was making sure the kids got passing grades…not on making sure they understood the subject matter. And that wasn’t just one school. It was at every school where she taught. Teachers do what they are told because they fear losing their jobs if the numbers don’t meet expectations to get state funding and accolades.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:12 pm

To be fair, if we purged conservative teachers who advocate creationism and religion – we would lose another quarter of our schools.

Bernie

March 19th, 2012
10:12 pm

Again the poorest and most neediest children of the school system will get the shaft again. Not to worry, You will see them again when they come kicking in your front doors and snatching your purses looking for money.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:18 pm

@ No Longer (= Never) – Few folks even on the liberal side really believe a majority of teachers are any kind of conservative unless you compare them to reporters or government workers. Same goes for pretending the NEA and PAGE are not unions. They just don’t have ALL the rights of some unions.

td

March 19th, 2012
10:20 pm

Bernie

March 19th, 2012
10:12 pm

Education has nothing to do with the poorest. It is all about parental involvement. When the parent invest the time in their children and sets the correct expectations then their children will be successful regardless of income, race or gender.

When we as a state and nation decide to truly get in our communities and tell our relatives and neighbors that not supporting their children is a mortal sin then education will change for the better. Until that time we shall continue to have a 2 tier system of the parents that care vs the parents that do not care.

td

March 19th, 2012
10:22 pm

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:18 pm

NEA and PAGE may not be unions but they are the second biggest lobbyist group at the gold dome.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:27 pm

My neighbors in the legal Bar try to tell me that they are not in a union (although they “self police” and limit/ accredit law schools), in the Air Line Pilot Association are in a fraternal organization (that strike, is run from Washington, and forces nonmembers to pay them). What a crock.

Voter

March 19th, 2012
10:29 pm

Anyone who think that the passage of HR 1162 is not a vote for our children is sadly mistaken. We have thrown money at Public Schools for years and where do we at the bottom. I know that this will help inter-city children and well as rural. No corruption here just parents call there Senator to vote right. Black and White a like.

No Longer Republican

March 19th, 2012
10:30 pm

Centrist…sometimes I wonder where in the hell you pull your crap from. You definitely do not have a clue about teachers. Granted in the APS, Dekalb, and the like you will find liberal educators. I live in Forsyth County and the few times my wife stood up for liberal ideology are the school she was quickly and vehemently attacked. I grew up with a dad who was a school principal in south Georgia, a sister who was an administrator in Cobb Co. and then married a math teacher. Believe me I know how teachers think and what they go through and deal with. You my good (well maybe not so much) man, do not have a clue.

Centrist

March 19th, 2012
10:37 pm

@ Never Republican – I’ve lived in Georgia long enough to know the teaching profession is quite liberal here. Your wife had no business standing up for either liberal or conservative ideology. I am quite clued in. Maybe you would be happy to go with mark to a blue state where schools openly welcome standing up for liberal ideology.

old teach

March 19th, 2012
10:52 pm

It really is irritating when a group in the Georgia Legislature crafts a piece of public school crippling work over the cries of so many and sweetens the deal to finally get the amount of votes it needs to pass it. And they work for US? By the way, does it sound familiar?

td

March 19th, 2012
11:05 pm

old teach

March 19th, 2012
10:52 pm

Even though I do not agree with this legislation you my friend really need to get out of just having lib friends and see the rest of the state. There is probably 60 to 70% of the state wants this bill to pass and all of them are not just Republicans. Even Obama is in favor of charter schools.

Reality Check

March 19th, 2012
11:16 pm

Jim why do you let Fort make accusations and not back his statements up? Where is his proof? I find it humorous that anyone prints something race baiter Fort says without checking his facts.

Real Athens

March 19th, 2012
11:18 pm

Going Right:

I’d trade Perdue or Deal for Miller, Harris, Busbee, Barnes or even Hartsfield any day. Your revisionist history doesn’t hold water.

South Ga

March 19th, 2012
11:36 pm

Old Centrist never changes. He’s still trying to get georgians who don’t agree with him to leave the state. Centrist – we need to keep all the intelligent people here.

historydawg

March 19th, 2012
11:45 pm

@Voter, why don’t you research the chaos that is Florida right now? The Miami Herald has a great collection of articles entitled “Cashing in on our Kids” about the corporate takeover and resegregation that follows the promises of charter schools. Speaking of throwing money–so long to any local oversight of charter school funds; they will be deep in the pockets of some greed-stricken thief who sleeps well while preying upon children.

Madison

March 19th, 2012
11:49 pm

Folks whose perspective is like Centrist nor TD could not ID a liberal or a conservative because from this radical position, everything is liberal.

Madison

March 19th, 2012
11:52 pm

…and the assertion that 60% of the state wants bill passed is wildly incorrect. The rural areas will file another lawsuit and win big.

[...] Senate Democrat: Deals for jobs, appointments, fueled passage of charter … Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, accused Republicans of engaging in “corruption” to get four of his Democratic colleagues to switch sides for the required two-thirds majority. “Republicans will cripple our public school system, the future of our children, … Read more on Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog) [...]

Lynn43

March 20th, 2012
6:42 am

What the heck does being liberal or conservative have to do with teaching? I’m a retired teacher, and the last I heard 2 + 2 still = 4 and the rules of placement of singular or plural verbs is the same no matter who is teaching. I know that middle “c” is still on the same place on the staff, and you still play it on the same place on the piano. td and centrist, please tell me how political beliefs change facts.

rawmilkdrinker

March 20th, 2012
6:46 am

The Georgia Legislature is in session. Keep one hand on your billfold, lock up your dogs and cats, and keep an eye on your girl at all times because one or all of them is gonna get screwed by the legislature no matter what party label the reps carry!

Buckhead Boy

March 20th, 2012
6:48 am

Yesterday, it was reported that Georgia ranks first for “suckers” and last as to anti-corruption laws. The former explains the Neo-Republican takeover, the latter informs a consequence. But, there are so many adverse consequences that corruption now seems almost insignificant.

GET REAL

March 20th, 2012
7:06 am

Okay, td let me see if I get this. It’s not okay for teachers to have professional associations to lobby for their concerns, buit its okay for nurses, opthamologists, used car dealers, alcohol distributors, bankers, grocery store owners, energy businesses, etc, to have their associations to lobby for their needs. I don’t like the America you would have us live in. So, why don’t you purge yourself from this America and go somewhere, like Russia where all of your wildest dreams could come true.