Charter school forces come up short in Cherokee chairmanship race

With 57 percent of the vote, Janet Reed has won the race for chairman of the Cherokee County Board of Education, beating Danny Dukes with 57 percent of the vote.

Dukes was a member of the governing board of a local charter school, whose funding had been opposed by Read, a longtime member of the school board. Think of the race as a precursor of a statewide debate over charter schools that begins Wednesday.

A proposal to re-assert state authority to license the schools, over the objections of local systems, is on the November ballot.

A number of Republican incumbent state lawmakers are on the edge of defeat this evening. State Rep. Steve Davis of Henry County, one of the most conservative members of the Legislature, just sent out this via Twitter:

”I just called Mr [Dale] Rutledge to concede our race. I want to thank my family and volunteers for the help. It has been great honor to serve you!”

Current figures on the secretary of state’s website has Rutledge at 65 percent.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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19 comments Add your comment

Look before I leap...

July 31st, 2012
10:57 pm

A shame that Chip Rogers and Doug Balfour are not on that list Jim.

One Who Knows....

July 31st, 2012
11:01 pm

David Ralston, Jan Jones, Larry O’Neal & the House Leadership showed once again that they are either unwilling or unable to help their own. So much for incumbent protection in the GOP House Caucus. Maybe they were too busy promoting the tax increases.

Too bad they did not go down like their precious T-SPLOST

Look before I leap...

July 31st, 2012
11:07 pm

One of the interesting races is Clayton County Sheriff where the incumbent, Kem Kimbrough only leads Victor Hill (past Sheriff) by 7 points.

Hill is currently under 37 counts of indictment for racketeering and fraud.

Pretty much sums up the Georgia electorate’s mindset of, “We don’t care if he is a crook, as long as he is OUR crook”.

Look before I leap...

July 31st, 2012
11:18 pm

Add Doug McKillip in district 177 to your list Jim.
Can’t say that displeases me.


July 31st, 2012
11:42 pm

Amen to your Chip Rogers comment, Mr. Look. But I think sooner or later his many ethical issues are finally going to drag him down. Here’s hoping…

Edmund Ruffin

August 1st, 2012
7:07 am

Steve Davis was a good State Rep. I’m guessing what went wrong………his opponents painted him as one of the architects of the TSPLOST proposal, and he had the backing of the Republican leadership at the State Capitol. That crew is not that much liked in Henry County.


August 1st, 2012
7:17 am

In Cherokee County the RINOs have now solidly won the school board.
Watch as your taxes go up.
And you teachers can no longer complain about furlough days because now you have the board you voted for.
Lets see how you feel about it in 4 yrs.


August 1st, 2012
8:12 am

Jim – I believe it was more about established name ID and how individuals ran their campaign in Cherokee…because you failed to mention that Kelly Marlow, a public Charter School parent, won an open seat on the school board.


August 1st, 2012
9:00 am

If you think a charter school is a public school, try to just walk in and enroll your child. Before that could happen, you and your child would be completely vetted, and then, if you passed, you might be allowed in. The only thing public about charter schools is that they are supported by your public tax money


August 1st, 2012
9:20 am

Jim, did the referendum pass about am mending the constitution for charters? I’m having trouble following. Thanks.


August 1st, 2012
9:41 am

Jeffrey, I am pretty sure the charter school question was a party survey rather than an actual amendment. Thus, pass or fail, the “vote” is not legally binding.

On a side note about Cherokee, to all those who thought Brandon Beach would win: leave the prognosticating to professionals. Just because you know three people and those three people are voting for the same candidate does not mean that candidate has a lot of support. Ever heard of the term: selection bias?

Chip Rogers is the Senate Majority Leader! He is one of the most powerful individuals in the state, why would anybody throw that kind of influence away on a right-wing zealot like Beach? Rogers can do much more for his district than most state senators, certainly more than a freshman, why mess with that?

The answer is simple and can be summed up in one word: stupidity. Nobody ever accused Cherokee residents of being smart…and this applies to the Towne Lakers and Bridgemillians out there as well.


August 1st, 2012
10:09 am

Lynn – it might help you to understand how the public charter school admission process works. You can learn about it in Georgia law.

Regarding admission of students, it says in Georgia Code – Education – Title 20, Section 20-2-2066 (c) A charter school shall not discriminate on any basis that would be illegal if used by a school system.

Also, it says in 1 (A) A start-up charter school shall enroll any student who resides in the charter attendance zone as specified in the charter and who submits a timely application as specified in the charter unless the number of applications exceeds the capacity of a program, class, grade level, or building. In such case, all such applicants shall have an equal chance of being admitted through a random selection process unless otherwise prohibited by law;

This is what they call the “lottery process”. There are a couple good movies out that highlight the process: “Waitng for Superman” and “The Lottery”.


August 1st, 2012
10:43 am

Those seeking Rogers and posse be removed are more interested in good government and the welfare of their children than political advantage. Clearly articulated has been the very thing that will continue plague this state and nation, namely politicians who are more interested in their own welfare than doing what is in the best interest of the constituents. While the people of Cherokee may be misinformed, purely due to their failure to keep abreast of the misdeeds of their elected officials and their surrogates, it is not for a lack of intellect. While Chip and the Incumbent Protection Program has worked in their favor this time, I believe the electorate is beginning to awaken. When they do…watch out.

Holly Jones

August 1st, 2012
12:39 pm

@Ed- Marlow only won by 25 votes, hardly an overwhelming endorsement.

Unions lost out in election

August 1st, 2012
12:49 pm

”Union 101: You’re in the largest professional union in the United States.”

If you are one of the claimed 40,000+ members of the Georgia Association of Educators you are also required to pay $168 yearly to belong to the National Education Association—a self-described labor union.

At top are the opening words on their web page spelling that out. Please read through that web page as many times as it takes for the words to register. If you belong to GAE you belong to a real labor union.

And you’re paying an extra $168 yearly to do so.

As has been pointed out, labor unions are not only about on-the-job militancy. Resisting education reforms and denying parents—especially parents in the inner city—the right to escape failing public schools is also your goal. So is endorsing and funding the Democrat Party and its presidential candidate each and every election.

If you are in GAE you have done that every election since the 1970s. Never once has your union endorsed or funded an independent or Republican for president.

Never once. Nor for Georgia governor.



August 1st, 2012
3:03 pm

Wow. Maybe now we can dismantle that Charter School!!!!! It creates too much traffic.

waiting for jake

August 1st, 2012
5:14 pm

Lynn43, I’m not sure what you are basing your comments on about charter school students being vetted. My son attends the charter school in Cherokee, and I never had a “background check” of any sort. We filled out the standard school forms required at any other county school, with the same basic information and proof of residency expectations, and then simply waited for lottery results. An electric bill and a copy of my child’s birth certificate were really not all that telling of any political views in my house, so I’d hardly call it “vetting.” Of course with the demand for slots in the only local charter school is so high a lottery is necessary to limit the number of students to only what space and class size will allow. We simply got lucky in being chosen.
On another key note, the school board did approve local “academies” of sorts for the current year. They are much touted by Read as the solution to “appease” [her word] parents interested in school choice. It should be noted, however, that these were only approved with a critical election on the ballot. They are also far more limited to open enrollment than the charter school and primarily focus on the arts. Thanks, but your child can pay for their own ballet and drama lessons in elementary school. If our county funds are so very limited, let’s use them on actual academics. As for the very few science schools they have allowed, they are only open to outside students once all existing students in that local district have been given slots automatically. So you can imagine how few of us living elsewhere in the county are actually allowed any educational “choice.” I had far better chances in the charter lottery.
I respect the county’s voters and their majority choice; however, I do hope given the slim margin of victory in all BOE races here that they will significantly tone down their highly hostile rhetoric and perhaps somehow work on bringing all residents here back together in mutual respect as we all seek the best possible education for our children. There has to be a middle ground somewhere and both sides must learn to behave as adults showing mutual respect. Regardless of the extremity of either group’s opinions, we all theoretically have a similar ultimate goal.

waiting for jake

August 1st, 2012
5:20 pm

Holly, you are correct in your comment on the Marlow race. However, in the other BOE elections, the margin of victory was less than 80 votes on one race and less than 500 on the other. I would say opinion here is fairly evenly split.

Anyone But Chip

August 1st, 2012
8:40 pm


I think you are missing a zero there. The BOE Chairman race had Read winning by 5000 votes, not 500.