Nathan Deal, Gwinnett Chamber lock horns over charter schools

My AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher has filed this:

Gov. Nathan Deal put in a plug for November’s charter school amendment Thursday, saying state-approved charter schools “have their place.”

“In many parts of our state, students are stuck in schools that are failing … in schools that are not making adequate yearly progress,” Deal told members of the Gwinnett County Chamber of Commerce.

The success of the all-girls Ivy Prep is proving “that even in high performing systems such as Gwinnett, these state-approved charter schools have their place,” Deal said.

Now, a governor speaking up for his own cause is nothing unusual. But the venue was important. Earlier this month, Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sent out invitations for a Sept. 5 fund-raiser – to build cash for a campaign in opposition to the charter school amendment.

From the invitation:

The Gwinnett Chamber holds the fundamental view that decisions about education should be made at the local level where there is direct accountability for funding and governance. The proposed Constitutional amendment, called for in HR 1162, would significantly erode local taxpayers’ control over decisions that impact our students, our schools, and our community. The amendment has the potential to severely harm Gwinnett’s and Georgia’s locally managed public school systems. It is vital that we understand what the proposed amendment could really mean to our community.

I understand that the Gwinnett County Board of Education, which also opposes the governor’s measure, makes annual (and relatively large) contributions to the Gwinnett Chamber.

But remember also that Brandon Beach, who unsuccessfully challenged Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers in the July primary, is also against the charter amendment – and is president and CEO of the North Fulton Chamber of Commerce. I would expect his organization stands in opposition as well.

So what we have here is an interesting split in the business community. Because the larger Georgia Chamber of Commerce is backing the governor on this.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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56 comments Add your comment

Scott Fresno

August 23rd, 2012
3:09 pm

I believe in local control. Except when the locals want to do something different than what I want.

GaBlue

August 23rd, 2012
3:12 pm

The wording of the amendment we’ll see on the ballot will not accurately or adequately reflect the actions and results that such an amendment will put into motion. It’s a RUSE. They are not interested in removing local control of special, newly-formed tax shelters because “it’s good for the kids.”

Georgia, The " New Mississippi "

August 23rd, 2012
3:17 pm

Let me get this right… They want a public funded voucher to send their kids to private school or they want a charter school amendment so they can use public money to fund a private (charter) school. Why don’t they spend some of the time , energy and fund raising efforts to improve the public schools. Sorry, put the poor kids and minorities will still be around.

GaBlue

August 23rd, 2012
3:27 pm

Whenever Gov. Shady is pushing hard for something that appears to be useful to the people of this state, remember this:

He’s erased nearly all of his $4mil personal debt in less than one term… on a $135K/yr salary. HOW does one accomplish such an amazing financial feat in this economy?

Ramen noodles for dinner? Carpooling? Bumping the thermostat up to 78? Or is he trading on promises?

Road Scholar

August 23rd, 2012
3:31 pm

““In many parts of our state, students are stuck in schools that are failing …”

So why is that Gov? School Board? Do they have access to needed adequate funding, since the repubs have gutted the state contribution to the school systems statewide? Or is it the parents who expect schools to be just day care? You and your party preach local control as the new cities of Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Milton, Brookhaven, etc. Why does that not work for school boards?

Or is it that your friends and semi wealthy homeowners want a more “elite” school atmosphere? Let me suggest something…why not encourage and fund ways that the school boards can encourage…or require parents to get involved with their children’s’ education? It seems many high performing public schools can do it; why not others?

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
3:36 pm

Ironic, that a Republican Governor in 2012, would be the primary cheer leader for a NEW untested, unproven BIG GOVERNMENT “WELFARE PLAN” costing $430 million dollars of taxpayer money, called Charter schools that goes against the very same principles, this same GOVERNOR has pretended to champion over and over time and again!

Like , championing the goals of establishing local control of education systems, because the community knows its needs better than any governmental bureaucrat.

He is either LYING now or has been LYING in the past, concerning this long held Republican Mantra belief.

honested

August 23rd, 2012
3:57 pm

Gov. Deal,
Restore the huge cuts to state funding of education that have been enacted since 2003 (dawn of the one party state) which will take some of the pressure off local school boards to make-do with nothing.

Funny how the party that has preached ‘local control’ for decades suddenly doesn’t want it when the ‘locals’ actually want to exert ‘control’.

Put education money back in the budget where it belongs (not matter what happens to the ‘revenue’ side) and get out of the way.

redweather

August 23rd, 2012
4:00 pm

I am sure some of you have noticed that this amendment bears a resemblance to the recently defeated TSPLOST. Both seem to be predicated on the very un-republican idea that the locals can’t be trusted.

jabster

August 23rd, 2012
4:03 pm

1) Charter schools are public, not private. Look it up.

2) If money were the only thing between us and top-performing public schools, that problem would have been solved a long time ago. Nobody ever has enough money.

Go back to hanging out with that hack Dick Yarbrough and all of his GAE buds.

jabster

August 23rd, 2012
4:04 pm

Can you trust the locals in Atlanta (cheating), Clayton County (loss of accreditation), and Gwinnett County (paying $250K in school funds to the Gwinnett Chamber)?

jabster

August 23rd, 2012
4:17 pm

There is no greater “local control” over education than a family making decisions about the education of their children. That’s about as local as it gets.

Ura Goober

August 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

It’s not the governments responsibility to educate our kids. That responsibility belongs to the parents.

jabster

August 23rd, 2012
4:18 pm

We wouldn’t be having this convo if the GAE crowd would quit being all possessive over their power fiefdoms…

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
4:26 pm

Governor Deal and many of his Republican supporters across this nation suffer from the same ILLNESS….THE DADDY COMPLEX – “Daddy knows BETTER!, what his KIDS NEED” and it is UP TO ” DADDY” no MATTER how or what others FEEL or SAY!

The thing is “WE THE PEOPLE, ARE NOT YOUR KIDS.” We disagree with Outrage, of your assertion that this is what we want or desire! Your MORAL beliefs does not make it OURS or I should say” the majority of the Citizens of Georgia”.

I guess pretty soon, we can expect round the clock commercials from the MAYOR Of Atlanta, The honorable KASIM REED!

honested

August 23rd, 2012
4:45 pm

jabster,

I am not a teacher and do not belong to GAE (or any other educational professional organization) however I am a property tax payer and have seen the very effective improvements that can be made when Parents involve themselves with the Local School Board and their neighborhood schools both in a Local Charter and just as an involved parent.

If you want to educate outside the established school system, go ahead, nothing is stopping you.
If you want my money to reinvent the wheel, no way!

redweather

August 23rd, 2012
5:20 pm

@jabster, Can you trust the locals in Atlanta (cheating), Clayton County (loss of accreditation), and Gwinnett County (paying $250K in school funds to the Gwinnett Chamber)?

Well, 250K is a lot less scary than $430,000,000.

[...] won’t be the last. However, as Jim Galloway points out, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce is raising money to oppose the amendment. Earlier this month, Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sent out [...]

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Strange how the Governor states the coded terminology, typically used in Southern culture ” Have their Place”. To many, its a reminder of a certain status applied when referring to different segments of this society.

It was said twice so surely a relevance of a particular need is required to protect those who deserve to ” Have their Place”. different from other students, as if ALL of the other students are inherently different and deserves separation. The problem is, who will determine WHO and what board of people will determine which kids “have their place”. Only a limited number of those deserving of this coveted status will have this unique opportunity. Will it be YOUR CHILD, to have this distinction?

td

August 23rd, 2012
5:37 pm

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
5:27 pm

Strange how the Governor states the coded terminology, typically used in Southern culture ” Have their Place”. To many, its a reminder of a certain status applied when referring to different segments of this society.

You do realize that some of the best preforming Charter schools in this state are 100% minority? Stop playing the race card BS.

td

August 23rd, 2012
5:46 pm

Dang, I hate to agree with anything the left agrees with but I am opposed to this Amendment and will not be voting for it:

We currently have 101 Charter schools approved by the local BOE’s, the state BOE and of them 12 were form the previous commission. These schools were approved by the locally elected people accountable to the voters in the county and overseen by the state with an elected Superintendent that is accountable to the voters.

This Amendment set up an appointed board (3 Governor picks, 2 by the Speaker and 2 by the President of the Senate). They are not accountable to the voter and control the ability to override the decisions of the local board and control the money.

My question to supporters of this amendment is why is this needed if we already have in place the local board and an appeal process to the state board? Why does the speaker and the President have to have a say in local issues when we have a statewide elected person that is suppose to look after the needs of all students?

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
5:50 pm

td @ 5:37 pm – Under the Governor’s plan ALL of that will be reversed surely based on the numbers of students in the entire State of Georgia. That statement was not based at all on my personal knowledge of your comment. so it is you, who is in denial in your thinking. Sometimes TRUTH is stranger than Fiction. It seems you prefer the FICTION.

honested

August 23rd, 2012
5:55 pm

td,

You have proven the ‘blind hog’ rule.

Cliff

August 23rd, 2012
5:59 pm

td, I think the main reason behind the amendment was that some local school boards were not approving some state charter applications, partly because of the money the schools would siphon away from their school systems. The assembly passed a law creating a commission to override the local school boards’ decisions. The state Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. So, now we have an amendment to override the Supreme Court’s decision.

Uncle Alberta

August 23rd, 2012
6:01 pm

Most western nations allow what is call school choice. In fact in the province of Alberta in Canada it is a right written into their provincial charter. If you are a property owner who pays property taxes which go to public education you should have the right to determine where your child goes to school. This is only natural.

td

August 23rd, 2012
6:06 pm

Cliff

August 23rd, 2012
5:59 pm

td, I think the main reason behind the amendment was that some local school boards were not approving some state charter applications, partly because of the money the schools would siphon away from their school systems. The assembly passed a law creating a commission to override the local school boards’ decisions. The state Supreme Court declared the law unconstitutional. So, now we have an amendment to override the Supreme Court’s decision.

The problem with this argument is that current law says a denied Charter can appeal to the SBOE now (all members appointed by the governor) and the new law says the commission will answer to the SBOE, so why can not the state BOE just keep doing the job and not waste the tax payers money?

Proud Voter

August 23rd, 2012
6:11 pm

Georgia: The New Mississippi: This is exactly what I’ve been saying all along. The effort and finances are going in the wrong direction. In the process, we are losing our neighborhoods. The students don’t “buy” into where they live or where they go to school. The lack of repect by the students toward their schools and neighborhoods is a major problem. I still feel an interesting story would be to follow the money of the charter schools and reveal who really benefits from them.

Bernie

August 23rd, 2012
6:11 pm

td @ 5:46 pm – Your are obviously not aware of the double meaning of coded terminology that is used in Southern culture. You assumed my reference was specifically speaking of only minority students. It was NOT!

The Governor’s reference could easily be viewed as members of the Lucky gene pool club, white students and or students of parents who may be large campaign donors of the Governor or the many state legislators children,family members,neighbors, business associates or those who are deserving of special favors by either one or BOTH! There is a whole new cesspool of cronyism that can be easily created with such a plan as it is.

Try removing your preconceived small minded thinking and you will be able to maybe have a different opinion.

ExcOne

August 23rd, 2012
6:21 pm

Unfortunately, the wording of this ballot item is designed to mislead and confuse the voters. There should be some sort of disclaimer printed just above the proposed amendment that informs voters that the local school boards already have the power to approve charter schools. However the way it is written, I’m not sure how it is worded exactly but it is similar to this: “Shall the constitution be amended so that state and local governing authorities have to power to create charter schools.” I fear many will vote “YES” because there will be no such disclaimer. Local control will be thrown out the window if the amendment passes.

Will in Roswell

August 23rd, 2012
6:29 pm

GaBlue says
“He’s erased nearly all of his $4mil personal debt in less than one term… on a $135K/yr salary. HOW does one accomplish such an amazing financial feat in this economy?”

This is how:
If you would do proper research, you would find that the Governor and Mrs. Deal did it the old fashion way. They sold much of their personal property and used retirement funds to pay off their obligations. They do not go to friends to pay off their debts.

oldfart

August 23rd, 2012
6:32 pm

I simply don’t like my tax money being diverted to the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce to act as lobbyists for the extraction of more tax money. On the recent regional TSPLOST, the recent E-SPLOST, and the previous Developer/Commissioner Benefit SPLOST the Chamber has bought advertising, dinners and tickets,etc. (you know, the usual Balfour & Boys entitlements). The BOE as well as the BOC send money to the Chamber to lobby for additional tax extraction on their behalf and the taxpayer is supposed to shut up and like it. We get all of the conservative Republican mantras but the one-party system is working about as well as it did for the USSR.

Taxpaying Mom

August 23rd, 2012
7:04 pm

I’ve been following this issue through the Jen Falk website – She has been spotlighting the Gwinnett Chamber/Gwinnett County School Board issue for months – http://votejenfalk.com/2012/08/a-turning-point/ We NEED transparency and accountability from the Gwinnett County School Board – they have wasted my tax dollars long enough!

Rural Education

August 23rd, 2012
7:08 pm

The goal of this amendment is to take public money and give it to private industry who will be running these charter schools. Another step in the master plan to do away with public education altogether. Not a single member of the committee who wrote this has or has had children in public school.

yuzeyurbrane

August 23rd, 2012
8:19 pm

Deal assumes a fact that is not in evidence. Namely, that state licensed charter schools are designed to help students from failing public schools. There is no empirical evidence of this and in fact most students attending those schools do not come from failing public schools. In plain English, Deal is lieing.

Kris

August 23rd, 2012
8:21 pm

Georgia last in education FIRST in political corruption..Wonder which dummy corp Deal will be running?

Fix the education system we have now.

Johns creek

August 23rd, 2012
8:51 pm

I don’t see why charter schools are better than private schools. Aren’t vouchers a better solution than charter schools?

td

August 23rd, 2012
9:02 pm

Kris

August 23rd, 2012
8:21 pm

“Georgia last in education”

Not actual facts but in the bottom 10%. Now the question is why? It has been the same condition under both Democratic and Republican control of the state.

“Fix the education system we have now.”

Can not be fixed until Urban Dems and rural Republicans decide to change their cultural thoughts about the importance of education. .

double

August 23rd, 2012
9:10 pm

The goal of this amendment is to take taxpayer money and give to private industry owned and controlled by the elected,or their family or friends.Just another ploy to rob the taxpayer and benefit the wealthy.

JPL

August 23rd, 2012
9:12 pm

The governor is not suggesting paying for these schools. The reason we are the strongest country in the world is because of public education. Folks have a choice now with out tax payer money.

td

August 23rd, 2012
10:10 pm

double

August 23rd, 2012
9:10 pm

The goal of this amendment is to take taxpayer money and give to private industry owned and controlled by the elected,or their family or friends.Just another ploy to rob the taxpayer and benefit the wealthy.

Can not be the reason because they can do that now. The Governor currently controls the entire SBOE and under this amendment he gives up having 12 people in his pocket to having 4. He would never give up that much control if that much money was at stake.

Mr. Education

August 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

Irony: opponents of T-SPLOST railed against our tax funds being spent by a state bureacracy and the distrust of state government. The Charter amendment does just that — sends local dollars to a bureacracy appointed by the Governor, Speaker and Lt. Gov. Assuming for the sake of argument that these type charter schools are needed, why would we trust the Gov, etc. to make political appointments.

American

August 23rd, 2012
10:20 pm

The Governor lost BIG TIME on TSPLOST and I hope he loses big on the Charter School Amendment and then, I hope he loses his bid for reelection. He is out touch and out of step with the people of Georgia

[...] it won’t be the last. However, as Jim Galloway points out, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce is raising money to oppose the amendment. Earlier this month, Jim Maran, president and CEO of the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce, sent out [...]

hiram

August 23rd, 2012
11:36 pm

Will in Roswell
August 23rd, 2012
6:29 pm
“If you would do proper research, you would find that the Governor and Mrs. Deal did it the old fashion way. They sold much of their personal property and used retirement funds to pay off their obligations. They do not go to friends to pay off their debts.”

“Steve A. Diamond on Monday signed documents to pay $750,000 for the site. Deal is financing the transaction, which means the governor could be responsible for outstanding debt if Diamond’s business fails.

Diamond of Santa Maria, Calif., owns Diamond Video World, also known as Diamond Adult World, which has four locations in California, selling sex toys, DVDS, lingerie, oils and lubricants, according to its website.

Deal’s accountant, Jimmy Allen, said he spoke with Diamond on Friday after reporters asked him about the man’s business background. He was assured that Diamond plans to open a pawnshop on the property, not an adult video store. Deal did not know Diamond was involved in that kind of business, Allen said. ”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution August 6, 2011

If you believe that Brother Deal didn’t know anything about a guy he just entered into a $750,000 transaction with, I’ve got some really nice swamp land that you might be interested in. Sonny had already established that Georgia’s unwashed masses are totally oblivious to the world around them, and Brother Deal hit the ground running.

Decatur Joe

August 23rd, 2012
11:52 pm

State Board of Educationber and Charter Committee Chairperson Brian Burdett provided stinging criticisms of State Superintendent Dr. Barge .  Here are some of the more significant comments coming from State Board of Education Committee member Burdett.

“As everyone knows, Superintendent Barge came out in opposition to the (charter) amendment.  I for one, as the chairman of the charter schools committee, respectfully and vigorously disagree (with Barge)”

“Basically, I read it (Barge’s comments about former commission charter schools) as, if there was going to be any more money out there in the state of Georgia in education, you (Barge) would like to see all of that taken and doled out to traditional schools mainly and maybe throw some crumbs out to charter schools”

“We need it (passage of the charter school amendment) because there is no other option today for parents to get a good high quality charter looked at, at the local level”

“In the past 10 years there are a lot of good high quality charters out there that have just been ignored and that’s because local school boards and local school districts are just anti-charter.  I am not just saying it, it is a fact.  Until that changes, we need this commission.”

“The reason we have this constitutional amendment, it didn’t just happen overnight, it has been going on for years, the reason we’re having it is because it is a battle.  No one is willing to say what we need to say but I will. It is a battle between the local school boards, their associations, local superintendents, their associations and the parents.”

honested

August 24th, 2012
12:03 am

Ask Debbie Dooley,
To hear her tell it she is ‘IN CHARGE’ of GA voters!

Kris

August 24th, 2012
12:06 am

@ td….Can not be fixed until Urban Dems and rural Republicans decide to change their cultural thoughts about the importance of education. .

Close enough to last ..

I agree..I was so so so glad the day my kid graduated high school so I would not have to DEAL with those snooty moms and Dumb-ass DEALS…Now after college and the prospect of grand kids attending public schools or private scares the scat out of me..You are right until the public sees the importance of education. .We will continue to have republicans…

Wonder how many of dirty DEALS family is in education?

honested

August 24th, 2012
12:07 am

Decatur Joe,
It’s simple.
Pay close attention to your neighborhood school. Show up for EVERYTHING.
If you can, donate money and in-kind resources where needed.
Show up and speak your mind (if you have one) at Local or County School Board Meetings.
If they don’t follow the People’s instructions, vote them out every other November.

On the other hand, don’t invent a new system that everybody has to pay for because you (as a parent or interested citizen) did NOT do your job.

That is how Democracy (even in the backwards one-party-state works).

honested

August 24th, 2012
12:08 am

Kris,
I don’t know you, but we are in the SAME boat.

Attack Dog

August 24th, 2012
5:22 am

TSPLOST, charter schools, stimulus packages, cap-and-trade, public option are all so un-republican. ROTFLMAO.

rawmilkdrinker

August 24th, 2012
6:33 am

Students whose parents expect them to work hard, learn, and do well in school usually do so, regardless of the school.
That said, given the shenanigans and shady backroom dealing by some of today’s greasy palmed politicians and their backslapping friends, one who has any sense of historical perspective knows that this issue is all about a really big pot of public money that can be transferred from the taxpayers into private pockets. A reverse redistribution of wealth scheme.