One of the biggest opponents to the November ballot issue to re-establish state authority to license charter schools in local systems has been pushed into neutrality.
Another may quickly follow.
This afternoon, my AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher obtained the following memo sent out by Gwinnett Chamber CEO Jim Maran to the organization’s board of directors and other parties (emphasis is mine):
We have had recent conversations with members of the Chamber’s Board of Directors and Gwinnett’s Legislative Delegation regarding state-controlled charter schools and the related constitutional amendment referendum.
With respect to all parties engaged in the issue, the Executive Committee of the Board has decided the Chamber shall remain neutral on this subject. As such, the September 5 event has been cancelled.
The Sept. 5 event was a fund-raiser for opponents of the measure.
Gov. Nathan Deal addressed the Gwinnett Chamber only last week. Do not persuade yourself that this is a coincidence. We’re told that some members of the legislative delegation threatened to withhold funds for Gwinnett Tech and Georgia Gwinnett College if the chamber didn’t back off.
If that weren’t enough, the National PTA has declared its Georgia chapter of line, with its opposition to the ballot measure. From Education Week:
The National Parent Teacher Association has revamped its policy to make it clear that it supports giving entities other than local school boards the right to approve charter schools, a new position the group argues will increase its ability to shape policy within the diverse and growing sector of independent public schools….
A state chapter of the organization, the Georgia PTA, is opposing a ballot measure that will go to voters in November to set up a state-level commission to approve charters. That puts the Georgia chapter at odds with the new national policy, according to the parent organization, which is trying to resolve the issue and to persuade state officials to remain neutral on the matter.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider