A private electronic memo outlines charter school campaign

The November campaign to re-establish state government’s authority to set up local charter schools in Georgia will look very much like this summer’s effort to pass a transportation sales tax.

But in a good way.

That’s according to a private PowerPoint outline that’s being passed to members and friends of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, and which has fallen into our hands. You can see it here.

The presentation describes a $2.7 million statewide campaign that will be divided into a $974,000 tax-free “educational” effort dubbed “Brighter Georgia,” controlled by the charter schools association, and a traditional get-out-the-vote campaign with a $1.8 million price tag called Families for Better Schools. That’s a page torn right from the T-SPLOST push.

The two organizations had raised a combined $988,000 as of Sept. 1, the memo said.

At the top of the organizational chart of the Families for Better Schools campaign — contained within the memo — is a bipartisan team of political strategists: Republicans Chip Lake, Heath Garrett and Mitch Hunter; and Democrat Chris Carpenter.

A timely use of the word "hope" by charter school advocates

A timely use of the word "hope" by charter school advocates

All four were involved in the July 31 T-SPLOST effort — but in the statewide campaign outside metro Atlanta, where three regions actually approved the tax.

Bert Brantley, who served as the voice of the doomed metro Atlanta T-SPLOST campaign, will serve as spokesman for the charter school campaign. Brantley confirmed the accuracy of the information contained in the GCSA’s outline of the campaign — which was not intended for public distribution.

The electronic memo outlines the history of the state’s dilemma. In 2011, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a state commission set up to license public charter schools was unconstitutional. Justices pointed to a provision of the constitution they said put the creation of individual schools in the hands of local boards of education.

Advocates say that, without the constitutional amendment, a dependable “pipeline” for the creation of nontraditional schools would be closed. Opponents maintain that yet another state agency able to create charter schools — the state Board of Education can already do so — would siphon much-needed money from local school systems.

Gov. Nathan Deal backs the Nov. 6 proposal and has already weighed in to help neutralize some opposition.

The memo also lays out some of the strategy supporters intend to use:

• “Hope is in your hands” is the slogan of the charter school campaign. Brantley acknowledged that the key word in that phrase harkens not only to the state’s HOPE scholarship franchise, but also the “hope and change” touted by the re-election campaign of President Barack Obama.
The presidential contest will conclude on the same day as the charter school vote. Minority voters who consider their children trapped in failing urban schools are a crucial audience for the charter school measure.

“We just felt the word captured what was being offered,” Brantley said.

• Already existing charter schools are being asked to contribute to the effort, though donations to the “educational” portion of the campaign aren’t likely to be made public. “Virtually all our state-approved charter schools have pledged to this campaign. However, to date, only two have paid their pledges. We are encouraging the state charters to at least invest a payment toward their financial commitments,” a note attached to the PowerPoint presentation reported.

• Rather than emphasize messages delivered by TV and radio, as metro Atlanta’s T-SPLOST campaign did, the charter school campaign will depend on a “bare bones” effort of social media, direct mail and robo-calls. The electronic memo included a copy of a brochure — 20,000 copies of which will be handed to charter school students and their parents for distribution.

Some of the messages in the electronic memo were clearly meant for interior consumption only. Without the charter school amendment, school systems might “approve/renew fewer or no [charter] schools based on budgetary considerations alone,” the memo said.

That’s not a sentence to throw in front of voters still stung by the Great Recession.

The private memo also emphasized the historic nature of Georgia’s charter school vote. “No other state has had a positive outcome for a charter-positive ballot initiative,” it said. “… Passing the amendment sets a national precedent for other states.”

That’s information meant for campaign contributors rather than voters. My Atlanta Journal-Constitution colleague Wayne Washington reported this week that only 4 percent of money raised for the campaign arm of the charter school effort comes from within Georgia.

Starting a national fire might appeal to someone like Wal-Mart heiress Alice Walton of Arkansas, who has given $250,000 to the Georgia cause. But such pioneering might not appeal to your average voter. He or she might wonder about the hidden hazards of going first.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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52 comments Add your comment


September 15th, 2012
10:40 am

This is a ruse to foist politically connected, corporate controlled, privatized schools on local jurisdictions across the state.
Obviously there is a huge profit motive involved, because it is painfully obvious that our state leadership hasn’t demonstrated any previous concern about the quality of education in Georgia, and steadfastly ignores the traditional conservative doctrine that control of education should be in local hands. Be assured there must be hundreds of millions of dollars in play here for the state leaders to suddenly take an interest in schools and education.
The state leadership has consistently cut education in GA. GA ranks near the bottom in every measure of K-12 educational achievement. Now they want to funnel hundreds of millions into the pockets of corporate donors and cronies by privatizing schools. Local control of education be dam-ed.


September 15th, 2012
10:58 am

Yeah, and the state will also kill your first born and steal your house if you vote yes. Come on, you know this is about school districts wanting the $8 billion in state money without having to be accountable for, I don’t know, actually teaching kids and getting them to graduate. If charters can do something about our dismal graduation rates, I’m voting yes.

Decatur Joe

September 15th, 2012
10:58 am

Looks like the pro-charter folks are doing everything they can within the letter of the law to provide communities across Georgia with options in public K-12 education.

School board members and Superitendent across the state have blattently crossed the legal lines of distributing campaign matterial to parents and staff, using tax payer funds to do so. Such actions are illegal and should be prosecuted.

Old Physics Teacher

September 15th, 2012
11:11 am

Mitch, I know this is a waste of time. Your mind is made up, and you don’t want to be confused with the facts, but this isn’t “about school districts wanting the 8″ billion, trillion, bazillion “dollars without being accountable.” This is about legislative over-reach. Our founders did not want “taxation without representation.” This is what this legislature is proposing.

This “commission” is not responsible to voters. It’s responsible to the moneyed-interested. Local school boards ARE responsible to the voters. Maybe they’re not responding to your concerns. If that is true, get a bunch of like-minded VOTERS in your district, and you run for school board. If enough of your NEIGHBORS agree with you, you’ll win. You can then fix your problems locally. If not, you’ll lose. That’s the American way.

Don’t force my community, who is involved in our education, to be unable to support us because your neighborhood is draining money from us!


September 15th, 2012
11:26 am

So are they saying they want charter schools to give a portion of the TAXPAYER MONEY they get to support the effort to open the door for more non-locally approved charter schools!??!!

I don’t have a problem with locally approved NON PROFIT charter schools. I don’t think any COMPANY should profit additionally from short-changing kids to meet the profit demands of their investors! We are already giving too much money to companies who provide the “cure du jour” for our troubles–a mishmash of stupid slogans and sketchy materials produced to be sold to gullible school systems led by administrators far-removed from the classroom.

Of course, the faux “conservatives” in this state support local control, unless it interferes with profit! How do you think the “keep your hand out of my pocket” plays to those who see “their” tax monies going to these for-profit companies? If they aren’t stupid (big if) the common folks of Georgia will recognize this as an attempt for Wall Street to slurp up that tax money, they will vote NO resoundingly. Hold the local board responsible for providing a good education; don’t pass it off to the suits in Dallas, Washington, LA, etc.!


September 15th, 2012
11:30 am

And say “it can’t be done” holding the local board responsible? Where I live the board members are generally there for life; however, all three up for relection were overwhelmingly defeated in July in large part for their poor decisions on providing for the students, including turning down a proposal for a local charter school! The sheep turned on the wolves! Taxpayers CAN make their voices heard!


September 15th, 2012
11:47 am

Money, money, money! Look who is paying for the pro-campaign. FOR-profit charter school companies and crazy out of state Tea Partiers ! Charter schools are great but Deal and his cronies want to make money for their out of state donors. Why hasn’t this passed in other states? Because it is corrupt!!


September 15th, 2012
12:00 pm

What “n” said at 10:40. It’s a RUSE. (ruse [ruːz] noun: an action intended to mislead, deceive, or trick; stratagem)

If you think this buncha crooks under the gold dome, who’ve done nothing but slash education in this state for years, suddenly got an attack of conscience and decided to care what’s best for the children who live here, throwing off the personal profit motive that encompasses and drives everything they do, then I’ve got a nice mountain chalet to sell you, on the slopes of a beautiful ski resort in Albany, Ga.


September 15th, 2012
12:04 pm

So 96% of the money to be used to pressure Georgia into passing a “charter-positive ballot initiative” comes from people and corporations who will not be sending their children to such schools – but who would LOVE to stuff the money intended for Georgia’s children into their own greedy pockets. Gosh, what a surprise.

Charter schools, all publicly-financed, that have pledged donations to this effort should have that apparently unneeded money redirected back into their local community public schools. How dare they take taxpayer money and use it for political advertising for a proposition that will siphon off more taxpayer money!

Mitch, according to an analysis that the AJC completed and published about two months ago or so, charters do not improve outcomes in Georgia, even when they are supported by local parents and teachers. Passing this initiative will allow the Legislature, who of course are utterly ignorant when it comes to educational matters and uncaring of the effects of budget cuts on students but who are both adept and eager when it comes to sucking money out of corporate interests, to plant charter schools on local systems without their permission or desire, to buy land from friendly developers to site such charters, to contract (no bid, of course) with generous construction companies to build them and to hand over the educational reins to for-profit, big-money corporate shysters to run. Local systems, local parents and even the courts would be unable to either stop these obvious giveaways or to get rid of them once they are planted, tumor-like, on the community. But they would have to pay for them, without recourse, according to any contract the Legislature may decide to put in place with their corporate pals.

Treat this like the boondoggle the T-SPLOST was and vote it down, resoundingly.

No Longer Republican

September 15th, 2012
12:06 pm

Is there any organized opposition to this? Its all about profit for those who invest in the schools, not about the education of the children. Just wondering where to send my donation to the opposition.


September 15th, 2012
12:36 pm

Another SCAM by DEAL and his cronies to rip off the people of GA and keep us LAST in EDUCATION.

Another pocket lining scam cooked up in closed door offices still smelling of cigars and asphalt. Nuff SAID

T-SPLOST vote NO….check
Vote all incumbents crooks out …check…still working.
Said time and time again DEAL is a crook…check
Said time and time again IMPEACH DEAL….check
Time to stop this charter school campaign nonsense
VOTE NO…in progress


September 15th, 2012
12:41 pm

PTA Person

September 15th, 2012
12:52 pm

PTA is not a part of this campaign (See Slide 21 on the PowerPoint)…considering this PowerPoint seems to be authored by the Georgia Charter School Association and the reference to PTA is seemingly targeted to people in Georgia – I guess I need to follow up with the attorney and see what rights may have been violated for Georgia PTA.


September 15th, 2012
12:58 pm

T-Splost 2 brought to you by the same cast of characters. Potentially, billions of $$ is at stake here. I am sure some of it will find its way into Deal family members who are hired as consultants. “Outside Money Pours into Georgia for Charter Amendment Fight” reads the headline in AJC article to which JIm refers. All the outside money is of course pro-charter amendment. The scheme is not so complicated. Slash public education budgets by billions, point to how public education is failing kids in failing schools, create state-chartered schools by new Board controlled by Governor which state funds at 100% of real budgetary needs for college prep for mostly white middle class kids, and leave others in underfunded traditional public schools which devolve into vocational schools for the mostly black and Hispanic minorities. Of course, the state chartered schools would have no local school board control, very little transparency and would be mostly contracted out to for-profit k-12 Capella University type operations. Oversight and transparency is theoretically provided for with parent PTA type organizations, which if you think they will really run the schools, I have a bridge to sell you. For politicians, a new revenue stream for the 21st century to replace their failed DOT pork barrel source. What a deal! And who is stuck with the bill—Georgia voters. Georgians should defeat this in November as they recently defeated T-Splost.


September 15th, 2012
1:06 pm

How can a tax payer financed school, give money to a political campaign? I don’t think that is legal!! Public schools are not allow to send our money to lobby!


September 15th, 2012
2:20 pm

No kidding, Mark. They’ll likely say it’s “education.”


September 15th, 2012
2:30 pm

Opposition: That is “eddy cation, according to our legislators. They know all there is to know about eddy cation–they wene to first grade 50 years ago!

With Georgian’s fear of “outsiders,” how will this report be received by those who can and will read it?

It is all about the money–yours and mine–going to Friends of the legislature.


September 15th, 2012
2:57 pm

Correction: “Georgians’ fear.” More than one.

alpharetta mom

September 15th, 2012
3:19 pm

These guys have no shame! Check out the Q & A Brochure:
Question 1: Is the state trying to take away local control?
Their Lie: No. All charter school applicants MUST originate at the community level and go through the local board. The state can only be involved if members of the community believe the local board unfairly denies the school.
The Legislation states: HB 797 starting line 166 – For petitions for state charter schools with a STATE-WIDE attendance zone, the petitioner shall submit such petition to the commission and concurrently to the local board of education in which the school is proposed to be located for INFORMATION ONLY. In other words – if you don’t like it, go pound salt.
This group are carpet baggers and liars and shouldn’t be allowed to go anywhere near kids or public funds.


September 15th, 2012
3:48 pm

No one has brought up the religious aspect of this. As someone living in “In God We Trust” County, Georgia, I can assure you that the study of evolution won’t be part of the curriculum. The last thing that Brother Deal and partners wants is an educated populace.

Daylight Diogenes

September 15th, 2012
4:28 pm

Alpharetta Mom brings up (and Shar refers to) a very important KEY POINT: if the amendment passes, statewide-attendance-zone charter schools could be approved by the Commission–a new ballgame for Georgia. Those “statewide” schools’ applicants would only have to inform local boards of their intent to apply when the application’s submitted to the Commission.

So all an outside charter-school operator such as Charter Schools USA (has given $50,000 to “pro” campaign, so far) and K12 Inc. ($100,000 contributed) would have to do–in an application–is declare a statewide attendance zone & then upon Commission approval, put the school wherever it wants.

In public gatherings which I’ve attended, key people in the pro-charter campaign have actually said that there is no appeals process in place for a CS applicant who’s turned down by the local board. Which, of course, is not true. The state BOE is a charter-school authorizer and there is no legal dispute about that. Unfortunately the PowerPoint does nothing to dispel that untruth.

The organized opposition’s website is “http://votesmartgeorgia.com” (Opposition’s link above has a comma instead of a dot.)


September 15th, 2012
5:34 pm

I looked at the Power Point. Interesting. One frame contains a pretty explicit threat that traditional public school staff will violate the law if they participate in certain activities against the proposed Amendment, presumably because they are on the public payroll. Yet, in another frame they explicit urge the staff at publicly funded charter schools to engage in the exact same activities in support of the proposed Amendment. Besides taking a lot of brass-b****d gall to make such a pitch, I wonder what their legal basis is for saying one group’s activities would be illegal but the same activities by their group would be legal?


September 15th, 2012
5:44 pm

Anyone notice that HB797 does not outline any procudures for State Charter Termination?

Anyone notice “The commission may receive and expend gifts, grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this article?”

Does that mean if I am ABC Car Co. I can start my own charter school-totally state funded and donate money for skilled labor training to it so I have a constant pipeline of employees? Industrial Education at its finest.


September 15th, 2012
5:47 pm

@yuzeyurbrane, I read a post on a blog last night where the charter parent said charter employees are not government employees! She must have already seen the powerpoint or read the brochure.

another comment

September 15th, 2012
6:15 pm

If we really want more choice our legislature would allow more school districts. It is absolutely absurd and unheard or in other States that Georgia has a Constitutional limit on the number of School Districts. Remove that limit. Allow all the new cities to have their own school districts. Have you seen how much faster the City of Sandy Springs Police and Fire Department arrive to the intersection of W. Wieca and Roswell Rd. vs. the City of Atlanta Rd.. City of Sandy Springs arrives in like 1 minute or less, luckily they are professionalls and rendered the young man aide, secured the car battery so it would not blow up and start a fire. Even though it was in the City of Atlanta, it was South side of intersection. The Sandy Springs Police showed up within 3-4 minutes, but he could not take reports because it was Atlanta. It took Atlanta police, over 1/2 hour to actually show up, then they never sent me a critical witness in the case which was caused by a hit and run driver a supenea to show up in court. Instead the officer who wasn’t present gives the injured young Ga. State Student a ticket.

So why has everyone been voting for their local Cities, local control. They know what their communties want. Last night I watched my youngest sing with her Middle School Chorus at Movies on the Green in Sandy Springs. The Sandy Springs Schools of Fulton County should not be part of Fulton County School, even though Avaossa is a gem. If they were Riverwood and North Springs should be the Sandy Springs City Schools with their feeder schools. They are a different unique diverse environment the South Fulton, and a different environment than Milton and Nothern Fulton. Milton should have their own city School district, Roswell should have their own. Chattahoochee hills should have their own. Unicorporated South Fulton can have their own.

City of Atlanta, Can be broken up into the North Atlanta School District, The Grady School District. Each with its own Feeder Schools. People don’t have to worry that every few years some huge district is going to use them as political pawn to move the lines.

Same thing in all Large Districts split them up with no more than two high schools in a Districts. Have every two Districts share a Vo-tech School. Kudo’s to Hinjosa for his proposal to build two in Cobb. Alot more are needed.

Then after their are more districts. Give students vouchers to switch districts, if the students have no discipline issues at their prior school. We must also allow schools to discipline students and to seperate them out. Any student that has been bullied or can not get the education the parents desire should get a voucher for the full amount of the education. The state is now saying they are going to give the Charter schools $8,000. They aren’t even giving Fulton County $3,000 per student right now, which might be why at middle school, they only have one set of books per class. No take home books. That is pretty sad. We have no books at a 58% Title 1 school, I have a $7,500 tax bill. Yet we have translaters out the but. The low income apts. all have huge satelite dishes so they can get TV in their native language. Now if they only got TV in English they would be bi-lingual in Engilish in less than 3 months. I know, I lived abroad, in a small town where no one spoke English. I only got to see poorly dubbed ” Streets of San Fransico, that I could lip read.”. But I became Fluent quickly.


September 15th, 2012
6:29 pm

When are we going to learn that neither healthcare nor education should ever be for-profit industries?

Look before I leap...

September 15th, 2012
6:47 pm

We already have charter schools in GA. I don’t have the citations handy, but I seem to recall more than one study that looked at standardized test scores and they were either at par with the public schools or worse. So what is different in Deal’s proposal that would encourage thinking that all these new charter schools are going to produce better results?

Stupid is

September 15th, 2012
6:54 pm

Well, they privatized prisons to make a pile of money for friends and families. Now that the tax dollars have dried up, we are hearing a different tune, it ’s all abouit prison reform. So let’s move to the next captive audience with a steady supply of tax dollars, k-12 education. It will be so easy to take it over, we’ll just tell them it’s what’s best for children. Some in Georgia pushing the amendment want to send their children to private schools without paying tuition, but we’ll fool the minorities into voting for it by putting “hope” in the campaign to make them think of Hope scholarship and President Obama.
I don’t care which political party you belong, whether you are conservative or liberal, whether you are white, black, green, purple, or polka dotted, this kind of business needs to stop. Georgia is way behind other states in recovery and until we catch up we need to demand that a moratorium be placed on sending any of our tax dollars to companies located outside the state. Any services that need to be contracted must be with a company operating in Georgia and employing Georgians. One example, school busses should be purchased from Blue Bird Corporation in Fort Valley, GA. Georgia product employing Georgians.
Maybe the legislators pushing the charter amendment to give tax dollars to private companies should think twice before trying to get voters to embrace this idea. Personally, I am not at all thrilled with the way they have been running the state. Maybe we should privatize them. I’m thinking we could recruit a CEO from Google to run our state. They are the number 1 company to work for. I’m awfully tired of working for the status quo. My status continues to decline while theirs (and those an their friendsa nd family plan gets better and better.

Eat cake

September 15th, 2012
6:56 pm

Charter school employees educating communities on what charter are. I don’t see the issue?

Kris (no charter)

September 15th, 2012
8:06 pm

@ yuzeyurbrane 12:58 pm
“T-Splost 2 brought to you by the same cast of characters. Potentially, billions of $$ is at stake here. I am sure some of it will find its way into Deal family members who are hired as consultants.”
Well spoken and your 100% right he has relatives that are currently teaching or have been teachers. Like new $$$ positions Principals or higher $$$$.

Time to stop this charter school campaign nonsense

Bob Loblaw

September 15th, 2012
8:27 pm

Seriously? The same guys that brought you Untie Atlanta are going to run this campaign? Are they off to Aruba in November? Geez. Bet these guys’ kids ain’t attending a public school, charter or otherwise.


September 15th, 2012
8:38 pm

There are over 200 charter schools in GA. If the local board turns down their application, they can appeal to the state DOE. Last year several got approved. So this already exists. Why are they expanding state gov’t to do it twice? This isn’t about charters, choice or education. Lisa said it. Follow the money. Vote no. Our kids are not for sale to put of state companies.

Kris (no charter)

September 15th, 2012
8:56 pm

Slide # 25
“We will email each of you a copy of this powerpoint for your use with board, staff, and parents. Please do not give out the ppt to members of the public because of information we don’t want our opponents to have.”

IF this boondoggle is so important Why did they leak it..

To insure the children of Georgia get a quality education (not just the rich) But all children.
Vote No

Mary Elizabeth

September 15th, 2012
9:13 pm

I am as concerned about the many students who will be left behind in traditional public schools, when a few students flee from them to attend charter schools, as I am for those few who leave. I desire that all students in Georgia achieve their individual academic potential. We must sustain our traditional public schools and work toward making them better. We can no longer afford to cut funding to traditional public education by over 4 billion dollars in five years, as Georgia’s Legislature has done, and expect Georgia’s traditional public schools to improve.

Moreover, there already exists, by law, a means for parents to appeal decisions made by their local Boards of Education, regarding a denial of a specific charter school’s application, to the state Department of Education via Georgia’s Superintendent of Schools . We do not need a parallel educational body making decisions in education based on an ideological political agenda to dismantle traditional public “government” schools, imo

Mary Elizabeth

September 15th, 2012
10:21 pm

Republican legislators in Georgia are, evidently, coordinated with, and connected to, a national Republican agenda of privatizing education throughout the nation. (See link, below, as well as the link that follows, in my next post.) The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has many corporations among its members. Some public charter schools use private corporations to manage their schools. This is a beginning step toward the privatization of public schools. (See link in my next post.) Some predict that voucher legislation will follow, based on precedence in other Republican dominated states. Privatizing education will, imo, ultimately lead to an educational industry that will be a means of greater profit to some corporations, and certainly much more so than is present within traditional public schools, which are primarily not based on profit..

Traditioinal public education can be improved, but it must be better funded, and programs must be developed to improve it – with genuine commitment from Georgia’s leaders. Public charter schools, working with and through local school districts, can help in this regard. Former Gov. Zell Miller made a genuine commitment to public education and to public school teachers. As a result, under his leadership, legislation was passed that helped to improve traditional public education in Georgia.

Moreover, I do not want my tax dollars, that were previously used for public education, being used to enhance the profit margins of some corporations that have latched onto the “educational industry.” I imagine that there are other senior citizens, without school-aged children, as well as childless couples, and singles without children who, likewise, do not want their tax dollars – that had been meant for the “public good” through public education – used to enhance the profit margins of corporate interests of quasi-private “public” schools. If some parents desire to send their children to these quasi-private schools, then they should pay for them from their taxes, and not from the taxes of those citizens who do not have children in public schools and who, especially, do not support the gradual privatization of public schools, which will enhance the profit margins of private corporations.


Mary Elizabeth

September 15th, 2012
10:35 pm

Please read the link, below, for more information regarding ALEC and the privatization of public education.

I urge readers, also, to read the last link within that link, in which the words “excellent primer” are highlighted in blue ink. From the article in the link below are the following words:

“Check out this excellent primer by University of Wisconsin-Madison professors Julie Underwood, dean of the school of education, and Julie F. Mead for a deeper understanding of how ALEC undermines public education and how companies like virtual education providers Connections Academy and K-12 Inc. have wrangled their way to a pretty sweet deal. . . .”


Mary Elizabeth

September 15th, 2012
10:48 pm

Vote “NO” to the amendment to Georgia’s Constitution in November. This amendment is not necessary. A means to establish public charter schools that work with, and are authorized by, local school districts already exists. Moreover, parents may presently appeal any decision made by their local school district, regarding denial of authorization of a specific public charter school, to the state Board of Education via the state Superintendent of Schools.

Kris (no charter)

September 15th, 2012
10:52 pm

@ Mary Elizabeth September 15th, 2012 9:13 pm
Thank you for the information.

Now time to expose the Rats that sold out our public Education system.
“Democrats had the votes in the Senate to block the constitutional amendment resolution. But two Democrats — Sen. Steve Thompson, D-Marietta, and Sen. Steve Hooks, D-Americus — spoke in favor of it on the Senate floor during a debate that lasted for about an hour.”


Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta, sees a much darker future if voters approve the amendment.
“Our limping schools systems will be financially decimated when we redirect funding to these barely public charter schools — schools that create a parallel school system,” he said.


Vote No to this…
The Georgia Legislature Approved Language For A Charter Schools Amendment (HR 1162) To The Georgia Constitution

Vote the rest of the guilty out.

Mary Elizabeth

September 15th, 2012
11:25 pm

You are most welcome, Kris.

my .02

September 15th, 2012
11:28 pm

I do not trust the proponents of this initiative one bit. That said I will vote for this amendment and any other measure that will aid in dismantling the incompetent monopoly that is public education. Most of the chatter here amounts to defending the status quo for selfish reasons. There is no way any modification of the current failed system should be resisted. Try something new because the education bureaucracy is a dismal failure.

Don't be fooled

September 15th, 2012
11:54 pm

If the referendum passes, it will be a way for more illegal immigration under legal pretenses. Don’t believe so? A company named Creekstone Academy sent emails soliciting immigration lawyers’ services to use that charter school business to get foreign investors green cards. Even assuming that the charter schools will be legitimate, what will foreigners teach our children? Once the money is coming from private sources, the taxpayers will have NO say. And there is no choice in who those investors will be or where they will come from: Saudi Arabia for a little sharia law, China for some Maoist theory . . . who knows what our kids will learn with no government oversight.

my .02

September 15th, 2012
11:56 pm

@Don’t be fooled

You incorrectly assume the kids are learning anything under the current structure.

Mary Elizabeth

September 16th, 2012
12:07 am

“Most of the chatter here amounts to defending the status quo for selfish reasons.”

Untrue. I am a retired public school teacher. Mainly, I do not want to see kids used for profit. I want students to continue to be taught by public servants. Improve public education; don’t dismantle it. All public schools, like all charter schools, are not equivalent. There are many excellent traditional public schools.

Simple Logic

September 16th, 2012
12:42 am

Your ideology is weak if you must report simple statements of truth as an attack.

Your rules have no meaning of you enforce them with no equality or explanation.

Political insider and the ajc are liars

Almost all conservatives seem to be liars.

I have finally exposed you as the liars you are.

“Liberal media” indeed.


September 16th, 2012
12:49 am

Points to ponder….

Deal doing his part to keep Georgia LAST in EDUCATION

Money intended for specific uses often gets rerouted by state lawmakers. .


Simple Logic

September 16th, 2012
1:02 am

Attention lying pit vipers that run this website.

I have yet again been a victim of abuse of the rules of this website. Rules you created when I started dishing out what conservatives had been doing unrestrained for years. I told you several months ago I would be watching to see how you enforced these rules as I suspected, it has been arbitrary and inadequate at best.

I have now hit the “report” button on two blatant and obvious personal attacks on my person. I have made every good faith effort to follow your rules.

Consider this your final test.

Do you want to report the news…or do you want to BE the news?

Buckhead Boy

September 16th, 2012
8:01 am

Follow the money and I suspect that you may find a relationship to Fethullah Gulen, the Cosmos Foundation and Harmony Schools in affording us this “Hope”. Such network is well-connected to the Republican pillaging of public education — and the principal beneficiary nationwide.


September 16th, 2012
9:13 am

Follow this link to more on the Gulen schools and other for-profit companies behind the push in GA: http://www.votesmartgeorgia.com/whos-funding-the-amendment

Don't be fooled

September 16th, 2012
9:37 am

@my .02,

I made no statement as to the effectiveness of the current education structure. (Please see Felix Unger’s definition of “assume.”) Rethuglican bullies would have us believe that there are only 2 choices because they have only presented one alternative to taxpayers. Every parent knows that you avoid morning drama over what to wear by limiting the choices and not even discussing other choices. That works well with 5 year olds but not with adults.

I am simply saying that taxpayers should be sceptical about contract (charter) schools as an alternative. Any contract that the state can enter into is a contract the state can break and meanwhile, those foreign “investors” get an EB-5 visa with *lifetime* residency. The students, however, are guaranteed nothing.

I’m voting “No” and I recommend that all taxpayers hold out for better alternatives to supporting backdoor illegal immigration.


September 16th, 2012
11:13 am

Georgia, a state where we cut funding for necessary governmental functions and then hand them off to ‘for profit’ companies in the faulty hope that the service provision will be better and cheaper.

The service provision does not improve, the cost does not decrease (and in many cases increases) and those responsible become effective at making lengthy excuses.

So what else should we expect when we cut the State share of education funding in half?

We invent a ludicrous plan where State funds are redirected to for-profit companies with NO evidence of improved educational outcome. We allow these corporations to distort the election process with advertisements aimed at distorting the truth in order to fill their coffers.

IS THERE NO BOTTOM to the depths the OnePartyState will dip?