Your morning jolt: Charter school support holds steady at 58 percent

The forces behind Georgia’s charter school amendment to the state constitution are out with a new poll this morning that shows voters still comfortably in favor of the measure.

Fifty-eight percent of voters are prepared to vote in favor of the amendment – unchanged since the previous poll in July. See the polling note from John McLaughlin and Rob Schmidt here.

The real purpose of the poll was to measure the effectiveness of arguments we’re likely to see put forward in coming weeks. Opponents have argued that giving a state agency the power to grant charter school licenses over the objections of local systems would sap education funding from traditional schools.

Here’s one test argument from the poll:

If approved, this amendment would not take a single dollar away from traditional public schools. This amendment simply provides for a fair appeals process for families that are not fortunate enough to have great public schools or enough resources to enroll in private schools.

Sixty-seven percent of voters polled said they would be more likely to support the charter school amendment – if they were convinced of the above statement. That support rose to 75 percent among Republicans, while 62 percent of Democrats said they would approve the measure.

This was an interview poll of 1,000 likely general election voters, conducted Sept. 9-11. MOE is +/- 3.1% at a 95% confidence interval.

***
On the same topic, Walter Jones of Morris News Service reports that the Georgia League of Women Voters on Tuesday announced its opposition to the proposed charter school amendment:

“We believe it is bad public policy to create a duplicate school system that will, in the words of the Georgia Supreme Court, ‘compete with locally controlled schools for the same pool of students educated with the same limited pool of tax funds,’ ” [LOWV President Elizabeth] Poythress said.

***
What’s Mitt Romney going to say at today’s closed-door fund-raiser at the Marriott Marquis in downtown Atlanta? We’ll happily entertain any cell phone video that anyone might send our way.

But one clue this morning comes from Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades, who put out a memo that focuses on a 14-year-old audio clip that’s surfaced in which state Sen. Barack Obama, D-Chicago, said the following at a conference:

“[T]he trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level to make sure everybody’s got a shot.”

***
This Tuesday report from Lori Geary of Channel 2 Action News sums up James Earl Carter IV’s role in the “47 percent” video that has roiled the Mitt Romney campaign – but also includes a defense of Romney from Attorney General Sam Olens:

***
More on this later, but Lee Anderson’s decision not to debate Democratic incumbent John Barrow in the 12th District congressional race isn’t going well with the Republican challenger’s home folks. This from a column posted today by Barry Paschal, publisher of the Columbia County News-Times:

It’s official: Lee Anderson’s staffers have decided he has more to gain from avoiding debates with John Barrow than he has to lose from being seen ducking them.

We suspected as much on the night of the runoff. Anderson’s posse surrounded him during his victory party, keeping reporters away from the eventual winner and allowing him to speak to the gathered supporters only when hustled out, kept on script and then whisked away.

It’s as if he’s been kidnapped by consultants in pinstripes.

Republicans for the past three years have loved beating up on President Obama for using a teleprompter during even the most mundane speeches. What are we to say about a candidate who won’t even speak?

***
So far as we know, the Marietta Daily Journal is the first newspaper in the state to express formal concern over Secretary of State Brian Kemp’s decision to close state archives to regular public inspection as of Nov. 1, as a result of mandated budget cuts:

[T]he decision to open the archives on an “appointment-only” basis puts the state in the undesirable and possibly unconstitutional position of deciding which aspects of our history are suitable for scholars and others to research. It opens the door to political correctness, with one’s research project suddenly hinging on the whim or bias of faceless fourth-tier bureaucrats.

***
The News-Daily reports this morning that Clayton County Schools Superintendent Edmond Heatley — who has already given his notice here – has now withdrawn his name for a similar job in Berkeley, Calif. From the newspaper:

Heatley, who resigned from his Clayton County position late last month, was the final remaining candidate for the Berkeley job and was regarded to have been as good as hired.

But when a Berkeley news website uncovered a memo by Heatley while he was superintendent in Chino Valley, Calif., that appeared to support Proposition 8, a ballot measure that would have banned gay marriage, public outcry in liberal-leaning Berkeley forced school-board members to reconsider.

***
The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at this claim from the NAACP: “Since 2000, only 10 cases of in-person voter fraud have been proven nationally.”

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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47 comments Add your comment

Whirled Peas

September 19th, 2012
9:54 am

The AJC’s Politifact Georgia today takes a look at this claim from the NAACP: “Since 2000, only 10 cases of in-person voter fraud have been proven nationally.”

Ok AJC, you say you are not biased? How about reporting how many cases of voter suppression have been identified? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.

The fact is that many of these are tough to prove. By all reports, Al Franken, Democrat Senator from Minnesota lost the election. When the vote counts showed he lost, suddenly a poll worker in a heavily Democratic district in the Iron Range, found an uncounted sack of votes in his trunk. No one could prove they were fake, but to this day everyone knows they were.

Ga Values,

September 19th, 2012
9:54 am

double

September 19th, 2012
10:03 am

Teleprompter Doomey say Alec all about taking your rights away and giving them to corporations.A definite NO on charter schools.

double

September 19th, 2012
10:06 am

Listen to John Barge’s advice on this one.

Public School Parent

September 19th, 2012
10:11 am

Voting No on Amendment One Nov 6. So I looked at the polling note provided through the link for the Amendment 1 poll. I’m not surprised to see the public support for the amendment or for charter schools. Charter schools are here to stay and have their place in Georgia’s public education system. However, Amendment 1 proponents have manufactured a crisis to push recreation of an illegal and unaccountable state commission with a blank check to spend tax dollars. And then they wrote the most misleading ballot question I’ve ever seen. Charter schools aren’t in jeopardy. Transparency, accountability and your tax dollars are.

I'm opposed

September 19th, 2012
10:26 am

Well, sure, if this were true. DOE has cut more than $5 million from public schools’ budgets. Where exactly are they getting money for these new schools except out of public schools’ hide? Bald faced lie, that one.

Fair appeals process? It already exists at the state level. Last year DOE approved several charter schools. Denials come when their financials are questionable. If you think 7 appointed people, not accountable to anyone is fair and if you think expanding and duplicating state government is a grand idea, then go ahead and vote yes.

Check out all the investigations going on in FL of these anxious-to-be-in-GA corporations.

jd

September 19th, 2012
10:26 am

Polling on fictional statements only shows that lies, if not exposed, win elections.

Angus

September 19th, 2012
10:27 am

The charter school amendment, to me, comes down to whom do I trust the least.

The local BOE who, while being a blundering mess, I can get on the phone?

Or the same folks at the state who refuse to make the private school tax deduction transparent?

I'm opposed

September 19th, 2012
10:30 am

You can vote out the localBOE. Not so the 7 people to be appointed to make all the decisions.

Bernie

September 19th, 2012
10:33 am

CHARTER SCHOOL AMENDMENT – An untested & unproven New Big Government “WELFARE PLAN” with an initial cost of $430 million to serve only a small fraction of primary & secondary students State Wide. A Plan that will require increased spending and will ultimately hollow out and destroy ALL of the financially struggling Public School Systems State Wide.

A Blind Man can see this is NOT a GOOD PLAN financially and for ALL of Georgia’s students.

Welcome Back, Our Good ole Friend SEGREGATION. Not So good to see you again. I thought We had put an end to you. I see you have returned this time in a political correct fashion. Nothing has changed, We will still, stand our ground again to make sure you are defeated not to worry. Just because you wearing a suite and tie does not make you any less DANGEROUS.

honested

September 19th, 2012
10:35 am

Proof that our ‘Constitution’ is too easy to amend, especially by people who have no idea what they are voting for!

AnotherSoldier

September 19th, 2012
10:35 am

As they say, FOLLOW THE MONEY on charters:

The bulk of (Yes Vote) money comes from a Wal-Mart heiress and from companies that operate charter schools. Meanwhile, a committee working to oppose the amendment is funded entirely from Georgians, including many educators and administrators.

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/education/2012-08-31/out-state-donors-fuding-ga-charter-school-push?v=1346418739

I’m voting NO on the charter amendment – local school boards should decide what is right for their districts, and not some board in Atlanta beholden to those out of state donors.

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
10:40 am

In Obama’s own words, he is in favor of wealth redistribution. Any one surprised?

The counter arguement is it was when he was a state senator. Has anyone heard him say he is now opposed to redistribution?

double

September 19th, 2012
10:42 am

With the outsourcing,some corp.in China could be getting your Ga. tax dollar for teaching your kid what is available at the local level.3% better progress with local than charter last year.Local hands on accessible school board,teachers,no on charter school amendment.

AnotherSoldier

September 19th, 2012
10:42 am

If you have some serious coin, and are against charters, there is a fundraising event to support a no vote. Wish I could send more $$, but you know, soldiers like me ain’t rolling in the cash:

http://theoblandergroup.com/ai1ec_event/reception-in-support-of-georgia-public-schools/?instance_id=

I'm opposed

September 19th, 2012
10:43 am

Let’s see. Diversion of your tax money to for profit companies. Lack of accountability. Government expansion for the good of a few. A misleading ballot question. And now the elephant in the room – race. Tell your friends. I hope GA voters are smarter than that.

Shar

September 19th, 2012
10:50 am

Bravo to all of the above posters on reasons to vote against this terrible charter school amendment. I’ll provide another: the fact that local parents, taxpayers and educational professionals of any stripe will have no input at all into siting, building, hiring, budgeting or curriculum of any school that the anti-public-education bureaucrats in Atlanta choose to put into their districts. The corporate money that is pouring into Georgia trying to push this through is coming from those who want to profit and/or push their political and social views with taxpayer money via Georgia’s children. All they have to do is buy off our legislators (and with no functional ethics commission and ALEC’s very own Chip Rogers calling the shots is already a fait accompli) and their nasty fingers start reaching into taxpayers’ wallets and our children’s brains.

Think Saudi-financed, militant madrasas pushed into Pakistan, but with a profit motive.

AnotherSoldier

September 19th, 2012
10:52 am

Yo RetiredSoldier – show me a tax plan – ANY tax plan in the history of mankind – that didn’t redistribute wealth in some fashion.

That said, this amendment is simply a method for politically connected districts to take money out of the education honey pot and apply them to their charters, leaving less money for the rest of the schools.

True, some kids will benefit, but they will do so at the expense of a lot more. This is a horrible amendment, and the wording on the ballot is intentionally misleading to make the voter think that a yes vote will help kids.

I'm opposed

September 19th, 2012
10:54 am

AnotherSoldier

September 19th, 2012
10:55 am

Okay, this is freaking me out – it seems all of the liberals and conservatives on this thread agree that the Amendment is a bad idea. (The earth shakes and the skies grow red).

So, since we all seem to “get it”, hows about going out on your various social media accounts and talking to your family and friends. This is just so wrong for Georgia’s kids.

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
10:56 am

Another-

The Fair Tax.

I'm opposed

September 19th, 2012
11:07 am

Absolutely, Another Soldier! The only way to let GA voters know the truth.

dc

September 19th, 2012
11:15 am

I decided to vote yes when Gwinnett School system forced the closure of Ivy Prep. It’s clear that the educrats there (and elsewhere) view Charters as competition, that takes away their God Given right to our tax money. If they can’t approve a school that is providing a valuable service to the poorest of kids, who without the right environment will likely end up in poverty for life….then how can I trust them to do the right thing in the future.

John

September 19th, 2012
11:16 am

Have the legislature restore public school funding levels to their 2008 numbers and promise public schools they will get the same increases they were getting before then every year. Give all state employees, including teachers, the raises they were supposed to get since 2008 immediately. Then and only then start talking about charter schools.

Darwin

September 19th, 2012
11:26 am

Republicans love charter schools because they are run by corporations. And as we all know, corporations are people.

Don't Be Fooled

September 19th, 2012
11:27 am

If you support the charter school amendment, you support illegal immigration. You probably don’t realize that a “yes” vote will support illegal immigration but, it will. A company called Creekstone Academy is soliciting immigration lawyers to help foreign investors get EB-5 visas (with *lifetime* residency for the foreigner’s entire family — even after they get rid of the investment) to expand their education business. It sounds like they have a financial interest in the charter school amendment passing. Without government oversight and no mandatory performance standards, they can take your money, teach whatever they want, get lifetime residency in the US, dump the investment in 30 months and leave our children dumber for the experience.

Vote NO on charter schools.

Tom

September 19th, 2012
11:28 am

In other news, it appears ChickFilA and their foundation have ‘re-thought’ their donation policies and will no longer be giving to certain organizations. Good topic for a follow-up, Jim?

http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfeedpolitics/chick-fil-a-promises-to-stop-funding-anti-gay-gro

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
11:31 am

John-

I own a small business, my pay from 2008 is down about 72%. Who is going to give me a pay raise? No one is entitled to a raise, particularly if the economy is bad. The real world doesn’t work that way.

d

September 19th, 2012
11:44 am

So 58% of voters in Georgia support taxation without representation? Local boards of education (who I can vote against) already approve charter schools and the state board can also approve. All this amendment does is create a POLITICALLY APPOINTED board (in other words, I have NO say whatsoever in what this board does) to overrule my ELECTED local board of education. Isn’t taxation without representation a large part of the reason we aren’t singing “God Save the Queen”?

Carol

September 19th, 2012
12:16 pm

Let’s see we can look at a current candidate who spoke about something FOUR MONTHS AGO. Or we can dredge up a video from a State Senator said 14 years ago. Then let’s also dig up the videos of Romney debating Kennedy where he is in favor of abortion. If the GOP wants a video war, I’ve seen enough ammunition against Romney to send him home today. Maybe he’ll have some cheesy grits while he’s here in Atlanta.

Carol

September 19th, 2012
12:18 pm

If people are smart, this charter school amendment will die the swift death that Tsplost did.

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
12:23 pm

Carol-

Something Obama sais 14 years ago validates what he has attempted to do the past four years. Makes sense to me.

WOW

September 19th, 2012
12:26 pm

@dc

The answer to your problem is to vote against those local school board members and get them out of office, not to allow the state to make the decisions of when and where to create and fund new schools.

WOW

September 19th, 2012
12:28 pm

Carol:

Romney’s changed positions so many times since 1994 none of us could keep up.

[...] Poll Shows Majority Of Georgia Voters Still Support Charter Amendment (Via Atlanta Journal Constitution) [...]

honested

September 19th, 2012
12:37 pm

retired,

You prove the meme ‘When you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail’. You can invent an alternative reality that matches your view. Luckily enough Americans can see through the smoke screen.

As to restoring funds to education, it has nothing to do with the economic downturn known as the Bush Depression. We have ample evidence that the ONLY reliable method to improve educational outcome is to reduce class sizes. That takes more teachers and they have to be paid properly. So raise the taxes and pay the teachers. Or we can invent fantastical new education methods that have no chance of working and ‘pay for themselves’.

I guess Georgia is happy at the bottom of the education pile.

Carol

September 19th, 2012
12:42 pm

Retired Soldier
Something Obama sais 14 years ago validates what he has attempted to do the past four years. Makes sense to me.
+++++
Yeah if that’s the way you look at it. I say that paying farmers not to plant crops is a redistribution of my wealth. Giving subsidies to oil companies is a redistribution of my wealth. That’s only two examples. And Obama tried to end or curb the last one. Guess who stopped him? Yeah so when you talk about redistribution, remember it’s been going on for a LONG time way before Obama became President.

Retired Soldier

September 19th, 2012
1:11 pm

Carol-

Paying farmers not to plant crops is at least 40 years old. My father-in-law was aid every year not to plant corn.

I agree that the federal govt has been doing bad things for a long time, Obama just wants to take it to another level.

ComradeAnon

September 19th, 2012
2:15 pm

Whirled Peas- “There is no basis in fact, whatsoever, in these inaccuracies propagated by the Minnesota Majority here, none,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Wednesday. “After the most closely scrutinized election in Minnesota history in 2008, there were zero cases of fraud. Even the Republicans lawyers acknowledged that there was no systematic effort to defraud the election, none.”

“In Hennepin County, 650,000 people voted,” he continued. “The Minnesota Majority presented us with 1,500 cases that they felt there were problems with voting. Our own election bureau gave us 100. At the end of the day, we charged 38 cases. And all but one of them are felons voting who were still under the penalty [of not legally applying to regain individual voting rights]. There was no fraud.”

Alan

September 19th, 2012
2:38 pm

The NAACP statement may be true, but is not definitive. It does not account for the voter fraud that is never reported. In every big one party city, voters are never challenged. They are just waved through.
Sign and vote. This probably doesn’t happen in Cobb County, but it does in Cook County IL and Philadelphia PA. This is the stuff that makes legitimate votes worth less. I also note that there is no mention of the fraud in Minnesota that elected Al Franken.

marie

September 19th, 2012
3:44 pm

I generally support public schools and don’t really think the charter school amendment is a good idea. BUT, I wonder if the school administrators are missing the point. Why are there so many people who think this is a good idea. Is one reason that teachers, principals, superintendents and boards not listening to people and being transparent themselves? A lot of people experience “customer no service” when trying to deal with local schools. Are there fed up people out there who will go to this extreme to be listened to?

alpharetta mom

September 19th, 2012
4:24 pm

marie, you have a point. This move to privatize education has been a big wake-up call for many in public education. The call for competition however, has gone way beyond helping local school boards be more responsive and innovative. It is an all out assault by folks with alot of money who are not interested in cooperation. They seem to have a missionary-like zeal to convert every exisiting public school under the authority of a locally elected school board to either a state authorized charter or to use vouchers to send kids to private schools. That would be next if this amendment passes. It is less about education than removing control from “government” hands – of course the fact that an appointed commission will be authorizing these schools seems to be secondary to the fact they will most likely by managed by “for-profit” operators like Charter Schools USA. Very odd logic but that doesn’t seem to be a problem!

Opposition

September 19th, 2012
4:27 pm

The poll question posted here makes false statements. Money will, in fact, be diverted from public schools. Where else is it coming from in an already cash strapped state? . Second, an appeals process already exists, to DOE which approved some charters last year. If they continue these falsehoods – and they will – unless we tell neighbors, colleagues, family and friends, they will win. Get the word out.

marie

September 19th, 2012
4:54 pm

Sorry alpha mom, I think you’re exaggerating. If you think the big bad Republicans (your thinly veiled “they”) wanted to get rid of our schools, you’re simply wrong and WAY over generalizing. That kind of rhetoric simply doesn’t help. I’d like a specific example of how you think this has been a wake up call for public schools. I’m not seeing it or hearing of it.

honested

September 19th, 2012
6:25 pm

marie,

I would have to suggest you research this issue a bit and see which names, groups, ’service providers’, and anti-American organizations attempting to prevent free exercise of Constitutional rights (ALEC) keep popping up.

This is about as ‘grass roots’ as what is found in a domed stadium.

jm

September 19th, 2012
11:17 pm

This whole Charter School board idea resurfaced after Fulton Science Academy lost its charter all the way through the appeals process, which ended at the state School Board. The school’s charter was revoked for financial, not educational reasons. It was a good school, no doubt, but it didn’t play by financial rules and if it weren’t for the actions of Fulton County, we’d all be stuck with the bill. Well, the school’s supporters are hoping this measure passes so they can stick us with the bill. The process we have in place works, don’t replace it with an unaccountable layer of quasi-unconstitutional bureaucracy.

Mary Elizabeth

September 20th, 2012
12:15 am

Readers may want to check out the group that conducted the poll. Here is the link to their website:

http://www.mclaughlinonline.com/5