Archive for the ‘charter schools’ Category

Your daily jolt: In New Jersey, Christie praises Obama’s handling of Hurricane Sandy

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a strong supporter of Republican Mitt Romney, may have offered up the first hint of Hurricane Sandy’s impact on the presidential contest, as he showered President Barack Obama with early praise. From Politico.com:

“It’s been very good working with the president,” Christie said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” “He and his administration have been coordinating with us. It’s been wonderful.”

The GOP governor also sent out a thankful tweet: “I want to thank the President personally for all his assistance as [we] recover from the storm.”

Christie said he spoke with Obama three times on Monday, including at midnight, when Obama agreed to speed along an major disaster declaration for New Jersey without all the “normal FEMA mumbo jumbo.” The declaration was issued this morning, according to Christie.

Christie is just as effusive in this clip from CBS’ “This Morning”:

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Saturday voting pushed the number of votes cast in …

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TV ad for charter schools puts a young lady in uniform

Here’s the TV ad that supporters of the November ballot issue on charter schools are riding with, starting today:

Autumn – we don’t have her last name – is wearing an Ivy Prep uniform and is a student there, campaign spokesman Bert Brantley confirmed.

The Ivy Prep connection is important, as my AJC colleague Nancy Badertscher explains today:

But nowhere is the amendment debate being more closely watched than in Gwinnett, where one in 10 Georgia public school students are enrolled and where, arguably, the dispute began a few years ago.

Gwinnett school officials filed a lawsuit in 2010 challenging the constitutionality of the Georgia Charter School Commission, an independent body created by lawmakers in 2008 and given the power to approve charter school applications that local school boards had rejected.

The suit, which cost the district $300,000, followed the commission’s approval of an application from Ivy Preparatory Academy in Norcross that the Gwinnett school …

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Your daily jolt: TV campaign for charter school measure gears up

Supporters of Georgia’s proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools will launch a statewide TV campaign topping $500,000 on Thursday, we’re told.

Most of the cash, about $430,000, will be focused on metro Atlanta. Another $100,000 is aimed at Macon, Albany and Columbus. One assumes that Augusta and Savannah are being skipped because of costs (or lack of air-time) driven by the John Barrow-Lee Anderson congressional race.

We haven’t seen the TV ad(s) being pushed, but we do have an audio clip of a 60-second spot now running on metro Atlanta radio stations with strong African-American audiences:

We ran into state Rep. Edward Lindsey, whose name is uttered at the end of the above ad, at last night’s state Senate debate between Democratic incumbent Doug Stoner and Republican Hunter Hill.

The young girl named “Autumn” in the ad, he assured us, is a real student – and not a script-reading composite.

The above photograph is of Nina Gilbert, founder and …

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Your daily jolt: Saxby Chambliss, former critic, writes Todd Akin a $5k check

Two months ago, shortly after Todd Akin had declared his belief that victims of “legitimate rape” had built-in, biological barriers to conception, U.S. Sen. Saxby Chambliss didn’t mince his words.

Missouri’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate needed to “go home,” he said.

“He needs to withdraw, period,” Chambliss said.”That’s a seat that should be our seat. Todd’s a nice guy. But in politics, you can say the wrong thing – and he said the wrong thing. I don’t care how hard he attempts to put the genie back in the bottle, you just can’t do it.”

Chambliss has apparently had a change of heart. From Politico.com:

Akin raised $1.6 million in the third quarter, including $5,000 in September from the Republican Majority Fund, Sen. Saxby Chambliss’s (R-Ga.) leadership PAC, according to campaign finance reports filed this week with the Senate Office of Public Records.

Many things might have changed Chambliss’ mind. One of them might have been the fact …

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Your daily jolt: Georgia Chamber leader says right, left ganging up on business

Chris Clark, president and CEO of the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday that defeat of this summer’s transportation sales tax is proof that extremists on the left and right are ganging up against business, says Larry Peterson over at the Savannah Morning News:

His remarks were part of a wide-ranging overview of the programs, goals and concerns of the chamber, Georgia’s largest business group.

“It used to be,” Clark said in reference to state government, “ … we could stand in the background and whisper and nudge our friends and we could move the business agenda along.

“But the world’s changed. It’s not like that any more. We have folks on both ends of the political spectrum that are anti-business.”

Clark cited a recent group of regional referendums on proposed penny sales taxes for transportation projects. Voters in most of the state, including Chatham County, rejected them.

To be clear, business types have often accused those on the political left …

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Charter school fight makes a jumble of Georgia politics

Hyper-partisanship, the curse of Washington, is an infectious thing.

Yet even here, in the reddest of red states, you and I are catching a strong whiff of something different. For the second time in 100 days, a statewide campaign has made a massive jumble of Georgia’s traditional political alliances.

The fight over the Nov. 6 ballot issue on charter schools has fractured every demographic – men, women, black, white, Democrat, and Republican. Even tea partyers.

Proponents and opponents of the measure, which would allow the state to create public charter schools over the objections of local school systems, are each attempting to create a patchwork alliance – bipartisan and biracial – to breach the 50 percent mark.

A Journal-Constitution poll released over the weekend indicates the vote could be a near thing, and will stand independent of the race for president. Mitt Romney voters are split 44 to 44 percent on the charter school measure. Supporters of President Barack …

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Your morning jolt: Kasim Reed says Barack Obama suffered from ‘ring rust’

One day after an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” to speak up for President Barack Obama, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed returned to the network to handicap Tuesday’s second presidential debate.

The question posed by MSNBC’s Chuck Todd was simple. What advice would you have for the president? To understand Reed’s reply, you need to know that the mayor is a very big boxing fan.

Reed’s advice for the president:

”Don’t over-correct. When you have sustained as much criticism as the president has, you can over-correct. The president had severe ring rust. You know what it’s like being around a president. He’s really not accustomed to people talking to him in the way that Mitt Romney did, after four years of running the country. He had ring rust.”

I.e., in boxing lingo, Obama was out of practice. Reed continued:

”I compared it to the Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, when Frazier knocked the champ down. Nobody expected that. But Ali went on to win the second and the …

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John Barge: No plans now to enforce anti-campaign laws against school systems

Attorney General Sam Olens this afternoon sent a promised letter to state School Superintendent John Barge, outlining how to enforce state prohibitions on the use of public resources on referendum campaigns.

In other words, Olens outlined how sanctions might be applied against local school boards that are making themselves heard in opposition to the Nov. 6 ballot issue on charter schools. (Or for the measure, let us hasten to add.)

Read the letter here. The courts are one remedy, Olens wrote. The withholding of state funds is another. But then the attorney general wrote this – the emphasis is ours:

In the absence of specific facts, it is difficult to determine which mechanism – if any – ought to be considered for use. I will note, however, that it appears highly unlikely that any substantial state funds have been directly expended for the purpose of electoral advocacy.

It is more likely that potential violations would include expenditure of other public resources: …

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Your morning jolt: Women, farm animals, a state lawmaker – and a video

Earlier this year, the state Legislature passed – and the governor signed – HB 954, which reduced the period during which a woman could seek an abortion to 20 weeks.

It was one of the most restrictive anti-abortion measures passed in years, and – while it was later softened somewhat – originally made no exception for women who were carrying stillborns and other fetuses that could not survive outside the womb.

Last March, during debate over this provision, House Appropriations Chairman Terry England, R-Auburn, cited his farming expertise. “Life gives us many experiences. I’ve had the experience of delivering calves, dead and alive — delivering pigs, dead and alive. And I want to tell you… it breaks our hearts to see those animals not make it,” he said.

This was nature’s way, was the lawmaker’s apparent point. England voted for the bill.

Many people objected to England’s turn of phrase, especially on the Internet. And if you put the terms “farm animals” …

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Foes of charter school issue say new poll shows 52% against

Polls by interested parties must always be taken with a grain of salt – but they are not always something to dismiss out of hand.

Last month, for example, proponents of the November ballot issue on charter schools unveiled a survey that showed the proposed constitutional amendment supported by a healthy 58 percent of likely voters.

But a more recent poll, backed by an opposing group called Georgians for Education Excellence, says support for the the charter school issue is leaking fast, and that opponents now have the upper hand by 52 percent.

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Thirty-four percent say they’ll “definitely” vote against it, and another 18 percent say they’ll “probably” vote no.

Here’s a link to the poll memo, which includes these caveats:

Methodology. The poll of 1,216 likely voters was conducted October 4 and 5, 2012 by IVR/autocall. Recipients were randomly selected and dialed statewide. The data presented is not weighted to allow for personalized weighting.

The survey poll …

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