There has been much misunderstanding about the Charter School Amendment, but the bottom line is that Georgia already has charters and they are, to our mind, rightly established by local school boards. This gives full accountability, and allows for school choice. As it should be.
But the language on the November 6th ballot is very misleading. It reads:
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”
As Jay Bookman wrote in the AJC,
Reading that question, an unwary voter might believe — is supposed to believe — that the right of local school boards to approve charter schools depends on passage of the amendment. It does not. Contrary to the ballot wording, local school boards already have clear power to create charter schools; that authority is not at stake in this issue.
Why then does the ballot language include the words “to allow … local approval”? Purely and simply, to deceive people into believing that charter schools as a whole are under threat. And there’s evidence that the deception may work.
Why are the “yes” vote people so keen to deceive? And why is so much money coming in from out of state in support of it? The bulk of the money comes from “Wal-Mart heiress and from companies that operate charter schools.”
We find that appalling. Clearly, there is an intent to take tax-payer money and funnel it to the private sector. It should be about what’s good for the children, not what is good for companies that run charter schools.
When you take money from one school to benefit another one means that you’re hurting kids in that first school.
So, we’re pleased to be involved in the “Vote No” campaign, and hope that you’ll take three minutes to watch this video and share it via social media before election day. It’s important that all voters are informed before we do something as radical as changing the State Constitution.