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Voters should educate themselves on charter schools

Posted: September 15, 2012 - 11:00pm


The Georgia Public Policy Foundation would like to congratulate the schools of the Columbia County school system for what publisher Barry L. Paschal describes as one of the “communities with the best schools” (column, Sept. 12). It’s commendable that your system’s faculty and staff are committed to providing students with an opportunity for academic excellence.

Unfortunately, in many of Georgia’s school districts, parents are dissatisfied with the quality of their local school – or it does not meet their child’s needs – yet they have no affordable alternative. A public charter school might be the answer. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, having participated in the creation of a charter school at the school district level, has first-hand experience with the obstacles that local education bureaucrats can and will place in the way of charter applicants.

The charter school amendment on the ballot simply provides for the creation of an alternate authorizer to reconsider a rejected application, at the applicants’ request, if a school board rejects it.

It’s worth pointing out that the total funding per student for state charter schools would be lower than the average in all but two school systems in the state. And considering that this nation was founded on the principles of free enterprise, I find it amazing that the so-called “profit” motive of free enterprise in education has become a pejorative, especially when so many of Georgia’s children are clearly not profiting from their enrollment in traditional public education.

To remain in existence, any charter school must prove (through accountability) that its students, who parents choose to enroll in these schools, are the ones profiting from the arrangement through academic achievement.

We hope voters will educate themselves before deciding whether there is value in allowing a second opinion on the creation of charter schools in the state. ...

Benita Dodd


(Benita Dodd is vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.)

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Comments (3)


The Teachers Union has no problems with profits

Profits for itself. Yes to pay raises and benefits. No to objective certifications. The students are left to fate.
Value received for money spent is the issue. Every individual is, or should be, looking to get the most for their time and monetary investments. School is no exception.

Those who sacrifice to got to GT, MIT, VMI or Duke, as opposed to Savannah River Tech Online.


No no no. Local approval and

No no no. Local approval and local control. Do not let atlanta control our schools

Little Lamb

Parental Choice

Zippy, it is parents of students in sorry schools who are seeking some kind of way out of their own particular failing school. If you are happy that your child is in Greenbrier (as most are), then don't take him out of Greenbrier.

Charter schools are for parents whose children are attending Houghton elementary school, the lowest of the low in Richmond County.