When you go to the polls Nov. 6, you will be asked to vote on this question: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow local or state approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”.
The Charter Schools Amendment should read: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the creation of a commission of seven persons recommended by the governor, president of the Senate and speaker of the House for appointment to this commission, who may approve public charter schools upon the request of persons from a Georgia community?”
Also beware of the preamble. This amendment has absolutely nothing to do with improving student achievement or parental involvement. The preamble was crafted by the same three Georgia leaders mentioned above, worded in such a way to get your “yes” vote. Educate yourself on this amendment by reading State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge’s press release on the State Department of Education’s Web site, www.doe.k12.ga.us
Remember, The State Department of Education and local school boards are led by elected officials directly responsible to the taxpayers and voters of the local communities and the state of Georgia. The new state commission of seven appointed persons created by the amendment will not be directly responsible to the taxpayers and voters.
The amendment would create a new, costly and duplicate bureaucracy.
The people of the Augusta area have already encountered the power of an appointed state board. Approval of this constitutional amendment will mean even more local control and input in the area of education will be given up to the state, further silencing the voice and diminishing the power of taxpayers and voters.
Please vote “no” on this amendment.
(Jeane Turner is a member of the Columbia County Retired Educators Association.)