Poll: Tight race on charter schools question

ATLANTA (AP) – Georgia voters appear closely divided on whether to approve changes to the state constitution during next month's election so the state can create more charter schools, according to a recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The newspaper poll conducted this week showed 45 percent of likely voters would support the amendment while 42 percent were opposed to it. An additional 13 percent said they did not know about the amendment or did not answer the question. Those results suggest it is a close race. The poll had a margin of error of just over 5 percentage points, meaning it is possible that opponents were in the majority. Georgia lawmakers approved the amendment this year after the state Supreme Court found that a legislatively created commission was unconstitutional because it approved new charter schools over the objection of local school boards. Charter schools receive public funding but are freed from regulations like class size and teacher pay schedules in exchange for promises of improved student performance.
Voters will decide next month whether to approve the proposed change to the state constitution. The amendment has attracted prominent supporters and opponents. For example, Georgia Schools Superintendent John Barge and many local education leaders and professional education groups oppose the amendment, saying it would erode local control and divert money from existing public schools. Gov. Nathan Deal and other senior Republicans say the plan would create more educational opportunities for students. Jack Dillard, 83, a retired independent wholesaler, said he did not like the idea of changing the state constitution. "Any time you've got a bunch of changes coming up, it usually winds up being bad," he said. But Dee Dee Cousar, a 74-year-old retiree in Atlanta, said she wants to learn more about the amendment. She was leaning toward voting for it. She described the Atlanta school system as "terrible." "I'd love to see them make some positive changes," she said. The poll of 908 adults was conducted Oct. 8-11 by Abt SRBI of New York. --- Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, http://www.ajc.com © 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More Local

Newnan City Council to meet Thursday evening

Just a reminder that the second October meeting for the Newnan City Council will be on Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. and not on Tuesday afte ... Read More

Bohannon anniversary concert Tuesday

  Iconic musical artist Hamilton Bohannon will celebrate 50 years in the music industry on Tuesday with a concert. The Bohannon Element ... Read More

Simple Pleasures

Midnight Tuesday is deadline for photography contest

Deadline for the McRitchie Hollis Museum’s 7th Annual Simple Pleasures Photography Competition is Tuesday at midnight. Award-winning p ... Read More

Low-cost healthcare clinic opens in Senoia

For many years, Your Town Health has wanted to open a clinic in Coweta County. It has finally happened. The local community medical center o ... Read More

Local students prepare for homecomings

The 2015 Homecoming celebrations for all three Coweta County High Schools are this week. East Coweta High School’s (ECHS) Homecoming t ... Read More

Zombie Day comes to Newnan

Full Circle Toys presented Zombie Day on Saturday in downtown Newnan. The undead-themed event included a zombie make-up contest, a costume ... Read More