Vote no on charter schoolsOn the charter school amendment, I say vote no.
It seems to me the decision on how one should vote on this amendment comes down to two issues — the tax dollars are not there to continue to approve charter schools, and the achievement of charter schools overall is not what the public assumes it to be.
State School Superintendent John Barge opposes the passing of this amendment. Read carefully his statement that was in “The Get Schooled” blog in the AJC on Aug. 14. “Until all our public school students are in school for a full 180-day school year, until essential services like student transportation and student support can return to effective levels, and until teachers regain jobs with full pay for a full school year, we should not direct one more dollar away from Georgia’s local school districts — much less an additional $430 million in state funds, which is what it would cost to add seven new state charter schools per year over the next five years (the annual average of the Charter Commission that would be revived if the amendment passes.) I cannot support the creation of a new and costly state bureaucracy that takes away local control of schools and unnecessarily duplicates the good work already being done by local districts, the Georgia Department of Education and the state Board of Education.”
It is falsely assumed charter school students achieve at a higher level than public school students. According to a report by the Georgia State Department of Education for school year 2011-2012, 73 percent of public schools achieved Adequate Yearly Progress (mandated by No Child Left Behind federal law) while 70 percent of charter schools achieved AYP.
Bill Querry, Newnan