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Crane supports vote on charter schools

It’s all about a proposed constitutional amendment aimed at restoring the state’s right to approve charter schools.

And that was the message brought by District 28 Sen. Mike Crane on Feb. 9 to a group of parents and employees at the Coweta Charter Academy at Senoia.

Crane was clearly in support of House Resolution 1162 that would restore the state’s ability to approve charter schools. The Georgia Senate followed suit earlier this week with Senate Resolution 853 that would accomplish the goal specified in HR 1162.

A 4-3 vote by Ga. Supreme Court in May 2011 determined that the legislation that created the Ga. Charter School Commission was unconstitutional. The commission subsequently ceased operation last June 30.

The House vote last week on HR 1162 came 10 votes short of the required two-thirds majority that would have put the measure before voters in the form of a constitutional amendment. Another vote on the resolution could come as early as Friday. Meantime, SR 853 was introduced this week with the idea of providing another way to put a constitutional amendment before Georgia voters.

Crane, R-Newnan, is an obvious supporter of the charter school movement in Georgia. Regardless how the House and Senate votes turn out, Crane left no room for imagination in his comments to parents and school employees. His position favors school choice and charter schools.

“Quality education should not be left to a single provider,” Crane said, adding that Georgia public schools have 60,000 drop-outs per year. “Education has become one-size-fits-all in many areas.”

Referencing the Supreme Court ruling last year, Crane said he believed that the measure in some form can be successfully addressed so that parents across the state can be provided school choice.

But such a reversal is not without its foes, Crane advised.

“There are great forces at work against competition,” Crane said of the move by public school systems across the state to thwart the move toward greater school choice. “In a one-size-fits-all approach we lowered the bar for everyone at a cost of $7 billion.”

The issue at hand, said Crane, is to press for a constitutional amendment that will give voters the opportunity to have their say at the ballot box.
“If there’s a time to be bold this is the time,” Crane said, bringing the topic back to money and power. “The big battle is over money. School systems are like individual empires and, like with all governments, they don’t want anyone taking their money or power away.”

That said, Crane made the point that to provide the availability of charter schools also provides a better educational opportunity for Georgia’s children.

For better or worse, school systems in local communities across Georgia and the nation are in the position of being able to levy taxes while often being the largest employer in the community. That combination is one that can potentially wield significant sway both with the electorate and with state and local legislators.
The rest of the story is that Georgia continues to rank near the bottom of the nation in education.



What a joke for this Senator to label public school systems as an empire trying to hold on to it's money and power. The fact is that the leadership in the house and senate is the empire we need to worry about. They are trying to strip local boards of education of their constitutional obligation and power and assume it for themselves. So you tell me, whose the power broker, the school systems and locally elected boards of education, or the state legislature?

The thing with these charter schools is that they DON'T perform any better than the traditional public schools based on standardized test scores. What I see are small groups of parents trying to carve out enclaves for children that have a hard time coping socially in the regular schools. Such schools might be a good thing from that perspective, but not from an academic perspective, which always the selling point.

Even high-priced private schools are hard pressed to surpass the top local FC schools based on SAT (see comparison).

Landmark 1631
McIntosh HS 1630
Starr’s Mill HS 1611
Whitewater HS 1506
Fayette County HS 1491
Sandy Creek 1428

Pricey, private Landmark only offers a 1 point advantage over going to McIntosh and a 20 point advantage over Starr's Mill. I don't think $12,000+ bucks a year is worth 1 extra point or even 20 extra points on the SAT. If your son or daughter goes to Sandy Creek for other than football, then you might want to think about going private, as the gap is over 200pts.

I think Flo Rida said it best when he said:

Hard to follow my dreams workin this 9 to 5
People keep tellin me my check is on the way
So sun up to sundown I'm grindin, tryin to make it by
Prayin for my shift to come and take away the pain
That day is finally here

First and foremost: Be leery of ALL Constitutional Changes!
Next: I had 2 graduate from FC Schools, one from FC High, the other from McIntosh. The FC High graduate is a double-degreed Professional Engineer, licensed in Montana & Wyoming. The McIntosh graduate finished college in 3 1/2 yrs, including summer session at Cambridge University (UK), 2 yrs + 1 Semester at Flager College,St Augustine, FL, 1 summer crs at UGA and 1 yr (Assoc Degree in Fashion Design & Marketing)) at Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC. Charter Schools may be good for some but surely not necessary for progress post-high school.

Learned about Flagler and his doings down in St. Augustine last summer! Never knew old Rocky had a partner till then! The best way to progress post-high school is to stay away from the bars! What needs engineering out in Montany and Wyomie? It don't take a masters degree to bust sod or rope a buffalo!

I think Dick Cheney said it best when he said:

When George Bush asked me to sign on, it obviously wasn't because he was worried about carrying Wyoming. We got 70 percent of the vote in Wyoming, although those three electoral votes turned out to be pretty important last time around.

Not a Master's--BS in Geology, BS in Architectural Engineering. Most places, you want to do some major construction, gotta have a licensed Engineer sign off on the plans. When working as an independent under his own business license, he charges $65 @hr and last yr, billed $49k--that is in addition to what he earned doing work for other local firms.

Veritas's picture

Informed and correct.!!!

As it played out in Coweta, a group wanted to start a school. The elected school board said, "No" and then began the end around. The state approved the skool but said the elected county board had to fund it. Now Coweta already has a state charted / funded school Odyssey, but these parents wanted another place to send their child'n. Now if "my" tax dollar follows the child, can I git my money for home skool'n my young'n? And then when they start demanding "their" money. Most property tax bills seem to be less than $2000.00. The school portion seems to be 1/2. The proponents of charter schools want their $1000.00 + the $5000.00+ it seems it takes to educate a kid in public school. And we want a corporation in FLA to be held responsible?

about that Coweta charter school is that it was set up to help sell pricey new townhouses in Senoia! Rather than starting a purely private school to attract people with the kind of income needed to buy the fancy townhouses, the powers behind the townhouses want to stick their hands in the tax collections bucket to fund the school! Good plan, if you are them!

I think Flo Rida said it best when he said:

Giving up’s not an option and gotta get it in
Witness I got the heart of 20 men
No fear go to sleep in the lion’s den
That flow, that funk that crown
You looking at the king of the jungle now

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