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House easily passes charter school measure

It was going to take a two-thirds super majority of the Georgia House of Representatives to approve a resolution to let voters decide on a constitutional amendment restoring the state’s ability to approve charter schools.

But the 123-48 vote on Wednesday surpassed the requirement and resulted in a vote that had 72 percent of representatives in favor of the resolution. The Senate will soon take up its own version of the proposal.

The Wednesday vote on House Resolution 1162 saw more than enough support to help pave the way for a voter referendum that would restore the state’s ability to approve charter schools.

It was just a week ago that the House vote came up 10 votes short of having the two-thirds majority vote required to put the measure before voters in the form of a constitutional amendment.

Area legislators supporting HR 1162 included Rep. Billy Horne (R-Sharpsburg), Rep. Lynn Smith (R-Newnan), Rep. Matt Ramsey (R-Peachtree City) and Rep. John Yates (R-Griffin). Also supporting the measure was state Sen. Mike Crane who recently spoke in favor of its passage to a group of parents and employees at the Coweta Charter Academy at Senoia.

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 Georgia Senate followed suit last week with the introduction of Senate Resolution 853 that would accomplish the goal specified in HR 1162.

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