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Vote Yes for charter amendment

A few vocal opponents of the charter school amendment make a big deal about a Georgia Department of Education (DOE) commission approving some charters. IS it a big deal?

Parents (and non-profit groups) can now submit a charter to their local school board for approval, and if it is denied, they can appeal to the state DOE. The DOE established a commission in 2008 to hear and decide these matters, but a Gwinnett County lawsuit challenged the commission’s authority and the case was appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.

In a 4-3 split decision, the liberal majority of the Ga. Supreme Court ruled in Gwinnett’s favor, saying that the commission did not have the constitutional authority to approve general k-12 education school charters.

So far, no one has challenged the DOE’s authority to approve a charter directly (since the commission no longer exists), but that likelihood is always lurking and hence the amendment to clear the air.

This brings us to the matter of who would be accountable to whom. Voters can exercise four options if they’re dissatisfied with decisions from a new commission that would be established if the referendum passes:

• Since the elected governor, Senate majority leader, and speaker of the House nominate commission members, voters can express their displeasure when those officials are running for office by voting against them.

• The DOE Secretary reviews nominees and selects seven of the 14 for appointment. Don’t like how his appointees are doing? Vote him out as well!

• The best and most immediate redress for commission decisions is even simpler — don’t enroll your children in a state-chartered school in the first place.

• Finally, parents can withdraw their children if they become dissatisfied with their charter school.

The last two options are absolutely the most local form of control possible — authority is even more local than that of an elected county board of education.

Neither of those two options requires any campaigning or publicity, just a parental decision to enroll their children back in their traditional public school.

The latest Ga. DOE Charter School Division Annual Report lists nine state-chartered schools in operation long enough to receive an Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) rating. Six achieved that standard, and three of those passed in districts that did not (and two of those schools were operated by an Education Management Organization — a free enterprise outfit hired by a charter school’s board; pgs. 100 & 181). The three schools that did not achieve AYP were in districts that failed to achieve the standard.

Many of us moved into the Fayette County school district because of its educational excellence, but others don’t have that option. Is it right to deny the state-charter school choice to those parents and children, especially in the most poorly performing districts?

Vote “Yes” for Amendment 1 on charter schools.

Bob Ross

Co-Founder, Fayette County Issues Tea Party

Fayetteville, Ga.



That’s great Mr. Ross, just double-down on a losing proposition and never admit that you are acting against your Tea Party beliefs. Embrace another layer of unelected government control over our lives.

Let’s follow your argument to its logical conclusions. You will pose no opposition to Obamacare’s Independent Payment Advisory Board, a panel of 15 experts tasked with cutting Medicare payments to doctors and other hospitals. We all know that locally elected officials cannot be trusted with truly important decisions; we need appointed commissions answerable to no one.

Big Government Bob, truth is stranger than fiction.


Interesting read on out of state contributions and why.

How about this article - over $2 million, almost all out of state money to push Amendment 1



more to read

and another article to read in case you don't believe the Atlanta Tea Party opposes Charter School Amendment 1 and why


Wrong comparison Stranger. A decision by a parent to send their kid to a
Charter School is a voluntary decision. Obama's "Advisory Board" (Death Panel) isn't voluntary. A critical distinction, and a "Tea Party" one.
So, that's not a "logical conclusion". It's actually a "Straw Man".

I know, I know. Government bureaucracy that gives me the outcome I want is wonderful, while government bureaucracy that gives me the outcome I don't want is a socialist, liberal, damnable blight on the good ole USA.

Go ahead and trade your birthright for a bowl of stew. I hope you enjoy it, because you've given up the high ground forever.

I have to say, BOTH of y'all seem to be operating from a place that the Choice must be a Government approved category, Charter School or Government School..
What happened to the Parental Choice NOT to participate in either?
Maybe per MY choice my kids will only learn that which I decide to teach..
ooops that's illegal and wrong Here in the "Land of the Free"
I HAVE to raise MY children according to how Peter and Stranger say.....
(even though they mostly can't agree)

Q - Thanks for your comment. Actually, whether someone places her child in a charter school, government school, home school, or any hybrid is acceptable to me. The issue here is NOT charter schools.

The issue is the blatant hypocrisy that this Tea Party founder promulgates by sanctioning an added level of government bureaucracy to circumvent locally elected leaders while railing against big government. The Tea Party prides itself in taking no prisoners while drumming good and decent people out of office for daring to look realistically at complex issues. Their Grover Norquist, anti-tax, anti-government simplistic stances on every issue defy serious consideration of alternatives in favor of a one-size-fits-all answer to every issue. If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

There are instances in which a conservative approach is quite valid. There are instances in which a balanced solution is preferable. All instances require THINKING instead of Pavlovian reactions (especially when these reactions are filled with hate and self-righteousness).

Educate your kid in any fashion you choose, but at least teach him to think critically before offering solutions, and maybe he can at least be consistent.

I've read the above post 3 or 4 times now, and there is still nothing I can disagree with, One question though.
Mind if I use your "". If the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.""

Q - Use anything you would like. Alas, the hammer/nail metaphor is not my original.

Mr. Pfeifer,

The charter school and Obamacare commissions are analogous in regards to me, the taxpayer. When the unelected charter school commission approves a for-profit charter school developed by some entrepreneur, my tax dollars are used to fund this school. I have no say whatsoever in this decision since my elected officials were circumvented. The Obamacare commission, likewise, will make decisions “for my own good” without any chance of my influence. Thus, if you support one commission, you are quite hypocritical for shrinking from the other.

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