The Union Recorder

Opinion

October 20, 2012

Help defeat charter school amendment

MILLEDGEVILLE — We soundly defeated the T-Splost in Baldwin County. Now the ballot initiative regarding charter schools in Georgia has been dubbed the “T-Splost of Education.” At issue are truth, trust and expansion of the Georgia state government.

Passage of Amendment No. 1 would enable formation of a state commission composed of seven non-elected (but appointed) individuals charged with establishing new start-up charter schools. These new schools could waive all state and local regulations and policies that govern traditional public schools. Federal requirements would still apply to charter schools, resulting in federally controlled schools with no local control. Actually, such a tradition is unconstitutional since the U.S. Constitution leaves education to the separate states, not the federal government.

Local school boards are accountable to the voter. Were Amendment No. 1 to pass, control of a charter school would pass to a state-appointed board of seven people. Our tax funds would fund this board, but we the people would never be able to vote them out if we were displeased. Forget parental involvement.

Look who is supporting this amendment. Private companies, non-governmental agencies and foreign countries are lobbying for charter schools. Only 4 percent of the funds to support passage of this amendment comes from within Georgia.

Furthermore, can Georgia afford the rate of about $6,990 to be paid by the state for each charter school student, as opposed to one-third that amount paid by the state now per public school student? How about bang for your buck? The annual report of the Georgia Department of Education on charter schools states those students do not exceed the performance of public school students.

So go to the polls and vote no on Amendment No. 1.

Gail Pohl

Milledgeville

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