Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Senate passes charter school amendment. Now, voters will decide the question in November.

What exactly does this mean for Dunwoody?

The state Senate passed the controversial charter school amendment this afternoon, enabling a constitutional amendment on the question in November. The amendment passed 40-16, which represents the two-thirds majority required. The amendment already had passed the House.

One of the reasons for passage is the assurance from its author, Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones, R-Milton, that the state would cover the costs of a state-approved charter school if its original charter application was not approved by a local school districts.

However, skeptics argue that the language is fuzzy enough that the state will still be able to divert money from local school districts to pay for state-approved charter schools.

The bill has become one of the most promoted pieces of legislation in the General Assembly this year, in part because of the assistance of the influential for-profit charter school industry, including online providers , which is looking to expand its foothold and profits in Georgia.

With final legislative passage of the charter school amendment today, Gov. Nathan Deal encouraged Georgians to vote for it this in November.
“The General Assembly has acted wisely and courageously to give Georgians the choice to implement true local control: parental choice. We must encourage innovation and the pursuit of excellence in our schools. Starting a state-chartered school is not done easily or without lots of hard work, but we need a system that allows for this option. State-chartered schools help students trapped in under performing schools and aid communities that want to invest in new and imaginative ways of learning for their children. Approving this amendment will simply restore the process for creating state-charted schools that existed before the state Supreme Court struck down the state’s system for granting charters, and I hope Georgians will cast their vote for protecting and promoting schools that have a strong record of student achievement.”
Maureen Downey AJC Get Schooled

Georgia Pundit - Todd Rehm

Peach Pundit - Jason Pye

South Cobb Patch with a video of press conference

Fox TV - Setting a National Precedent? video

DeKalb School Board Map Update
In semi related news, I had the pleasure of attending another DeKalb Delegation Meeting at the GA Capital on Monday and it appears that with only 5 legislative days left in the session the Senate and House will be looking to find a certifiable DeKalb County School Board map that can be approved by the end of the session.  The DeKalb Delegation will be meeting with hopes to hammer this out on Tuesday but the time and room has not been published for this meeting yet.  I am aware of several versions of the proposed school board maps, including one from the DeKalb School Board which supposedly meets the requirements but there is no telling how this may play out in the end.  If any reporters or interested parents have time, this would be a good meeting to attend as there is definitely a story there.

Proud Dad Moment
Monday I also had the pleasure of watching my 12 yr old son Riley serving on the floor of the GA House of Representatives as a Page. He really enjoyed himself, learned some history and felt really involved in the political process. I highly recommend the page program and a special thank you goes out to Representative Tom Taylor for helping to make this happen.


Dunwoody Mom said...

While I rarely, if ever, publicize my vote (which I consider a private decision), I will vote No on the Charter School amendment.

DunwoodyTalk said...

While I often, if not always, publicize my vote (which I consider a private decision), I will vote YES on the Charter School amendment.

Dunwoody DTOM said...

Anything to move farther from the incompetency of the DCSS. I will vote YES. As often as possible!

Colleen O'Casey said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob Turner said...

Voting NO as well. You betcha!

Colleen O'Casey said...

Reviewed all aspects of the amendment thoroughly and our family will be marking a big "NO" on the ballot.

I'm in total disbelief! The Georgia State Senators have to be totally unconscionable or utterly incompetent to have passed such an inchoate and shoddy piece of legislation!

Daughter of the Poet said...

Speech to the Young

Say to them,
say to the down-keepers,
the sun-slappers,
the self-soilers,
the harmony-hushers,
"even if you are not ready for day
it cannot always be night."
You will be right.
For that is the hard home-run.

Live not for battles won.
Live not for the-end-of-the-song.
Live in the along.

Gwendolyn Brooks