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.”
Links: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 UpdateIn 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 Momentpage program and a special thank you goes out to Representative Tom Taylor for helping to make this happen.