Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Panel discussion on the Charter School Amendment - Thurs 9:15 Dunwoody Library

Dunwoody Chamblee Parents' Council (DCPC) and State Representative Tom Taylor are co-hosting a discussion panel on the Charter School Amendment. 

When:  Thursday, October 4, 2012
             Meet & Greet at 9:15 AM
             Program will run from 9:30 to 10:30 AM

Where:  Dunwoody Public Library 

Topic:  Legislative Panel to discuss Pros and Cons of the Charter School Amendment  (Ballot issue on November 6th Election)

Who:  Panel representatives for each of the pro and con arguments are as follows

Pro Panelists: Speaking on behalf of passing the amendment
State Representative Jan Jones, Speaker Pro-Tempore of the House and author of the legislation
State Representative Mike Dudgeon, past Forsyth County BOE member

Con Panelists: Representing arguments against the amendment
State Senator Nan Orrock
Sally Fitzgerald, Georgia PTA 

Moderator: State Representative Tom Taylor 

* DCPC co-hosting is purely for informational purposes, and DCPC is not advocating an opinion either way. 
Upcoming Ballot Question on State-Approved Charter Schools

            There is an important constitutional amendment which will appear on our November 6th ballot concerning charter schools. A charter school is a public school that has been given organizational and curriculum flexibility to meet state education expectations.

            If approved, the measure would allow a special state charter school commission to approve and fund charter schools. The commission would be appointed by the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House. Presently, local school boards and the state school board approve charter schools.  Georgia presently has 103 locally approved charter schools.

The ballot question is as follows:

"Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?"

DCPC believes this is an issue of importance for our families and community and urges parents to educate themselves on this ballot question.
Opposing viewpoints can be found below:

 Please note that DCPC is not advocating either viewpoint.  Nor does this denote any affiliation politically with State Rep Tom Taylor.

1 comment:

Hire_A_Veteran said...

A couple days ago I watched Bill Moyers and Company on PBS. The show was about ALEC. If you haven't heard of ALEC, or haven't seen this show, I encourage you watch it. Here's the link: http://billmoyers.com/episode/full-show-united-states-of-alec/

I was a public school teacher for 18 years, 16 years in California. At that time, California schools were rated above 5th in the nation. Now they are somewhere near the bottom. In the 90s the state legislature spent more on prisons than it did on schools. Around the time I was leaving the school system to become a minister, business entered the field of education. The public was told that business could run schools better than the public system. Privatization of education had begun.

On the show this past weekend, Bill Moyers exposed ALEC which are businesses and mostly Republican state legislators subverting the lobbying system. Business interests provide suggested business friendly legislation to be introduced in the various states which the state legislators (who have been wined and dined by those business interests) take back to their states and present as their own legislation to be passed. Privatization of Education has been one of the objectives of ALEC during the past 20 years or so and public dollars to education have been reduced and reduced and reduced.

One of the states where ALEC has been able to get the appropriate legislation, (Bill Moyers talked about it on the show, I don't recall which one) public dollars for education where given to business interest for education purposes.

This may not seem like a big deal, after all, aren't these businesses educating kids? Consider this, if business takes over the majority of education, it will mean the business has a right to refuse service to anyone it doesn't want to serve, or require something from its patrons, as well as payment.

I taught in a low-wealth district. The private school kids usually outscored our kids. As public school teachers we used to complain that our test scores weren't higher because we had to educate everyone. Kids with problems are not less intelligent. They are dealing with more issues outside of the classroom. We couldn't refuse these students as private schools could. I now see that as a blessing.

This change to Georgia's constitution sounds a lot like ALEC legislation and if it passes, business will be more fully involved in education in Georgia. Just take a look at who's for the change - Wal-Mart, Multinational Conglomerate Koch Industries, 10 big-dollar out-of-state donors, Gov. Nathan Deal, Don Balfour, Chip Rogers.

Please take a few minutes and watch the video. The show is an hour long, but the ALEC portion is about 30-40 minutes. No one had really heard about ALEC until the Treyvon Martin case hit the news. The connection is in the video piece.

I don't usually get involved in politics. I don't think I've ever written anything like this. But I have been appalled with what has been going on with public education recently. I've told any number of people that it's been the politicians who have messed up education...little did I know.