I feel that it is time to speak up for Amendment One as a parent and citizen of Georgia. My child attends Pataula Charter Academy in Edison, GA and, I fully support the amendment to the constitution for charter schools. I hate that outright lies are being spread to make people vote no for this amendment. This is my child’s education on the line and I don’t want to stand by anymore without pointing out specific facts and addressing these lies.
- Please do not believe that for-profit companies are going to come in and open up charter schools. The ballot question specifically says that charter petitions must be at the request of local communities. These local communities; after forming a governing board also must establish a non-profit organization by law. Please educate yourself on the Charter Schools Act that is in Georgia’s Code title 20.
- Please do not believe that public charter schools are the reason teachers are being furloughed and school days are being cut. Public charters do not take away money from K-12 education. The state does not choose to furlough school staff; they simply give austerity cuts and their local board of education makes the decision of how to offset those losses. We managed to NOT furlough teacher last year while only being funded at around $5500 per student. Why can’t the traditional public schools do the same with $10,000-$15,000 per student?
- Please do not believe that your taxes are going to be raised because of a public charter school. We only receive state money, no local. So if your local district loses a child to a charter school or any other traditional public school, they keep all local money for that child. So if any change is made, the taxes should be lowered.
- Please do not believe that public charter schools will take away local control. Charter schools give the ultimate local control; the parents. It is parents that envision the school, start the school, and run the school. This amendment will give all parents the right to take control of their child’s education and change things if they have a failing school system.
- Please stop believing that public charter schools hand pick their students and that we are set up to re-segregate our school system. Almost 70% of charter students in the state of Georgia are minority children. By law, public charters are required to hold a public, random lottery each year. Our pre-enrollment application does not ask about race, socio-economic status, past academic or discipline history, or special services.
I find it very interesting that the opposition has NEVER mentioned the children or had a student speak out in favor of their traditional public school. The opposition continues to focus their campaign on money, power and control. The proponents continue to focus our campaign on parents, students, and choices. Please continue to educate yourself on the issue and vote for the kids of Georgia; vote yes to Amendment 1.