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There are a lot of mixed messages surrounding the charter school amendment Georgians will see when they go to the voting booth on November 6th. Supporters of the proposal say it will ensure that parents have more of a choice in their child’s education.
Opponents argue that the amendment would take authority over schools away from local communities and give it over to a state commission.
But state law currently requires charter schools be managed by non-profit boards made up of parents, teachers, and other community members. The amendment would not change this arrangement. It would simply allow for parents and teachers who petitioned for a charter school in their community to appeal to a state commission if the charter is rejected by a local school board. According to the Associated Press, petitioners of a charter school can already appeal to the state Board of Education under current law. All the ballot amendment does is clarify the law and allow for the creation of a separate state commission to approve charter schools.
We need to support Ballot Initiative 1 on Election Day.
School choice provides a way out for children that aren’t being served adequately in public schools. Data from the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement shows that students of state charter schools in Georgia perform better academically than those in traditional public schools. Ivy Preparatory Academy, a charter school with a campus in Atlanta, was recently ranked one of the “Highest-Performing Schools” in the state by Georgia Department of Education.
Unleashing the forces of competition is a proven way of increasing quality for all consumers. And what are children if not consumers of education?
The children of Georgia deserve an opportunity at a good education. Remember to check YES on the charter school amendment when you vote this Tuesday.