State Senator Jason Carter (D-Decatur) has weighed in with his opinion on Amendment 1, the charter school amendment. Sen. Carter highlights how our constitutional amendment process is dysfunctional and notes that Amendment 1 is not about building stronger schools.
With carefully worded language, state officials are ensuring that Georgia voters aren’t getting a clear picture of what would happen if Amendment 1 passes next month. Instead, they’re concealing their true intentions: stripping local school systems of control; creating a new state school board filled with unelected political appointees; and opening the door for out-of-state corporations to run our charter schools.
This year’s Amendment One would amend the Constitution to take away local school board control of charter schools and give the state government sweeping new powers. This transfer of ultimate control over certain schools from elected local boards to state bureaucrats is the fundamental change requiring a constitutional amendment and is the amendment’s purpose. Unfortunately, your ballot will not even mention this issue.
Instead, politicians drafted the ballot question to ask: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” This question is intentionally misleading on the fundamental issue of whether local control should be preserved or subverted. In fact, local approval of charter schools already exists, and local school boards have approved more than 200 charter schools in Georgia. The state’s new powers would primarily be meaningful only if a local elected school board had already rejected a charter school’s application. Finally, requests under the proposed system need not, and likely would not, arise organically from “local communities”—they could originate from anywhere, including from groups seeking public money for schools to be run by private, for-profit companies.
Stand with Sen. Carter and stand for local control of our schools. Vote NO on Amendment 1.