Kudos to state Superintendent of Schools Dr. John Barge for his recent stance on the charter school amendment.
As he correctly points out, House Resolution 1162 is just an attempt to create a dual school district — another layer of bureaucracy that is not needed in Georgia government.
Presently, if a local school board votes down a charter proposal, the state Board of Education can reverse that decision. There is already a mechanism and system in place to take care of the appeal process.
This is how Cherokee Charter Academy was approved and can be renewed for years to come. There is no need to recreate the Charter Commission.
Amendment proponents want to do so because there likely is a better chance for charters run by for-profit entities to be approved by the Charter Commission than the State BOE.
Amendment proponents like to point out that no local funding will be used if the Charter Commission is re-established.
The problem is that state funding will be used in an environment where existing public school systems like the Cherokee County School District are being shorted millions of dollars through “austerity” reductions.
Until the state legislature fully funds existing schools, why would anyone support adding more “special” charter schools?
What is truly galling is that the state is presently funding these “special” charter schools at two and one-half times the per pupil rate which traditional public school districts are funded.
Anyone who supports Cherokee County’s public schools should vote “no” on the amendment in November.