Surprisingly, there are many citizens unfamiliar with this question that will be on the official Nov. 6, 2012 ballot (or sooner if you vote early).
It reads as follows: House Resolution No. 1162 Ga. L. 2012, p. 1364 “Provides for improving student achievement and parental involvement through more public charter school options. Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”
As a parent, concerned citizen and advocate for my children’s education, I am voting yes on this proposed amendment. Why?
Charter schools provide choices for our students. Every student is unique. If your student would benefit from an educational model different from your local public school, then you should have the option to explore that. Remember, charter schools are public schools. If a charter school application were denied at the local level, this amendment would allow another avenue with which to appeal — to the independent state board as authorizer.
The creation of new charter schools won’t siphon dollars from your allotted local education system. Charter schools approved at the state level would receive state dollars. Should this amendment pass, it is understood that any additional funding for charter schools would come from the Georgia general budget, not the local educational budget.
Charter schools are held to a high level of accountability. If a charter school should fall short of maintaining their academic, financial and governance standards, their charters can be revoked. That kind of responsibility enlightens me. It surely doesn’t reflect the current level of accountability (or lack of it) evident in some of our Georgia public schools.
Competition is a good thing. We must meet the growing and diverse needs of our students in Georgia. Opening up the educational playing field to offer high quality, innovative charter school options could have positive outcome on our students’ academic potential and parental involvement.