Thus begins the leading (or misleading) preamble of the question known as Amendment 1 on the ballot on Nov. 6. Who in their right mind would ever vote against improving student achievement or parent involvement? How could anyone ever be against this noble and worthy cause?
Well, the devil is truly in the details. When you read the actual question after the leading and slanted preamble, it says “Shall the Constitution…be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools…” Innocent enough right? In a word, absolutely not.
Georgia has a system now that allows local communities to approve of charter schools or charter systems — and with accountability to the local school boards and voters. So why is this question on the ballot? The words “allow state” change the rules in order to allow the state powers to form a commission to approve charter schools that will not be accountable to you or me as a voter.
As written, a state appointed — not elected — body can and will approve charter schools without regard of local opinion or tax dollars. Simply put, a few state officials want to be able to circumvent local boards and voters and the language is worded to trick the voters.
Across the state today, there are charter schools and systems that were approved under the current system. We do not need to create another state level body to accomplish what is already being accomplished throughout the state.
In summary, you better believe I am 100 percent in favor of “providing for improving student achievement and parent involvement.”
I am even in favor of charter schools and private schools. But I am 100 percent against Amendment 1 and its deceitful wording. It is not needed and will not improve education in Georgia.
I sure hope the voters of Georgia won’t be deceived come Nov. 6.