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Don't Ditch Democracy - Why I'm voting NO on Amendment One.

A Georgia Mom says Don't Ditch Democracy - keep local community control of local community schools. - Vote NO to Amendment One.

Don't Ditch Democracy - Strengthen it!

If you want to keep community control over your community schools, VOTE NO on Amendment 1.

Right now, locally elected school boards in Georgia can and do approve charter schools that meet the needs of students in their communities. Local boards can also turn down applications for charter schools that don't meet those needs, so taxpayers aren't stuck paying for something that isn't worth it. 

Yesterday, Patch ran a letter from a charter school corporation associate, who suggested voters should approve "Amendment One," which would let the state control a community's schools, and overrule the locally elected officials.

Why should we give up the power we now have to determine the kind of schools our children attend, and how our tax dollars are spent?

Should we put an end to the elections of our local school board members we believe are best qualified to act in our best interests?

This Democratic process must seem pretty pointless to the charter school associate, who ridiculed Georgians for thinking their votes for a local school board really matter anyway.

"The public is led to believe that it can, through its vote for 1 individual on the district board, every 4 years, only 3 times in the course of a child’s educational career, actually influence what happens in their school district," she wrote. "That’s nonsense," she said.

Nonsense?

I can only imagine what folly this woman sees in voting for legislators, and I guess electing a president seems pointless to her, too. But when it comes to electing my local school board, and holding them responsible for my community's schools, I'm glad to say - I think my vote does count. And I know, when it comes to decisions made by my locally elected officials - my voice matters even more.

As Jan Jones, one of the representatives who sponsored this constitutional amendment, wrote on Patch just a few days ago - "real accountability can only reside with parents and students who live with the outcomes of a child's educational success or failure."

I agree! And as a Georgia parent, I am glad to be able to elect school board representatives to do what's best for my child - and I really don't appreciate Jan Jones' attempt to grab that power away from me, and hand it over to the state.

I like the idea of Democracy playing a direct role in our choices for our community schools, and I plan to keep that representation for my taxation. 

I am not going to hand my child's future over to a commission of cronies appointed by a governor who has a history of putting personal contributors into powerful state positions, to the detriment of everyone else who lives here.

And look at the legislators pushing this amendment - They couldn't agree to accept a $100 limit, or even a $100,000 limit on the value of individual gifts they get from lobbyists and special interest groups, including corporations bidding for  state contracts.

Don't you know the charter school companies who can't pass muster with local school boards already strapped for cash are so looking forward to this amendment passing. That way, a subpar group of charlatans can can make a few personal contributions to some key politicians, then slip in through a new state agency, and force all Georgians to pay for them, whether we want them or not. Simple as that.

This is dangerous legislation, creating a new huge bureaucracy that could cost an estimated $500 million more in state funds to run, and the only thing it will accomplish is put our already scarce tax dollars into the hands of a few politicos who can then run roughshod over local governments and the families they are elected to represent.

This amendment is NOT pro-charter school. It's pro-corruption, higher taxes, and misrepresentation, and any parent who wants to choose good charter schools and good traditional public schools for their kids should vote against it.

Don't Ditch Democracy - Strengthen it! Keep community control over community schools. VOTE NO on Amendment 1.

And while you're at it - vote out the legislators who refused to put a limit on the powerful influence of personal gifts from lobbyists, state contractors, and special interest groups, too.

For more information on Amendment One, go to www.votesmartgeorgia.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Molly Read Woo October 31, 2012 at 03:08 PM
That's www.votesmartgeorgia.com
Filtered78 October 31, 2012 at 04:53 PM
Nice scare tactics, Molly. You must be in the teachers union. You and the rest of your union cronies have failed time and time again to do your jobs effectively. Time to allow more charter schools to proliferate and in doing so, show Americans that teachers unions and bloated administrations are ineffective and need to go. Just like the private sector and the rest of the real world. We're tired of you and the Democrats putting your job security before the proper education of our future generations.
Mike Phillips November 01, 2012 at 12:51 PM
I don't understand why Republicans seem intent on destroying education down here. Republicans seem to want to contract everything out to the private sector...for profit. That didn't work out so well during the Bush error when the banks and mortgage companies crashed the economy because they were so intent on making a profit. What I love is how cities like Sandy Springs form because they say they want more local control. Then they contract all their services out to the private sector. Then the private sector companies they end up hiring do a half-assed job because all they care about is profit and Sandy Springs ends up getting very little back. Why should people have to pay to send their kids to a private, for-profit, charter school? That's outrageous. I guess pretty soon only the wealthy will be able to afford to send their kids to school. Up north, we value decent public schools. We don't mind paying taxes for decent public schools and paying teachers what they are worth. The anti-tax mindset is so ridiculous down here. How can anything ever improve if people aren't willing to pay taxes?
Molly Read Woo November 01, 2012 at 07:59 PM
Dear Filtered 78 - Given your baseless hostility and erroneous conjecture, I can imagine why you would like to stay anonymous, but as you seem to be interested in my personal profession and politics, I'll be happy to oblige you with some facts, so you don't have to guess. I am not a teacher, unless you count me trying to teach my son to grow up to be a man who respects and is courteous to others, even if he doesn't agree with them or understand them. I know this is old fashioned, but I might also say that being a Mom and running our household is my full-time profession, ever since my husband, a medical doctor who worked as a public health officer, died when our son was only eight months old. At that time, I realized, I could either continue to work in the newspaper business, and pay most of my salary to someone else to take care of my son during the day, or I could be a full time Mom and try to get some part time work to help us get by, which is what I have done. As for me being a Democrat - I'm afraid you've got that wrong too. I don't vote along party lines, and in fact, last time we elected our representative for the 54th District, I voted for the Republican, Ed Lindsey, as I felt he was doing a good job, and was fiscally conservative, which I am too. During the last term, however, I'm afraid Lindsey has veered too far off on this Charter School biz, and is wasting state money, so I'm voting for Lynn Brown McKinney, because she'll get to work on real economic recovery.
Molly Read Woo November 01, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Dear Filtered 78 - Given your baseless hostility and erroneous conjecture, I can imagine why you would like to stay anonymous, but as you seem to be interested in my personal profession and politics, I'll be happy to oblige you with some facts, so you don't have to guess. I am not a teacher, unless you count me trying to teach my son to grow up to be a man who respects and is courteous to others, even if he doesn't agree with them or understand them. I know this is old fashioned, but I might also say that being a Mom and running our household is my full-time profession, ever since my husband, a medical doctor who worked as a public health officer, died when our son was only eight months old. At that time, I realized, I could either continue to work in the newspaper business, and pay most of my salary to someone else to take care of my son during the day, or I could be a full time Mom and try to get some part time work to help us get by, which is what I have done. As for me being a Democrat - I'm afraid you've got that wrong too. I don't vote along party lines, and in fact, last time we elected our representative for the 54th District, I voted for the Republican, Ed Lindsey, as I felt he was doing a good job, and was fiscally conservative, which I am too. During the last term, however, I'm afraid Lindsey has veered too far off on this Charter School biz, and is wasting state money, so I'm voting for Lynn Brown McKinney, because she'll get to work on real economic recovery.

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