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.
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