Georgia's top teacher publicly opposes charter schools amendment

Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge

Georgia State School Superintendent John Barge

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia schools Superintendent John Barge has come out against a constitutional amendment to guarantee the state's authority to charter independent public schools.

The Republican superintendent, in a written statement Tuesday, said he believes the proposal threatens local control and state financial support for traditional public schools.

Spokeswoman Dorie Nolt says Barge has informed Republican Gov. Nathan Deal of his position. Deal personally lobbied lawmakers on the amendment and has urged Georgia voters to support it in November.

The superintendent's opposition puts him in an unusual alliance with many public school teachers and the Georgia Democratic Party.

The amendment would override a state Supreme Court ruling outlawing state chartered independent schools.