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Price vs. Heard, Amendment 1 top local items on Dougherty ballot

Lane Price and Lorenzo Heard

Lane Price and Lorenzo Heard

ALBANY, Ga. -- When Dougherty County voters head to the polls on Tuesday, two of the most hotly contested items on the ballot are the School Board at-large seat and the controversial proposed constitutional Amendment 1.

Democratic nominee Lane Price and write-in candidate Lorenzo Heard are pitted against each other in the at-large race, which took several twists and turns after Price defeated incumbent Anita Williams-Brown in the July primary.

Price, a political newcomer and medical director of the Willson Hospice House, burst onto the local political scene by ousting Williams-Brown by more than 2,100 votes in the primary.

Her unexpected victory set off a flurry of activity in some camps and Heard, the pastor at 2nd Greater Mt. Olive Baptist Church, attempted to enter the race as an independent.

Heard's candidacy, however, was denied by a unanimous decision of the Dougherty Elections board, prompting Heard to file suit against the Board, claiming his candidacy was wrongly denied.

On the same day the suit was filed, Heard qualified to run against Price as a write-in candidate.

Weeks later, Heard dropped his suit saying it had become a distraction to his campaign and he would concentrate in attempting to prevail as a write-in.

The outcome of the at-large seat is important, in part, because a Price victory would alter the racial make up of the school board, changing it from 4-3 black to 4-3 white. A Heard win would maintain the status quo.

Amendment 1 is a proposed constitutional amendment that would reconstitute the state charter school commission which would allow the creation of charter schools over the objections of local school boards.

Last year the Georgia Supreme Court, in a 4-3 ruling, struck down a 2008 law which allowed a state commission to charter schools and direct funding to them that would have otherwise gone to local districts.

Earlier this year, the Georgia legislature passed H.B.1162 which paved the way for Amendment 1 to be on the ballot.

The Amendment reads: "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?"

On the anti-amendment side are a group including Georgia Superintendent of Education John Barge, the Georgia School Board Association, the Georgia School Superintendents Association, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, the Georgia Association of Educators, the League of Women Voters, the Legislative Black Caucus, and the NAACP, among others.

On the pro-amendment side are the Georgia Charter School Association, a handful of the state's teachers and parents who say their motivation is having choices in regard in their children's education.

There are two different types of charter schools, Board Charter Schools, which have the blessing of local school boards, and State Charter Schools which were created by the state after being denied by local boards.

There are more than 315 charter schools in the state, of that number just 15 are State Charter Schools.

Opponents say approval of the Amendment would allow the state to divert $430 million in funding to charter schools and away from school districts already languishing under austerity cuts and furlough days.

Proponents claim that charter schools would allow parents and their children to opt of failing school districts.

Comments

chinaberry25 1 year, 5 months ago

What they should have done was get another candidate by the same name and throw a clinker in the whole idea. Perfectly legal. If he wins, do that next time.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 5 months ago

you may want charter schools, but you will end up paying higher taxes for it......is that what you want?

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 5 months ago

The following comment in this story proves the education editor is more concerned with the color of the board members than the children of the school system. He said, "The outcome of the at-large seat is important, in part, because a Price victory would alter the racial make up of the school board, changing it from 4-3 black to 4-3 white. A Heard win would maintain the status quo" What in the world???? A newspaper should stay neutral and stay out of racial politics. This is not 1960 and a local newspaper should not be trying to sway votes one way or another based on race.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 5 months ago

Because it is a factor and relevant.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 5 months ago

as an education editor, race should not motivate your reporting of the DCSS buisness. This is not 1960.......Get color off your mind all the time!!!

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

You don't know squat about education, it's pointless that you are even talking about it. Go away troll.

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badheavychevy 1 year, 5 months ago

You can say what you want VSU, but the point Bubba made is valid. This is not 1960, and everything is NOT about race all the time. (especially in education). Times have changed, and people are people. South Georgia does not need to be reminded about race issues by a local newspaper in education. Bubba was right this time....

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Patting ourselves on the back now are we? Then again I guess it would be hard for one to dis-agree with himself.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Why ask me? I told you before jackass you won't catch me crying if Obuma wins. You ain't nothing but a yellow bellied coward posting under different names until the coast is clear, then you come back as coach jackass. What a coward.

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bigbob 1 year, 5 months ago

It is like 1960 & the blacks are the ones making it that way. If Heard wins after getting in the race because a white won the primary everyone who cares about their chilrens future better pack up & get out of Albany. Of course the city would still have plenty of welfare rejects to fill the schools.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Go Away Troll Johnson42!

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chinaberry25 1 year, 5 months ago

Black people still have 1960 mentality. They see no further than the color of the skin. How do you ever think Obama go elected and 97% will vote for that loser and even in their hearts they know it. Lies have been told over and over by the Democrats because they know this and play upon this mindset. Do you think the Kennedys care about blacks, no they only care about their votes. Even Obama, that is all he cares about. Look at the race he associated with in college. Not one black person.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 5 months ago

It would be nice if Bubba would just shut up and let people make decisions based on FACTS and not Bubba rhetoric! Race is a factor in the school board election...get over it!!! By the way, I voted yes for Dr. Price and yes for amendment one.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Don't call him Bubba, he is coachjohnson42 posting as bubbasmithredneck.

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badheavychevy 1 year, 5 months ago

Your the only fool who keeps saying that and nobody cares.....stick to the blog topic please.....and stop being obnoxious.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Ah, a new name used by coachjohnson aka bubbasmithredneck. Go away troll. If anybody that is obnoxious it is you.

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dmyers80 1 year, 5 months ago

Actually I believe that it was Heard who introduced that when he decided to run after Price defeated Williams-Brown!! Thats a big reason our school system is in the shape it is now... We cant do things making decisions on based on race!! If I have a problem with my car, I dont look for a black mechanic or white white mechanic... I go to the mechanic who is best suited to to the job. That being said... I have 3 kids in DCSS, and all of our kids lose if Heard wins!!

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 5 months ago

A black guy who works with me says his whole family is voting for Lane Price cause they don't trust Heard, and they care about all their kids in the system.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 5 months ago

It is also relevant that Heard's outreach program has failed misreably in helping children advance or maintain academic skills. The program which employs his family has spent a million dollars in taxes only to see the schools he assists slide backward dramatically. See http://www.schooldigger.com/go/GA/schoolrank.aspx?

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whattheheck 1 year, 5 months ago

Perhaps the silk purse and sow's ear applies. Or it may be the purse was more important than the ear at the outset and the money was merely frittered away which was the real plan at the outset. The use of such money can be obtained under the FOIA as can information on how the money used by Heard's housing non-profit.

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Bulldawg 1 year, 5 months ago

I think most people with half a brain can see that Hurd is not da word. I the school system was that important to him he would have run in the primary election. His agenda is obvious,personal gain and power.

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Shinedownfan 1 year, 5 months ago

I don't think that is his agenda. He didn't want to run, he said so himself. His agenda is to keep the board majority black... I said it!

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Bulldawg 1 year, 5 months ago

That's where my "personal gain and power" statement comes in.

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waltspecht 1 year, 5 months ago

What better way to deflect scrutiney away from his Grant Programs than to be one that should be scrutinizing the program.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 5 months ago

I will not let the newspaper's biased reporting influence my vote. I actually like both candidates.....even though Heard won the debate at ASU.....

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Go away Troll Johnson nobody cares who you are voting for.

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ittybittyme 1 year, 5 months ago

Heard did not win the debate. He face no stars regarding his truancy program, the ranking of Dougherty County Schools or any information regarding the school budget financial shortfalls. All he did was preach and play the race card. I was there in person and was not impressed. All Heard and his family and cronies want is the grant money so they can live off the taxpayers instead of actually getting real jobs. What goes around, comes around...God does not like "preachers" like Heard!!!!

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Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

Heard ran to prevent a white person from having a position of power. He is a racist, among other things.

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Bubbavet_rureel 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, vote for the person and not for a particular race. Vote Heard or Price!

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

We know you voted for Heard, because of race. Go away Troll.

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Tonto 1 year, 5 months ago

"The outcome of the at-large seat is important, in part, because a Price victory would alter the racial make up of the school board, changing it from 4-3 black to 4-3 white. A Heard win would maintain the status quo".

Gee Hearld, just in case we might have gotten down to real qualifications which would have been factual but not contentions enough for your purpose..you had to make sure to say that the racial make-up of the board was important...aparently not the quality of the board. Are you sure you aren't sold at the counter in publics with the other "quality" publication like the Sun and Enquirer?

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Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

Tonto, race is the 800 pound elephant sitting in the middle of the room. To ignore its impact and implication would be rediculous.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Whatever happened to best people for the job regardless of race? If the people vote in Price to make it 4-3 in favor of a majority white board then so be it. If Price wins, it would mean a lot of black voters felt she was the better candidate for the job. To say you need Heard in there to keep it 4-3 in favor of the blacks is flat out racism and ridiculous as that is the sole reason he was running in the first place.

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badheavychevy 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree Tonto......very inappropriate for him to say that.

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coachjohnson42 1 year, 5 months ago

Who won the Presidential Election???????

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

Coward! You should be an indian Chief. We could call you Chief Yellowbelly. Ha!

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 5 months ago

Obama won Coach!!!!! Obama is the man!!!! and VSU is the VOMIT!!!! hahahahahaha

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