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GAE's president pans Amendment 1

Calvine Rollins

Calvine Rollins

ALBANY, Ga. -- Georgia Association of Educators' President Calvine Rollins said Thursday passage of the controversial Amendment 1 in November would take money away from public schools and let out-of- state for profit corporations gain a foothold in the state.

Amendment 1 would allow the state to create charter schools without the approval of local school boards.

"The Georgia Association of Educators is not opposed to charter schools, but we are opposed to Amendment 1," Rollins said. "More than 170 school systems in the state are operating with deficits and this is an attempt by our legislators to spend taxpayers' money on schools that are not under local control but under the control of out-of-state for profit corporations."

The proposed amendment to the state Constitution reads:

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

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

"This is all about money, power and control," said Rollins, who is from Bainbridge but works in the metro Atlanta area. "If people are unhappy with their local schools, there is already a mechanism in place for the voters to change those dynamics. We don't need to rewrite the state constitution for it."

Getting to the money aspect, Rollins said the state has already set aside more than $440 million to distribute to charter schools if the amendment passes.

"Why doesn't the state take that money and give it to our existing schools which are already severely underfunded?" Rollins asked. "The state is constantly taking money out of our communities. What kind of results can we expect when they are constantly cutting funding?

"What we really need is to get back to a 180-day school calendar and fully funded public schools."

With more than 300 charter schools in Georgia, Rollins added that passage could have other unforeseen consequences.

"What we would see is a resegregation of our schools based on resources." she said. "As I said before there is no need to rewrite the state constitution."

Rollins then urged voters to educate themselves on the Amendment before voting.

"We are asking that the voters do their due diligence," she said. "Read the amendment and vote no. All we want is for all of our schools to be properly funded and allow local school boards to have control over local schools.

"Research has shown that charter schools perform no better than our pubic schools which educate everybody who walks through their doors."

Comments

doingwhatisright 1 year, 10 months ago

I beg the differ...Charter schools out perform public schools... The DCSS has convinced me to vote for Charter Schools.

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southwestga 1 year, 10 months ago

Pataula Charter is one of the most integrated schools in rural soutwest Georgia.

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Terry.Lewis 1 year, 10 months ago

If by that you mean racially balanced, you are correct. So is Baconton

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coachjohnson42 1 year, 10 months ago

thats all you guys care about at the herald....."race"

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1d2ec 1 year, 10 months ago

And what does the coach care about? Race.

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Francis 1 year, 10 months ago

Compare the performance of the school system charter schools to the state charter schools and you will see a HUGE difference! Pataula Charter Academy scored higher than the 5 surrounding counties with less funding and did not furlough its teachers a single day! Perhaps the regular public schools should be better stewards of the taxpayers money......cut the fat of of their budgets.....and actually put the money toward TEACHING the students and meeting their individual needs.

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Francis 1 year, 10 months ago

The Top 4 REAL REASONS Our Opponents Want to See Amendment One FAIL:

  1. It’s all about money. Some administrators see each child as a bundle of cash and every student that leaves takes away some of the administrator’s money.

  2. Who wants competition when you have a monopoly? Bureaucrats don’t want the competition that charter schools provide. They only talk about improving traditional schools “from within” – but they can’t tolerate alternatives who may develop improved schooling methods.

  3. Adults matter more than kids. Teachers unions weren’t designed to improve education for students, their purpose is to represent their adult union members. Many unions view every public school alternative as a threat to their union dues.

  4. Keep it exclusive. Some private schools don’t like public charter schools because they’re successful. These private schools know that parents won’t pay $10,000 for an exclusive education when parents can chose a comparable school that is open to every Georgia child.

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Francis 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh, and one final thing.....Pataula Charter Academy also educates everyone regardless of their race, socioeconomic level and ability level. Many of our students receive free and reduced lunch and we have children of all ability levels (gifted, average, slow learners, and children with a broad range of disabilities). Our students are chosen via a lottery so we don't "cherry pick" our students. We take the students we get and TEACH them....what a novel idea!

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doingwhatisright 1 year, 10 months ago

Amen,Francis! You are very correct with your assessment. If the DCSS renews the present super. contract, I will campaign for CHARTER SCHOOLS all day long! I am sick of not having a choice...the private schools in Albany need to take note as well....you're about to be out of business. The public will no longer tolerate anything less than excellence.

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EdUktor 1 year, 10 months ago

According to polls, 58 PERCENT of Georgia voters will be voting IN FAVOR OF Amendment 1.

Our traditional public school system is broken, and more charter schools are the answer. Right now teachers' unions and liberals are able to tie up charter school applications in red tape. Amendment 1 restores state power to override the anti-choice crowd—and give parents and kids more choices.

Vote "YES" on Amendment 1.

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waltspecht 1 year, 10 months ago

There has got to be some alternative to existing in a hostile enviornment with questionable Leadership and disfunctional members. That's just the Teachers concerns, imagine the students that want to do good, and have peace in the classroom so they can learn.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 10 months ago

One aspect of the performance issue is the mandates public schools operate under many of which are unfunded by either federal or state revenue and the local school system is forced to come back locally for money. This subjects the local systems to both political and litigious pressures. When the lawsuits and political pressures begin to impinge charter schools there will be more of the same for them. The real issue is to re-organized education and funding in this state and nation and stop playing bs politics withit.

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msa651 1 year, 10 months ago

Just listened to the Lee County Chair of the BOE speak, all about money and nothing about educating the kids. No longer have kids in school but I say - Vote "YES" on Amendment 1

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RedEric 1 year, 10 months ago

It seems that when the federal government gets involved in anything, the cost goes up and the quality goes down. Teachers want to be considered Professionals.........and union members. Professional union members. It confuses me.

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

there are NO, ZERO, NADA, NONE.....teachers unions in Georgia

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waltspecht 1 year, 10 months ago

I have to ask, would you buy a used car from Calvine Rollins?

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tywebb 1 year, 10 months ago

something to think about before you go voting for an ammendment for something that we ALREADY HAVE!!!!!!!!: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/12/usa-education-charter-visas-idUSL1E8LAOAK20121012

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Jimboob 1 year, 10 months ago

They always say, "If it ain't broke don't fix it" However, if it is broke...

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KidsFirst 1 year, 10 months ago

@tywebb, if there's already a way for state charters to be approved, then why oppose the amendment so adamantly? The reason is that step 2 is for the opposition to challenge the funding mechanism throwing these exemplary schools into another legal battle and squashing them out once and for all. It's so very sad that people in the education business can't allow themselves to think of the kids first. This article lists those opposed, groups that have a collective mentality. I'd rather stand with innovative charter schools, the GA Chamber of Commerce, the Technology Association of Georgia and other groups that represent free market. I'll vote yes.

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