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Amendment hurts local school control

Letter to the editor

Don't be fooled by a vague and seemingly innocent ballot question regarding charter schools that will appear on the November 6 ballot. There is much more to this constitutional amendment than meets the eye. If the Amendment passes, the provisions of H.B. 797 will come into play.

Among other things this would:

  1. Change the Constitution so as to get around a Supreme Court ruling that declared commission-approved charter schools unconstitutional.

  2. Provide a non-elected commission in Atlanta with authority to approve charter schools anywhere in the State. Local boards of education and the state Board of Education presently have this authority and have already approved 210 charter schools.

  3. Provide tax dollars for administrative and operational costs of running a k-12 system of education that parallels our present system. We would have a dual school system with all the additional costs associated with it. This, at a time when cuts in state funding have resulted in staff reductions, larger class sizes, a shortened school year, delayed maintenance and a host of other austere measures in traditional public schools.

  4. Give appointed bureaucrats authority that is presently held by elected boards of education.

Studies in Georgia and a 2009 Stanford University study, show that charter school students made educational gains that varied very little from gains of students in traditional public school. In fact, these studies show that charter schools in Georgia performed below their traditional public school peers in math and found no difference in reading performance. This, in spite of the fact that charter schools have subtle ways of selecting their students.

This is not in opposition to local school board or state approved charter schools. It does seriously question the need for charter schools approved by an appointed commission that is not answerable to local voters and taxpayers.

ROBERT A. CLAY

DeSoto

EDITOR'S NOTE: Robert A. Clay is the former superintendent of schools for Lee County and is vice chairman of the Lee County Board of Education.

Comments

Sister_Ruby 1 year, 6 months ago

Already voted. Voted YES on Amendment 1. Urge others to do the same. Thank you.

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LuLu 1 year, 6 months ago

I voted YES, too! Maybe Dr. Clay, from his perfect little bubble of the Lee County School system, doesn't understand the need for charter schools, but ask anyone from Dougherty or Sumter (or Bibb, Randolph, etc.), and it's a whole different ballgame.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 6 months ago

Put it this way...... If you don’t like your local school board you can ALWAYS vote them out. You do (despite what many think) have a say on what goes on in the school system. Vote yes and you will have NO Power over these charter schools. I find it funny that sooooo many advocate limited control for the government but yet are blindly giving them control of these charter schools. I am not opposed to charter schools but they should have to answer to the elected officials of the local school board (which includes your beloved Lane Price)......

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Jacob 1 year, 6 months ago

"If you don’t like your local school board you can ALWAYS vote them out."

When the majority of the voters only see skin color, and place it above the interests of the children, your theory fails to hold water. Seriously, look at the DCSS school board. Do you have any trust or faith in that group of clowns whatsoever?

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tywebb 1 year, 6 months ago

truth.....we don't agree on much, but I'm with you 100% on this one. There will be absolutely no recourse when these fail. the commission in Atl. will be appointed, not elected. If you don't like what they're doing.....well, that's just tough. If enough people in hellbany were TRULY concerned about the education of their kids they would vote for who would help their children the most.....and ignore skin color. If the majority of hellbany citizens want charter schools, then vote out the board members who are against it. the problem is.......people don't care as long as their choice of color is in charge (black OR white)

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FryarTuk 1 year, 6 months ago

I live in Dougherty County so I am voting YES. If I lived in Lee or Worth County I would vote no.

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tywebb 1 year, 6 months ago

if you all want charter schools soooooo bad in albany, then run for school board and do it that way! a state ammendment is the wrong way to go! After a couple of years, when you notice that the kids are no more educated than they were in public schools, and industry won't come in because now the public schools AND charter schools are failing, and you're asking the governor what those idiots in atlanta are doing, I'll be right here saying......you freakin' idiots.......I TOLD YOU!!!!!!!!!!

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MRKIA 1 year, 6 months ago

I HOPE IT PASSES JUST TO HURT ALBANY IN THE WORST WAY POSSIBLE.

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TRUTH101 1 year, 5 months ago

SMH.....This is the problem with Albany......You have a town full of complainers that would rather hurt the city than try to fix it......Just so they can complain more....Just SAD

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MRKIA 1 year, 5 months ago

WHEN A HORSE IS CRIPPLED THEY SHOOT IT SO IT WON'T SUFFER NEEDLESSLY.

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VSU 1 year, 5 months ago

No different with Lorenzo Heard. The Black folks would rather see the school system fail than to have a white person on the board. The only reason Heard is running is to keep another white person from being on the board. It works both ways you know.

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tiredofit 1 year, 5 months ago

People need to think this through on a more broader level....it's not about Albany, it's about Georgia as a whole!

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