The Early County School System's web site is the subject of a complaint filed by Atlanta attorney Glenn Delk who said the District's anti-Amendment 1 activity is political in nature and not constitutional. Delk was successful Friday in getting the State Department of Education to remove similar links from its web site.
BLAKLEY, Ga. -- The Early County School System website, which prominently features links to web pages encouraging the Nov. 6 ballot defeat of the state charter school Amendment 1, has caught the eye of Atlanta attorney Glenn Delk. State School Superintendent John Barge also has been caught up in the dispute.
If approved by voters, Amendment 1 would allow the state to set up charter schools without the approval of local school boards.
A spokesman for Barge on Friday said the state school chief had reached an agreement with Attorney General Sam Olens on Barge's political activity regarding the amendment.
Delk confirmed he had sent letters of complaint to Barge and several school districts throughout the state, including Early County.
"I represent a group of taxpayers who are concerned about education," Delk said. "The Georgia Department of Education and the school districts are not authorized under the Constitution to use taxpayer funds to engage in political activities. And have no doubt, Amendment 1 is a political campaign."
Reached Friday for comment, Early County School Superintendent Thomas Challender acknowledged being familiar with Delk. The superintendent said he had placed the links, with School Board approval, on the site to make the public aware of the importance of defeating the proposed amendment.
"The links will remain up until my board tells me to take them down or until the state DOE takes theirs down," Challender said.
The Early County site has four links on its home page that outlines the georgia Department of education's objections to the proposed amendment and another to a School Board resolution also in opposition.
Matt Cardoza says Barge remains opposed to a the constitutional amendment, but confirmed that the Department of Education has removed from its website a written primer on the issue.
The action comes after Delk filed a complaint accusing Barge of violating state law that limits the use of public resources for political activity.
Barge's Q&A does not explicitly tell Georgians how to vote, but makes his position clear. Cardoza says Barge will continue to speak candidly about his opposition.