ATLANTA — After most Georgia voters decided against a transportation tax, political attention is shifting to a new battle involving charter schools.
At issue is whether the Georgia constitution should be amended to guarantee the state's power to authorize and fund charter schools.
Georgia voters will decide the issue when they go to the polls in November.
Backers of the constitutional amendment fear that without a stamp of approval from voters this fall, the state's power to authorize and fund charter schools could come under legal threat.
"All opponents will have to do is go back to the court and say, 'The state is in contempt of court,' 'They're not following your directions,' 'They're still violating the constitution,'" said Tony Roberts, president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Charter Schools Association.
"They haven't filed suit yet, but if past history is any indication, they will."
Opponents maintain that charter schools take money from public schools, and many Democrats oppose the new amendment. The Democratic Party of Georgia has sought to highlight what it describes as the misleading nature of the ballot question.
"We have found that once people realize these charter schools take money from the public school systems, their opinions change," said Eric Gray, a spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia.