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Deal supports charter school amendment

Staff Photo: John Bohn Governor Nathan Deal headlines a luncheon to kickoff the Gwinnett Chamber's annual Business Expo and Job Fair held at the Gwinnett Center Thursday.

Staff Photo: John Bohn Governor Nathan Deal headlines a luncheon to kickoff the Gwinnett Chamber's annual Business Expo and Job Fair held at the Gwinnett Center Thursday.

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Staff Photo: John Bohn Governor Nathan Deal headlines a luncheon to kickoff the Gwinnett Chamber's annual Business Expo and Job Fair held at the Gwinnett Center Thursday.

DULUTH -- Gov. Nathan Deal backed an upcoming charter school amendment on ballots this November, during a Chamber of Commerce event Thursday, saying the move could help improve the state's economic competitiveness.

On the day when news spread of unemployment ticking up slightly, Deal said tax reform measures approved by the legislature earlier this year aren't enough to improve the state's position for drawing companies.

Instead, education is the key, both with technical colleges and universities and with K-12 schools.

"We live in a world that, if you do not have skills ... you are going to have a difficult time finding employment," Deal said.

Gwinnett County's school board as well as the state school superintendent have come out against the proposed amendment, which would guarantee the state's right to charter public schools even if the local school board does not support it.

But Deal said that the eight state-chartered schools in Georgia are all outperforming the public schools in the area. He pointed to Ivy Preparatory Academy, located in Peachtree Corners, as an example, since the students at the all-girls school are doing better on standardized tests than even the high-quality Gwinnett schools in their area.

"We want to give parents and students some choices," he said, adding that the proposal would not decrease state funding for public school districts. "The important thing is we have the right facts on the table (for the Nov. 6 election), so people have a choice."

Gwinnett County Public Schools Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks said he wasn't surprised by the governor's endorsement, but the statistics about Ivy Prep are not correct, adding that the test scores lag behind after sixth grade.

Ivy Prep was a part of the GCPS for one year after the Supreme Court declared the State Charter School Commission unconstitutional, but the system did not renew the charter because of a bad business plan, he said.

"I appreciate the governor being in Gwinnett. ... He has really tried to improve the economic development posture of the state, and it fits in well with what we are trying to do in Gwinnett," Wilbanks said, but added that he did not believe the charter school amendment was the way to do it. "I think it's bad policy. ... If it becomes reality, it will be bad for education in the state."

The Gwinnett school system has four of its own charter schools, so Wilbanks said he isn't opposed to the idea in general, just the legislation proposed.

"This amendment is about who gets to approve them, who gets to control them and fund them," he said.

This isn't the first time that Deal has made his opinion known on a state ballot question. He campaigned for the proposed regional transportation sales tax, also calling it important for economic development for metro Atlanta. The referendum here was soundly defeated earlier this summer.

On Thursday, Deal also made a pitch for the approval of a referendum on allowing the state to enter into multi-year leases. The restriction to one-year leases, he said, leaves the state vulnerable to stiff non-renewal penalties, imposed so landlords can justify making improvements to buildings.

"It is a much better way to do business," he said of allowing multi-year leases. "It will in the long run, I think, save the state a considerable amount of money."

Comments

LarryMajor 2 years ago

Governor Deal’s logic is a bit flawed. Ivy Prep was approved under existing laws and the current constitution. If our Governor believes this school is a great success story, this would be a reason NOT to change anything. It’s not like Ivy Prep used up the entire SBOE in the process and we need to replace it.

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Ashley 2 years ago

Since the Governor has made it his obvious intention to destroy the schools in this state. He has no credibility. I wanted to live in Mississippi; I would have moved there. Based on his business decisions; he could have used a little bit more math in school himself.

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NewsReader 2 years ago

So why don't you run along on over there Ashley? Take LarryMajor with you. Oh, and stop by the nursing home, and grab Jan too. Delta is ready when you are! All of you are part of the problem and not part of the solution.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

Any facts to back that opinion? Of course not! That is why you feel it is necessary to make some absurd "get out of town if you don't like it" remark. The problem is Republican greed that does not want to properly fund public education. It is under paying teachers while demanding more extraneous paper work and larger class loads while working on a smaller supply budget and classrooms designed for fewer students. When the budget is tight, education always takes the biggest hit. If only we had more progressive thinkers that would plan for the future instead of ways to cut taxes for the wealthy and pad the pockets of their wealthy contributors with unwarranted expenditures.

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NewsReader 2 years ago

You people don't want facts. When presented with facts, you become belligerent or non-responsive and refuse to accept the evidence right before your eyes dismissing it as anything but fact. And when the subject at hand comes up again, you act as if we've never had this conversation before and once again demand facts. We simply tire of it and you which is why we stop presenting you with facts on demand since you simply ignore them anyway. It is abundantly clear you are a bleeding heart liberal. You are a hack. You are a troll. Your interest isn’t in fixing the problems that plague education. Your interest is in conveying your bed wetting liberal ideologies which we do not subscribe to. You whine like a little school room sissy when you don't get your way as do the rest of you so called "progressives". Whaa! Cry me a bucket full. We won the right to have the people vote on this initiative. Republican greed doesn't have anything to do with the issue at hand. I have issues with Republicans too – like their never ending desire to enforce their religious ideologies on the rest of us. But what you fail to realize is that the religious right is a subset of conservatism; not vice versa. This is about educating our children! I have never disputed that teachers are underpaid and in fact have said they need to be treated like their professional credentials warrant in much the same way a Licensed PE, Attorney, CPA, or Physician. Public School is funded enough. It simply isn't efficient enough. Don't like it? Take it up with your Administrators. You are a highly opinionated undereducated fool that obviously believes the crap you keep shoveling. And while I have agreed on some of your points, the positive points get buried in your idiotic message. You need to get your head out of the sand, or whatever orifice you have it firmly planted. You must be an Obama supporter! Look what that fool has managed to do to destroy in this country in less than four years.

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LarryMajor 2 years ago

One fact is that the commission you support creating will pay its expenses by keeping three percent of the state QBE funding earned by kids attending state charter schools. Having a politically appointed commission pocketing money meant for kids in charter schools is, to me, such a repulsive notion, I have no intention of discussing at length.

I was just wondering what "problem" you see that could possibly be cured by taking funding away from kids in charter schools.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

LarryMajor; While I agree that we should not have a politically appointed commission, I do wonder where you got the information that it would drain off 3% of QBE funding intended for charter schools. I did find the Governor’s Budget Report – FY 2013 funds an extra $8.6 million in grants to special charter schools. This $8.6 million is educational funds that were cut from public education programs that have seen over $1 billion in cuts since 2009.

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LarryMajor 2 years ago

It’s in HB797 at line 312. This is the code section that implements creating the new commission and it will be automatically repealed if the amendment doesn’t pass. http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20112012/127650.pdf The first commission did the same thing.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

So you think people are so gullible that all you need to do is vent a barrage of insults and they will take your side? No! Insults are simply away of diverting away from the facts and the tool of the uninformed. Those mesmerized by their parties talking points. Of course we should not waste our time presenting you with facts when you only present the lies presented by prejudiced bloggers or biased pundits.

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NewsReader 2 years ago

LOL, "...you think..."! You can always recognize a liberal idiot when they start off with "...you think..." You don't know what I think, but I will help you out. I think you are so full of crap you will never need to have your hair colored. The brown radiates from your head like the sun on a perfectly clear day. You're an idiot, and I rest my case.

LarryMajor, to address your question, no, I don't agree with taking 3% funding away from the kids in charter schools to fund the commission.

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laxcoach 2 years ago

Republican greed? More like Democratic ignorance. We do need progressive thinkers, those who have gained a basic sense of budgeting and know you just can't spend money that you don't have. The wealthy already pay more taxes than the rest of us, so why is it fair that keep getting more and more of the burden? It's not. Fix the entitlement system that perpetuates the poverty of its users.

"If pigs could vote, the man with the slop bucket would be elected swineherd every time, no matter how much slaughtering he did on the side." Orson Scott Card

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

You do offer some basic truths. We do need to fix the welfare system. This includes the corporate welfare of subsidies and special tax breaks for industries making billions in profits. You are right, we need progressive thinkers, not those that continue to harp on supply side economics that has been a miserable failure. G.W. Bush allegiance to this was what ran Clinton's booming economy into a major recession. Now the mincing of words - true, in actual dollars, the wealthy pay more money in taxes; however, a much lower percentage because of the special loopholes that we allow them to use. If Romney gets his budget passed, his taxes would drop to less than 1%. Romney has a history of greed, we already know he has used banks in at least 3 countries to skirt taxation. Now explain how trickle down works for America while money is kept in foreign accounts! The most wasteful department in the Federal budget is defense and yet Republicans will not allow any talk of cuts in defense and even insist on purchasing high dollar items that the defense department does not want. Though I do not like the corporate ties that exist in both parties, the Democratic party is definitely more progressive.

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news2me 2 years ago

"If Romney gets his budget passed ..."

Nice to see that reality is setting in, well before Nov 6th.

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FordGalaxy 2 years ago

Say_that_again - what time each morning do you receive your Obama Talking Points memo? "Republican Greed! Cut taxes for the wealthy!" The fact is the number of government school employees has grown at a percentage rate nearly 11 times that of the number of government school enrollees. We are spending on education. We're spending a ton of money on education, and quite frankly, nationwide, we've got nothing to show for it. One of the problems with cradle-to-the-grave social welfare is that it kills incentive to make something of yourself. Why should I work, the government will take care of me? You say education always takes the cut when the budget is tight, but if it were liberals in 100% control, defense would take the hits. So we would be a well-educated but defenseless nation.

There is a balance to be struck. Let these private schools in. Get some competition into these marketplaces. Liberals always get mad about corporations monopolizing industry, but when government monopolizes they have no problem. Apparently government is the greatest thing. Well, government schools have failed and are failing. Doesn't matter how much taxpayer money you throw at them. The problem doesn't necessarily lie only with teachers and administrators. We have entire generations of spoiled brats who think the world should be handed to them on a platter. They think they have a right to a job, a right to retire. You have a job because someone put in hard work and made a business model that works. Unless you believe Obama, in which case, the business owner didn't build that.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

No one has ever stopped private schools. You want to condemn public schools but defend the charter, for profit, schools which continue to perform below the public school standards, even after 20 years to perfect their methods. You are not asking for competition but for less oversight of educational quality. Gwinnett has one of the top schools in Georgia. We supplement the QBE much more than other schools in Georgia. States with better funded schools outperform Gwinnett. Top performing private schools not only have a per student funding more than double that of Gwinnett but also frequently requires student to purchase their own textbooks. Isn't it time we quit siphoning public funds for under performing charter schools?

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OffTheChain1 2 years ago

State control charter school - A good idea - Trust Him - Just like the TSPLOST. Another opportunity to direct public funds to his associates.

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news2me 2 years ago

Deal supports this? Maybe, but probably not. He knows that it has No chance of passing.

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kevin 2 years ago

I'll take Charter schools anyway I can get them. Public unions are the ones against this. The public school system doesn't want to lose "head counts" because that means less money to spend. You can't control unions, but you can control free enterprise companies. If the Charter school are great, then I do not see a problem. I'll vote for it. Maybe the public schools will get rid of the costly sports programs and get onto teaching. Just in the Gwinnett system, it costs taxpayers over $10,000 per student. Go ahead, figure it out on your own of you have the guts. Divide the budget by the # of students, you will see for yourself. You can goggle the budget.

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Say_that_again 2 years ago

Let me be perfectly clear. Georgia has no public school teacher unions. Now if you really want to determine the effect of teacher unions on education, compare the states with teachers unions and percentage of teachers that are members and compare school performance. Strangely, it seems that teachers unions have a very positive effect on student performance. The expenditure per student is only $7549. The problem with your number is that you are considering fixed expenses that are not a part of the day to day operation of the school system. Compare that amount to Saint PiusX with a tuition of $11,430 plus students must buy their own uniforms and books as well as an annual re-enrollment fee of $200. Add to this the amount that Saint PiusX gets in donations and endowments and you can see the $7549 is far below that of top quality education programs of a some private schools. You say "if charter schools are great" and yet we are still paying for charter schools even thought the vast majority are not performing up to local standards. A few exceptions do not make it a good argument to allow charters to take over education.

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