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Leader ‘thankful’ for charter amendment rejection

SUWANEE — An elected leader with Gwinnett County Public Schools said she was thankful Wednesday to hear news that House lawmakers rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution giving the General Assembly power to create new charter schools.

School Board Chairwoman Louise Radloff said the House vote of 110-62 to support changes to the constitution — just short of the two-thirds required by law — was a victory for public education.

“I’m not sure where it will go, but I’m very thankful for the legislators who voted against it,” Radloff said. “I’m for public education, and that means public schools.”

The constitutional amendment was aimed at ending legal uncertainty created by a recent state Supreme Court ruling that found a state commission that created a dozen charter schools was unconstitutional, because it created the schools and funded them despite objection of local school boards.

The ruling did not affect charter schools authorized by local officials, but it could likely affect Norcross charter school Ivy Prep Academy.

Ivy Prep rallied last month, asking supporters to “mobilize” and support the state legislation that Founder Nina Gilbert said would “ensure the future of our children in Gwinnett County and beyond.”

In January, the Gwinnett County Board of Education voted to deny a charter extension of Ivy Prep Academy’s Gwinnett campus as well as a proposed new location in the county.

The decision came after a district charter review committee cited “significant deficiencies” in Ivy Prep Academy’s financials and curriculum as well as its vision.

In light of the local school board’s decision, Ivy Prep representatives turned to the state and its supporters.

Multiple calls to Ivy Preparatory Academy’s founder were not returned as of Wednesday evening.

Radloff said she suspected that those in favor of the bill “could always go back to the drawing board, and the Senate could bring its own bill.”

Radloff added, however, that she firmly believes “we should be paying public schools the appropriate amount of money under the state’s Qualified Basic Education formula. If charter schools that are approved in Gwinnett County meet the same kinds of rules as others do in terms of class size and per-pupil funding, then I’m for them.”

Added Radloff: “But this is a big question, a big issue that needs to continue to be examined.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Comments

LarryMajor 2 years, 6 months ago

Thank you to the 62 Representatives who supported public education.

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NewsReader 2 years, 6 months ago

A million people...dumb idea...get the picture Larry?

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NewsReader 2 years, 6 months ago

110-62 is hardly an endorsement against this legislation. This isn't a victory for public education. It is a victory for control over money. Let's call it what it is Louise. Stop blocking local communities that want to take control of their own destiny. And stop using my taxpayer dollars to pay for legal action against them when this money would be much better spent in the classroom. This isn't your money. It is their money. And while you have the law requiring 2/3 majority to get it on the ballot, there only needs to be a few more votes to push it over that edge. I would encourage everyone to contact their representatives so that the people get to decide whether or not they want this amendment to the constitution instead of 62 nitwits that don't want you to have a say in the matter. Here is a list of the 62 nitwits along with four that were excused for one reason or another.

ABDUL-SALAAM, 74TH EXCUSED ABRAMS, 84TH ASHE, 56TH BAKER, 78TH BEASLEY-TEAGUE, 65TH BELL, 58TH BENFIELD, 85TH BENTON, 31ST EVERLY, 139TH BROOKS, 63RD BRUCE, 64TH BRYANT, 160TH EXCUSED BUCKNER, 130TH CRAWFORD, 16TH DAWKINS-HAIGLER, 93RD DICKERSON, 95TH DOBBS, 53RD DUKES, 150TH EPPS, 128TH FLOYD, 99TH FLUDD, 66TH FRAZIER, 123RD FULLERTON, 151ST GARDNER, 57TH GORDON, 162ND HARBIN, 118TH HATFIELD, 177TH HEARD, 114TH HECKSTALL, 62ND HENSON, 87TH HOLCOMB, 82ND HOLMES, 125TH HOWARD, 121ST HUGLEY, 133RD JACKSON, 142ND JAMES, 135TH JOHNSON, 37TH JORDAN, 77TH KENDRICK, 94TH MARIN, 96TH MCBRAYER, 153RD MCCALL, 30TH MITCHELL, 88TH MOSBY, 90TH MURPHY, 120TH NEAL, 75TH NIMMER, 178TH OLIVER, 83RD PARENT, 81ST RANDALL, 138TH REECE, 11TH RYNDERS, 152ND SCOTT, 76TH SHAW, 176TH EXCUSED SMITH, 122ND SMITH, 129TH SMYRE, 132ND SPENCER, 180TH STEPHENS, 161ST STEPHENSON, 92ND TALTON, 145TH EXCUSED TAYLOR, 55TH THOMAS, 100TH WILKERSON, 33RD WILLIAMS, 165TH WILLIAMS, 89TH

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LarryMajor 2 years, 6 months ago

If you want people to support your position, you need to be more specific. Tell us all exactly what changes this amendment will make.

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ptm4936 2 years, 6 months ago

This was a vote for power, money, control and teachers unions (oops Associations). Quality education was the loser while mediocrity rules.

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