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GA voters to decide on charter schools amendment

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ATLANTA — Georgia voters on Tuesday will decide what has been a sometimes heated debate over public charter schools policy.

Gov. Nathan Deal and school choice advocates have led the push for a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to re-establish a commission that could issue charters to independent school operators.

State schools Superintendent John Barge, also a Republican, has led the opposition, which also includes professional organizations for public school teachers and some local school board members and local school superintendents.

Proponents pitch the measure as a way to give Georgia families more educational options. Opponents say it will lessen local control and siphon public money away from existing schools.

Control over charters now rests mostly with local school boards.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.