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LETTERS: Students deserve choice when it comes to charter schools

A vote "yes" for the charter school amendment presents another choice for parents choosing the best education for their children. I had four children who were very successful in the public school system. However, as I worked in that same system for 20 years, I saw many students who deserved and needed another choice.

The Charter School Commission gives parents and other supporters of the amendment a place to appeal when for various reason a local district turns them down.

A vote "yes" for charter schools is a vote "yes" for kids. They deserve a choice.

Martha Peevy, Lawrenceville

Comments

Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

While I admire Martha Peevy's dedication as a parapro, she seems to be misinformed about charter schools. In most cases: 1. The private charter schools do not demonstrate a standard of education equal to the nearby public schools. 2. Even without the amendment, charter schools will continue to be approved and funded. The amendment only addresses who has oversight and who must fund. If the amendment passes, then local school boards, already on tight budgets, will be forced to pay for charter schools even when they are inferior but will have no oversight authority to help insure adherence to good standards of education. Local boards usually do support the concept of charter schools and Gwinnett currently is funding 4 charter schools. Do not let the controlling factor be choice or we will be doomed to choosing inferiority. Keep local control for the continued improvement of education. We should also note that Gwinnett County also funds alternative style schools to meet the special needs of some students. If a parapro observes students that need an alternative environment, then she/he should make recommendations through the proper channels to initiate proper counseling of the students and parents.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

What are the local boards really scared of, a little good competition by private run schools? If these protestors are sincere, which they are not, why are they so scared of trying something else to educate our kids? Self-interests is what this is all about. The state is spending the money so they should also have a say in how the funds are to be spent more wisely. Everyone I know is voting FOR this amendment and not being fooled by the unlawful use of opposition. as for the local schools is supporting Charter schools, just 4 of them is just an action to demonstrate they care, but not for real. Why did the local board recently stop to continue the licenses for Charter schools?

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Say_that_again 1 year, 6 months ago

Why are people so easily mislead by erroneous information? Public schools do not object to competition from private schools and sometimes even work with private schools for the improvement of educational opportunities. The state can, even without the amendment, approve charter schools anywhere in the state and allocate state educational funds to that school, it just cannot force the local board of education to further fund the school from local tax dollars. One cannot categorize spending money on charter schools as a wiser investment since most charter schools fall below the standards of public schools in the area. It is a false argument to say the opposition is unlawful. No courts have ruled on this action by the charter school authorities to squash an intelligent discussion of the issues and, after examining the arguments, I believe it is unlikely to be supported by the courts. Even if it is supported, it would only pertain to the portion where tax payer funding is directly involved, not the individuals appearing in public forums to explain the factual problems with the charter school arguments. And lastly, the local board only denied renewing 1 charter school and that was because Ivy Prep failed to meet the standards set for schools in the county. Choice is only desirable if it can be shown to be equal or better than public systems, otherwise it only drains funds away from the public school systems which are already strapped for cash with significant budget cuts.

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kevin 1 year, 6 months ago

this is NOT true. The state doesn't override a bad decision by the local boards to not license a Charter school. Those that want them would have to go to court to get their decison overturned. This won't be necessary to gt a license when we vote YES.

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Say_that_again 1 year, 6 months ago

It is easy to make ridiculous statements not backed up by facts. Ivy Prep is an example of a charter school where the state , in fact, DID override the local boards decision, even though it was a good decision in this case. This decision by the local board was based on inferior performance. When they appealed the decision to the state, the state chose to continue their charter with strict requirements to demonstrate improvement, whether the state enforces such requirements is yet to be seen. You are asking for a system by which the state can force local schools to continue to fund under performing schools at tax payer expense with little accountability. This will only lower standards. Kevin, who is paying you to print such distortions? Do you work for a charter school or charter school organization?

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mp 1 year, 6 months ago

Jan,

You are seriously misinformed yourself. There are no such thing as "private charter schools"......Georgia law requires that there are all governed by a non-profit Georgia-based board. As for academic achievement, the Governor's Office of Student Achievement has concluded that state-authorized charter schools in Georgia are out-performing the others schools in their local areas in almost every category.

Also, 3 Supreme Court justices and our AG both concluded that this amendment is necessary to ensure that an appeals process at the state level is maintained (please look up and read the opinions on their respective websites). The Amendment ensures that only state dollars will be used to fund these schools and that no local district will see a reduction in their own state funding. The Local BOEs also keep all of their local funding from property tax.

I tip my had to Mrs. Peevy for her service as a parapro, and it appears that she is still focused on the well-being of students by recognizing that many of them need additional choices to ensure they succeed in today's complex world.

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Jan 1 year, 6 months ago

"...governed by a non-profit Georgia-based board" does not make them non-profit.

"charter schools in Georgia are out-performing the others schools in their local areas" This includes charter schools setup by and completely under the control of the local BOEs. Four such schools have been established in Gwinnett. The legal action was brought by local boards forced to fund 16 under performing schools, 11 of them are still operating, just not getting local funds. The top performing charter school in the state is run by a public school system.

"...concluded that this amendment is necessary" If this were factual, then Ivy Prep and 10 other charter schools in the state would have been closed, thus proving the amendment is not necessary for an appeal.

"...keep all of their local funding" Obviously, you have not been keeping informed on the issues to make a statement this absurd. The reason the BOEs sued was because they were being forced to fund schools while they had no control over the standards. This is the main point of the amendment. As I pointed out above, if it were only about approving charter schools, then the amendment is not necessary. There are 11 schools in the state whose existence proves this fact.

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mp 1 year, 6 months ago

Jan.....read HB797 and show me where Local BOE's are being forced to fund these schools. If you actually take the time to educate yourself, you'll see that it specifically states that local districts will see no reduction to their state funds as a result of these state-authorized schools. Local BOEs will also keep all of their local property tax money.....not a single dime of it will go to fund these schools either.

According to the Governor's office of Student Achievement (GOSA), the state-authorized schools are outperforming the traditional public schools that surround them in almost every category....if you don't believe me, feel free to look it up on their website. Your argument is simply false.

Lastly, "governed by a non-profit" does make them "non-profit"......I'm sorry if the legal definition is too difficult for you to understand.

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