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LETTERS: Voting yes to charter school amendment would ensure fairness

Dick Yarbrough's column ("Pro-Charter forces trying to bully opponents," Oct. 20, 6A) fails to accurately explain the concerns of Amendment proponents about the future ability of the State School Board to handle charter application appeals absent this constitutional amendment.

Contrary to his assertions, our concern does not merely rest on the well-reasoned dissent of Justice David Nahmias who warned of the state's future inability to consider charter application appeals as a result of the 2011 Gwinnett School Board v. Cox decision. It is the result of the explicit finding in the majority decision in that case which stated:

(The Georgia Constitution) sets forth the sole delegation of authority in our constitution regarding the establishment and maintenance of general primary and secondary public schools. No other constitutional provision authorizes any other governmental entity to compete with or duplicate the efforts of local boards of education in establishing and maintaining general K 12 schools.

While local school boards should have primary responsibility over our schools, no governmental entity should ever have exclusive monopolistic unfettered authority over any action -- and especially not in the area of our children's education. There must always be a check and balance. The proposed Charter School Amendment merely restores an appeal process and insures all Georgia parents and students that they will be treated fairly in applying for the establishment of a charter school.

Therefore, I ask voters to vote "Yes" on Nov. 6 for this important step forward for education reform in Georgia.

-- State Representative Edward Lindsey (R-Atlanta)

Georgia House Majority Whip

Comments

LarryMajor 1 year, 5 months ago

Representative Lindsey, with all due respect, you are addressing a hypothetical legal situation, when we have a current, more extensive problem.

Austerity reductions for both the current school year and last year were around 20 percent of QBE calculated funding. The reason for these funding cuts is, of course, that state resources simply do not exist. This unfortunately results in furlough days and two-thirds of our public school systems operating on less than 180 instructional days.

The exact cost of creating another commission is speculative, but there would be some state funding required. I contend that it would be more responsible to use available state resources for the overwhelming majority of public school students, rather use the funding to protect against a hypothetical court case file by someone who shows no evidence of existence.

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