While a Georgia advocacy group has come out against the proposed state charter school amendment, voters seem to support the idea, according to a poll released this week.
The poll, released by Families for Better Public Schools, said 58 percent of voters support the ballot question, with nearly 40 percent saying "Definitely yes" to the amendment, which would guarantee the state's power to charter public schools, even if the local school district votes no.
"Georgia voters are showing their solid and firm support for public charter schools," said Mark Peevy of Families for Better Public Schools, the campaign advocating on behalf of the charter school vote. "The hard work and academic performance of students, parents and teachers at charter schools are proving that there is a need and a growing demand for charters in Georgia. This vote will allow our state to continue to expand public school options and raise student achievement."
The poll, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates featured 1,000 likely general election voters in the state of Georgia and was conducted from Sept. 9 through Sept. 11 via telephone.
But the League of Women Voters of Georgia announced this week leaders believe the proposal is "unwise and wasteful," an opinion shared by Gwinnett's school board.
Elizabeth Poythress, president of the voting organization, is urging all its members to vote no on the issue.
"We believe this proposal is not in the best interest of the children of Georgia or the taxpayers of Georgia. It is unwise, wasteful, and not in the best long term interests of the State of Georgia," Poythress said. "We believe it is bad public policy to create a duplicate school system that will, in the words of the Georgia Supreme Court, 'compete with locally controlled schools for the same pool of students educated with the same limited pool of tax funds.'"
The League of Women Voters of Georgia "is firmly committed to public education, and equal access to quality education for all the children of Georgia," a press release said. "We also believe that locally elected officials are best suited to decide matters of local policy that so directly affect their constituents and their communities."
Deal to appear at rally
Gwinnett Republicans are working to stir excitement for the upcoming presidential election, with a rally Thursday featuring Gov. Nathan Deal.
"The national media have made it crystal clear in the past week just how 'in the tank' they are for the Democrats and President Obama. We just have to keep doing what we are doing -- this election will not be won by talking heads, but rather with shoe leather and phone calls, one by one," Gwinnett GOP Chairman Bruce LeVell said in an email to members. "Despite the media's best efforts, Gov. (Mitt) Romney maintains a statistical tie in almost every national poll, and the battleground state polls remain very competitive. Let's all keep in mind that we still have three presidential debates to go, as well as numerous other potential turning points between now and Nov. 6. This election will be close to the end, and I am confident we will emerge victorious."
The rally, which comes a day after GOP nominee Romney was in Atlanta for a fundraiser, is scheduled for 7 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at Wild Bill's in Duluth.
"This won't be just the usual old 'speechifying' -- we will have music, food and drink for purchase, and many special guests, including our GOP candidates and elected officials," LeVell wrote. "College Republicans from around the metro area will be joining us, as well as many of our GOP friends from neighboring counties. Plus, we will have Romney/Ryan yard signs and bumper stickers available for you to take home."
Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
Camie Young can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/politics.