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Columbia County school leaders oppose charter school amendment

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Columbia County school officials spoke in opposition Monday to a proposed constitutional amendment that would give the state power in establishing charter schools.

At a forum in Evans, schools Superintendent Charles Nagle said the amendment would take away power from local school boards and give more control to the state.

The proposed resolution also would drain funds going to traditional public schools, he said.

“What have we done in public education that would cause our governor and our legislators to want to change public education by diverting money from public education into another, dual system?” Nagle asked.

The amendment would allow the Georgia Legislature to set up a committee that could create charter schools without authorization of local school boards. Currently if a local school board rejects the creation of a charter school, the decision can be appealed at the state level.

“Seven appointees by three politicians that you don’t even know are going to make the decision across the state for charter schools,” Nagle said. “It’s shameful.”

The resolution will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot for Georgia voters. If approved, it would override a Georgia Supreme Court ruling last year that charter schools be accepted and governed by a local school board.

While no charter schools exist in Columbia County, there are more than 200 in Georgia.

Nagle was joined by school board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco in speaking out against the resolution.

“I will answer e-mails (and phone calls) morning, noon, night, and all of our school board members will do that,” she said. “Do you think you’ll ever get a phone call back from them (state committee members)?”

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Insider Information
Insider Information 10/23/12 - 09:26 am
Afraid of a little

Afraid of a little competition?

Butterbean 10/23/12 - 09:39 am
Compare Results...

Compare the results of charter schools with the results of "regular" schools and then explain to me why we do not want charter schools. Follow the money to see why there is so much opposition.

Insider Information
Insider Information 10/23/12 - 10:13 am
Why are my tax dollars being

Why are my tax dollars being used to fund a campaign against this amendment?

Little Lamb
Little Lamb 10/23/12 - 12:33 pm

The state attorney general made it very clear that elected officials (such as school board trustees) and government employees (such as school supreintendents) are forbidden to advocate for or against referenda. That never stops them, however.

You should have seen how many speeches Fred Russell made around town (with his City of Augusta powerpoint presentation and his city of Augusta handouts) lobbying for voters to approve the last county SPLOST referendum.

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