Out-of-state donors active in Georgia charter school campaign

Monday, Oct. 1, 2012 1:27 PM
Last updated 10:42 PM
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ATLANTA — Out-of-state donations and business groups continue to fuel much of the campaign for changing the Georgia constitution so a panel of state appointees could issue operating charters to schools over the objections of local school boards.

In figures filed with the state ethics commission by Friday’s deadline, two committees in support of the amendment reported raising $35,000 in the 30 days since their last report in late August.

In the latest report, 47 percent of the money raised came from out of state, including a $10,000 donation from the pro-business Americans for Prosperity organization in Arlington, Va., and $5,000 from an investment firm in Great Falls, Mont., the Davidson Cos.

Families for Better Public Schools drew a $10,000 check from the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, but 14 of its 31 donations came from other states. A group called Com­mittee for Educational Free­dom, which was organized months ago, reported its first activity, and half of its four donations were from out of state, amounting to 84 percent of its funding.

In the previous reporting period, 96 percent of the money donated was from out of state. Still, Mark Peevy, a spokesman for Families for Better Public Schools characterized the pro-amendment effort as coming from ordinary voters.

“We are still focused on a grass-roots campaign. As you’ll see, we have more than twice the number of donations (as) the opposition from grass-roots Georgians,” he said.

Pushing against passage of the amendment is a committee called Vote SMART!, which reported raising $24,000 in the latest period. Except for $3,000 coming from Merchant Capital Investments of Montgomery, Ala., all of the opponents’ money came from Georgia donors, most of which were educators or school administrators.

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Bantana 10/01/12 - 06:56 pm
outsiders influence

ALEC. The American Legislative Exchange Council. Shocking how a variety of for-profit businesses have subverted lobby laws to influence state legislators to push laws regarding charter schools, for-profit schools, drug possesion penalties, private/for-profit county and state jails/prisons, youth offenders and on and on. Our law makers are so easily bought. To learn more visit the website of Bill Moyers.

OpenCurtain 10/01/12 - 07:36 pm
5 years ago I would have been championing the fight

to allow Charter Schools.
in 2006 we were 47 in the nation despite over a billion of lottery $$$.

Now GA., as of the last survey, is 27th in the nation. Still not where we should be given the Billion$ money we are pumping into the systems.

National Student Demographic changes have had little to do with the over all score changes. Based on 2001 to 2011 statistics Charter Schools do have some minor impact, by forcing public schools to improve for the better students, over those that do not have Charter School Laws.

But with Ga. actually improving in the rating I'd hold off stealing $$ out of LOCAL BOE coffers IF that is how it is planned to be funded.

BTW: who was the State Education Sec. in 2006-7

lynn7044 10/03/12 - 07:47 am
Charter School

I feel that parents should have choices. When there are guidance counselors who are not directoring our children the right way.
Example: Children with IEP or 504 have the right to have the modication on CRCT, EOCT, PSAT, SAT, or ACT. Some don't know and some just to lazy to do the paperwork. We are talking about our students future. If we are not going to have counselors to director our children, then give our parents other choices.
When a school system have been wasting money for many years and taxpayers and parents are tiered, they want more choices for their students. So RCSS need to get there act together are parents are going to come together and make new ones.

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