There are only two constitutional amendments on the Georgia ballot Tuesday, but both of them deserve two thumbs up.
The first would merely give parents, teachers and their supporters the freedom to ask the state to approve a new charter school when a local school board refuses to do so.
The second amendment on the ballot would simply allow the state to enter into leases for more than one year – in order to save money on rent and give agencies more leverage in negotiating for rental space.
The latter is a no-brainer. It’s silly for the state to hamstring itself to one-year leases – but apparently
the state constitution needs to be amended to make multiyear leases possible.
People are always saying government needs to operate more like a business.
Well, what business would restrict itself to one-year leases, when it knows its average rental period is for about 10 years? And what landlord is going to give a break to, or go out of his way for, a commercial tenant who won’t commit to more than one year?
The State Properties Commission estimates this change will save taxpayers $66 million over 10 years.
Vote yes on Amendment 2. It just makes sense.
Amendment 1 is much more controversial, but no less deserving of your support.
Currently, if a local school board denies a request from a group to start a public charter school, that’s the end of it and kids are stuck in schools that may not be what they deserve. Local boards love to deny the requests, because charter schools hand more power over from the bureaucracy to the schools themselves, which can
operate under a looser set of rules and more innovative curricula. In one two-year period, local school boards around the state had rejected 52 of 56 charter school applications.
Yet, in no other public system than charter schools do parents and teachers have more say in a child’s education.
Again, the public school bureaucracy doesn’t like it because it gives consumers too much power. We happen to think that’s precisely why you should vote for it.
The well-to-do already have school choice. It’s time to provide it to everybody.
Vote yes on Amendment 1 – for more educational options for Georgia kids.