Don't deny school choice

Amendment gives parents more control over their kids' schools

It is appalling, and quite possibly illegal, how the public education establishment has fought to prevent Georgians from having more educational choices for their children.

The Nov. 6 election includes a constitutional amendment allowing the state to approve charter schools – which are public schools that are given special freedoms from the public education bureaucracy, including an ability to offer specialized curricula.

Charter schools are a beautiful public-private partnership that drives the public education bureaucracy crazy. In fact, that’s precisely why the amendment is needed: When parents and educators want to form charter schools, local school boards often block them. They simply don’t want to lose control over your child’s education.

As a result, it’s alleged that local school boards, their state association, teachers and even Parent-Teacher Associations have campaigned against the amendment. They don’t want parents and students freed from the public education monopoly.

Indeed, the Richmond County Board of Education approved an anti-charter resolution last February, and might have again this week – except that Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens last week warned school officials statewide not to use public resources to campaign for or against the amendment.

“Local school boards do not have the legal authority to expend funds or other resources to advocate or oppose the ratification of a constitutional amendment by the voters,” Olens wrote them in a letter. “They may not do this directly or indirectly through associations to which they may belong ...”

How sad that educators would be so virulently anti-school choice, particularly since it’s mostly middle- and lower-income citizens who are denied such freedom. Rich folks already have school choice. We’re just trying to free the rest.

Don’t believe the scare tactics. School choice is a good thing, increasingly called America’s “civil rights movement of the 21st century.”

Moreover, the Richmond County board’s resolution of February was wholly disingenuous when it referred to “the lack of support for public education” by those in favor of state-run charters. Charter schools are public schools!

We urge you to vote for freedom by voting “yes” on the amendment, listed as Amendment 1 on your ballot.

In the meantime, it’s illegal for school officials to be using taxpayer resources to oppose the amendment.

We think it’s unconscionable that the educational bureaucracy would try to deny Georgians school choice – or use your tax money to do it.

It should tell you all you need to know about how to vote on the amendment.

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Sat, 12/03/2016 - 20:17

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