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Georgia votes yes

November 15, 2012
Douglass High School

             On November 6, 2012, the day of the presidential election, the ‘Georgia Charter School Amendment’ was a huge subject at hand for the state. With the results being 58 to 42 percent, the amendment was approved.

           "We're very excited," said Mark Peevy of Loganville, a leading charter schools advocate. "This puts more power in the hands of parents, and we're going to use it to continue improving all public education in Georgia."

       This decision allows the state to create a seven-member state commission that can authorize charter schools. It can take place even if local school boards disagree with this. Although this amendment was voted yes, there were issues. Parents have argued that charter schools take away funding from other public schools that are already in place and serving the community.

         The new commission will now be able to handle appeals on local charter schools. More importantly, the commission can directly consider applications by operators who propose the schools. Unfortunately, local school boards will not have any say so over these applications. Charter schools are funded with public money but run by private organizations. Generally, they are not subject to the same rules and regulations of the traditional public school. The results of the votes suggest that majority of them came from the metro Atlanta area, with the rest of the state more unsure about the issue. There are already 200 existing charter schools in the state of Georgia, but those schools will not immediately be affected by the results.

          “I really did not fully understand the question regarding the charter school amendment because of the wording. Now that I have done more research, I would not like it if they cut funding from schools that are already in place. Personally, I do not support that, but now that it has been voted yes, I can only hope that it works out for the betterment of all schools and not just charter schools,” senior and first-time voter Junia Depina said.

           For more information and updates on the ‘Georgia Charter School Amendment’, visit www.northstarnews.us


By Amber Hughes

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