The latest ploy by the pro-charter amendment folks trying to sell their legislation to the taxpayers can be summed up by today's press release from Governor Deal's office. The Governor "is working to give options to parents whose children are trapped in failing schools."
This statement was in response to the Georgia Legislative Black Caucus, Inc.'s press conference held in conjunction with the GA PTA, SCLC, NAACP and all the professional educators associations in Georgia at the capitol this morning. Sen. Emanuel Jones opened with, "this amendment is nothing more than a private takeover of our public schools." Whammo! These folks are apparently not feeling the love.They are all voting "NO."
So - who's telling the truth?
Has our Governor had a heart transplant or been invaded by body snatchers since August 28th when he announced that he would not expand Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act because he didn't know where the money was coming from down the road? http://bit.ly/Ty9ke1
Does the Governor have some secret stash of cash under the Gold Dome to pay for a separate system of state charter schools for students who will be miraculously transported around the state (think Alpharetta)? He doesn't have the money to educate students where they live but has the money to send them to state charter schools (think Alpharetta) where they don't live because he cares so much?
I smell a large rat Governor Deal. I'm siding with Sen. Emanuel (vs.Rep. Jan) Jones. Don't you think he would be a vocal supporter of this amendment if he thought you actually did care about students in failing schools?
By the way, Governor Deal, many people work very hard and make real sacrifices to attend specific public schools in specific zip codes.They are not wealthy people. They pay local property taxes to support those schools whether they have kids or not because they know that the quality of the local public school system affects their home values. This is not elitism - it's the American way.
Now you have decided that state revenue, even though taxpayers pay into it, is yours and the General Assembly's to distribute. By law, it is a limited pool. You have decided that you and the General Assembly will divide the pool up as you see fit via an appointed charter commission, set up schools where ever you want without local community input, and have the authority to act as Big Brother, determining which zip codes will get state schools and allowing any student, from any zip code, to apply for admission. So much for government closest to the people who are paying for it. Traditional public schools will recieve less (think Alpharetta High School, Webb Bridge Middle School and Creekview Elementary - insert your public school) so state charter schools, with no cap, with a state-wide attendance zone, can receive funding if this amendment passes.
How much less money will traditional public schools recieve in 5 - 10 years and exactly where is the money for state charter schools coming from? Apparently, we THE TAXPAYERS are not entitled to know. This is your version of fiscal conservatism and acting as a public servant? Taxpayers - hold your wallet close, hold your kids closer - you are on our own.
Reason Number 7 to vote "NO" on the Amendment #1 - The Governor must be suffering from a bi-polar disorder or he's not telling you the truth.