EDITOR'S NOTE: This is the first of several stories from the state Senate District 21 candidates' debate sponsored by the North Fulton & Friends Tea Party, and held at the Crooked Creek HOA Clubhouse on July 10. Each will be accompanied by video with more complete remarks by the two men.
The Republican candidates for state Senate District 21 made it clear on where they stand on charter schools in Georgia. Chip Rogers said he was for parental control in almost any form, while Brandon Beach doesn't want some state commission to make decisions on local schools.
"Not only do I support charter schools, I support educational freedom in every form," Rogers said.
"Now the question is very simple," he said. "Who makes the decision on what is best for your child? It's either the government, or the parent. I will side with the parent, not once, not twice, not 10 times, but every single time."
Beach more directly answered the question posed by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jim Galloway, one of the moderators. The two Republicans were asked if they supported a November ballot measure that would restore the state's authority to award charters to schools over the objectoins of local school boards.
"I'm not against charter schools. What I am against is the state running them," Beach said. "I want the local entities to run the charter schools. And I want the principals, the teachers and the local school districts to make that decision. We don't need to make it at the state level with this commission created at the state."
Beach agreed with Rogers that the parents are closer to their children than anybody, but they are also closer to a local school board member than they are to a bureaucrat in Atlanta.