Debate: Rogers Backs State Charter Schools, Beach Against State Authority

While Brandon Beach said he supports local control of schools through local school boards, Chip Rogers backed restoration of the state charter commission and any parental control.

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.

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Me July 12, 2012 at 01:51 PM
Does anyone know who or what made Chip Rogers hate public education as he does? I would not waste a minute trying to discuss education with the man as he has proven he does not listen. (See if you can find any archived education committee meetings and see him in action. The man seems to get an idea in his head and it becomes truth.) North Fulton, PLEASE help vote him out! Read about how his multiple forays into gray areas of ethics - the foreclosure that eventually forced a bank to fail, involvement in Cherokee school board activities, campaign contributions, and the 900-number gambling picks business. He is an embarrassment on SO many levels; please don't keep him at the Capitol!
Just Nasty and Mean July 12, 2012 at 03:32 PM
Senator Rogers doesn't "HATE" public education. He "hates" government oversight of how and where our kids are educated. Your personal attacks that stray from the real issues facing the state tells me you are a political HACK for the Beach campaign. What say you stay with the real problems we face. Your partisan remarks are the reason people are turned off with politics and do not get involved. STICK WITH THE ISSUES!
Throw out the incumbants! July 12, 2012 at 04:13 PM
Senator Rogers has a long history of animosity towards public education. Ask him how many times he met with the Cherokee County School district last year. Up here in Cherokee he is trying to dismantle the award winning public schools many of us specifically moved here for. Our classes are over-crowded, housing values are falling, business are moving away, he walked out on millions in a bad bank loan deal and yet there are still people like you who defend him. Are you smoking the synthetic marijuana that Will “the winner” Rogers voted in favor of or have you just had way too much kool-aid?
Me July 12, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Just Mean: I have no affiliation whatsoever with the Beach campaign, and maybe you should look up the definition of partisan. As a parent concerned about education in our state, I have just seen Sen. Rogers in action from that perspective and have read the news reports of his other "issues." If you consider questioning a candidate's actions a "personal attack," rather than calling for votes based on information, we would have different definitions there as well. To my mind, our major ISSUES are the economy and education. Rogers has performed negatively, to my mind, on both of those. If we want personal responsibility economically, why should we elect someone who hasn't walked the walk there? Recognizing that our education system needs serious work, why would we want to elect someone who has shown no interest in anything other than vouchers and charters? We apparently differ, but our rights are equal in expressing our opinions, correct? As Throw out notes, maybe you should drink a little less of the Kool-Aid and research your options for representation here. Just a suggestion...
Truthseeker July 12, 2012 at 06:42 PM
Me: If as you say, the important issues are the "economy and education" how do you think Brandon Beach's pro tax increase stance fits in with that issue? As for education, exactly what stance has Rogers taken that is anti education? For that mater what stance has Brandon Beach taken that you think will bolster public education? I know you didn't say it but " dismantling" public education?? That's pretty heavy on the drama and completely lacking any supporting facts. So what are they?
Brian Davis July 12, 2012 at 07:16 PM
I think I can answer that one Truthseeker. Chip- opposed and funded the Cherokee opposition to the EdSplost, Beach helped renew it in Fulton keeping our property taxes down. With regards to TSPLOST, Chip wrote the bill, was on the roundtable and never showed up, said to one media outlet he was working his "real job" but just the other week told the same paper (different reporter) he didn't have a regular job. The TSPLOST is democracy at its best, if its voted up lets move forward, if its voted down we will find another way. Only one candidate though as already voted for it. Chip is a huckster who hangs around strange people. Take a look at his friend John Edens who he attempted to transfer a 2.2 million dollar asset to for 10k. The guy was wearing an ankle bracelet, is a convicted felon and in 2011 was arrested for stealing cars in Roswell, mugshot is still on Fulton Sheriffs website. Chip has never had a real job, instead he hustles as a lobbyist or "Govt Affairs Consultant" for PETA affiliated Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. When he became Majority Leader he wanted to lobby for the NRA in other states but they do not allow that. We need legislators with real jobs, who pay their bills and are responsible in the personal and public lives, not a constitutional blowhard.
Truthseeker July 12, 2012 at 08:40 PM
So anyone who opposed EdSplost is against education? I would strongly disagree with that statement. Some taxpayers are just tired of the ever rising funding for education and the lack of proof that throwing money at something will improve it. How much has overhead grown in education? How many administrators, multiple vice principals, mediocre teachers and layers of bureaucracy are also growing with the ever expanding funds? I do know that Chip Rogers has said he cannot support the TSPLOST because it is not going to do anything to improve traffic. He stated that most of the projects will take far longer and cost much more than is currently being touted. In other words another government bait and switch. TSPLOST is nothing more than another tax increase with promises from politicians. We all know how reliable their word is. Remember GA400 tolls, remember the 1% Fulton and Dekalb are already paying ? So we are to be doubled taxed. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. I for one am voting NO. At least Chip Rogers is a vocal opponent. Brandon Beach is all for the tax increase. He is also on the board of GDOT. Talk about dysfunctional government agencies.
Me July 13, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Thanks, Brian Davis, for stepping in to respond. Obviously, it wasn't the answer "Truthseeker" wanted, but seems he's looking for the "truth" that fits his mindset. He tried to put out the red herring of ESPLOST support while claiming that funding for education has been "ever rising." (Guess he's missed all the reports about funding dropping every year for education = class sizes growing, etc.) In case someone is reading this who DOES want substantiated information on Chip Rogers's background, here is an AJC article with details on his handicapping bets, real estate dealings that contributed greatly to a local bank's failure, associations with ALEC (including "more than $91,000 in donations from companies that are ALEC members... to a campaign that carries debt, despite reporting a balance of more than $307,000 in the last state filing"), and how "Rogers personal finances have come under scrutiny and a key question is how he earns his livelihood." http://www.ajc.com/news/big-challenge-for-senate-1468277.html
Me July 13, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Again, I have no link to the Beach campaign, so can't tell you his viewpoints on education other than he supports community control of education rather than ALEC's. Do know that it seems highly unethical to me for a state legislator to use the redistricting process to penalize school board members who don't kow-tow to his education policies... as Chip Rogers did: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2012/02/17/cherokee-school-chief-lawmakers-are-no-friends-of-countys-highly-rated-school-system/
Jim July 15, 2012 at 10:45 PM
The debate said it all, Beach could not put 3 words together in a sentence. Rogers is going to win and win big. Aside from being right on the issues, he has a proven record. Beach is overweight, lazy, ugly and a first class jerk.
Patriot July 17, 2012 at 11:38 AM
ME and Brian Davis is full of lies and misrepresentation of the facts. Sure Chip did some TV work that he probably regrets. He does have a job. He is in real estate. He is a Christian man, and yes he prefers that folks have a say on how there child is educated. Whether it be in the private school, charter school, etc. He is the senate majority leader and has a great voting record.
Me July 17, 2012 at 12:34 PM
@ Patriot (LOL) - I am not Brian Davis (if that's what you mean with the "is") and there are no lies in my statements. Read the article where Rogers contradicts himself on his job situation, then give his place of employment if you don't want facts misrepresented because those are the facts I have at my disposal. (His bio on his campaign site doesn't list an occupation.) Sorry, my definition of Christian obviously differs from yours, as not living up to your debts and maliciously abusing your power (e.g., Cherokee School Board) don't qualify as Christian behavior in my book. Do you mean he has a great voting record in terms of attendance for votes or a strong voting record on an ultra-conservative agenda? "Great" record would be subjective in that case. Just Nasty: Still waiting to hear you chastise Jim about keeping to the issues and not making personal attacks.... or does "overweight, lazy, ugly and a first class jerk" not qualify as personal attack since it's not directed at Rogers?
Just Nasty and Mean July 17, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Indeed, I am consistent that personal attacks have no place in the discussion of who is the best person to be our Senator. Senator Rogers thinks like me. Instead of what "Me" says is "community control" (is that the same as "It Takes a Village"), I support Senator Roger's position of PARENTAL Control. Perhaps you like going to the school assigned to you by the government (school board) teaching the curricula the government thinks is best. I favor freedom to choose what is best for my kids and not defaulting to the government--because we all know what a great job the government does with anything.


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