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Atlanta school board opposes charter school amendment
by Staff Reports
September 11, 2012 05:54 PM | 2777 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In a news release Tuesday, the Atlanta Board of Education announced it approved during its meeting Monday a resolution opposing the proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools that goes before voters on the November ballot.

The resolution as approved by the school board states:

Whereas: The Atlanta Board of Education believes that quality public education for every child helps to develop social skills, encourages collaboration between people from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds and lays the foundation for success in college and life; and

Whereas: The Atlanta Board of Education believes that public education is the cornerstone of a democratic society and that the public interest is best served when local elected officials represent the will of their constituency; and

Whereas: The Atlanta Board of Education believes that one size does not fit all and that it is the responsibility of the local district and locally elected board to provide quality choices for students and believes that these quality choices may be traditional or charter schools; and

Whereas: the Atlanta Board of Education adopted a policy in support of authorizing high quality charter schools that the district can learn from innovative and unique programs that advance student achievement; and

Whereas: The Atlanta Board of Education has, after extensive local review and deliberation, approved more start-up charter schools than any other district in the state;

Whereas: Some of these schools are among the highest performing schools in the state; and

Whereas: The Atlanta Board of Education has created a rigorous transparent authorizing process that includes national best practices; and

Whereas: An appeals process for locally-rejected charter schools and a formula for funding state-approved locally-denied charter schools already exist and the proposed Georgia Constitutional amendment duplicates already existing processes at great cost to the taxpayers of Atlanta; and

Whereas: Local control and local decision making are basic tenets of a well functioning democracy; and

Whereas: The state of Georgia’s economic condition has resulted in a significant decline in state funding for public schools that serve the educational needs of over 90 percent of Georgia’s children and the creation of additional, state-approved charter schools, rather than locally approved charters, will cause a significant further reduction in state funding for all public schools in Georgia, traditional and charter; and

Whereas: Further erosion of the state’s financial support for public education serves to deepen existing inequalities and diminishes the opportunities for every child to receive a quality education, which is his or her right as a citizen; and

Now Be it Resolved, that on this 10th Day of September 2012, the Atlanta Board of Education requests that the Governor and state legislators commit their support to adequately fund a quality K-12 public education for students in Atlanta Public Schools and across the State of Georgia; to acknowledge the traditional and locally-approved charter schools that have offered quality choice and outstanding performance; to support the system currently in place for appealing and funding locally-denied charter schools and to focus on improving and supporting what works rather than creating a wasteful redundancy at the taxpayers’ expense;

Now Be it Resolved, that the Board hereby requests that voters of the State of Georgia vote no on the Constitutional Amendment relative to state charter schools, which will be on the November 6, 2012 General Election ballot, as a result of House Resolution 1162.

Be It Further Resolved, that the Atlanta Board of Education authorizes and directs the Superintendent to send an official copy of this resolution to the Governor, appropriate state representatives and senators, the State Board of Education, and the Georgia Department of Education.

In a separate news release Tuesday, the Georgia Federation of Teachers announced it supported the Georgia Parent Teacher Association’s opposition to the amendment.

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