Dick Yarbrough’s Aug. 22 editorial (“Charter school amendment debate gets ugly quickly”) regarding my recent blunt rebuke of [State Schools] Superintendent [John] Barge and his newly minted opposition to the charter school constitutional amendment was humorous, as always, but left out some important facts.
Barge in 2010 campaigned as a “strong” supporter for state-created charter schools. After his election, his office worked closely with the governor [Nathan Deal] and Legislature to create the proposed amendment. Throughout this process, the superintendent never publicly or privately raised opposition to the proposal, voiced fiscal concerns or otherwise indicated a change of heart. Therefore, while my rebuke was admittedly tough, it was necessary to set the record straight.
Turning to the merits of the proposed constitutional amendment, it should first be remembered that charter schools are public schools; charter school students are public school students; and charter school teachers are public school teachers.
Our charter school proposal simply gives parents an appeal path for their charter school application if they are unfairly turned down by a local system. They must still meet rigorous standards for consideration, including strong local support. Thirty-two other states have a similar process, which is supported by the National Parent Teacher Association.
In conclusion, charter schools are an important tool in the education reform toolbox, which is badly needed in our state. Therefore, I asked your readers to stand with the children of this state and vote yes on this important constitutional amendment.
District 54 State Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta
Georgia House Majority Whip