Thoughts on the Charter Amendment
In the wake of the charter schools controversy, this local voice hopes that both sides of the issue can resolve their differences and work towards a better future for our children.
With election season finally at its end, I’d like to share my take on what has been one of the most heated debates locally and statewide: the charter amendment. From my perspective, and I know some may disagree, this was solely a vote to give parents more options than they have now regarding their children’s education. That’s it. Nothing more.
I am familiar with all of the arguments for and against it, and both sides had some very valid things to say. But when all of the arguments were made, for me, it boiled down to just one issue: will my vote give parents more choices or less? I voted for what I believe to be more.
I know some believe that it is not possible to support the charter amendment and also support public schools. I have never bought into that and I do not today. During my campaign, I clearly said I support all educational options, including charter and traditional public schools. What I said was this, “I don’t subscribe to the argument that you have to be in one or the other groups. Standing for parental empowerment and standing in support of traditional public schools are not mutually exclusive concepts. And it is time we recognize the good in each option.”
And so now it is time to show that our community can move beyond the polarization. I would like to call upon those in the charter amendment movement that I have supported to join me in saying to our elected representatives that 8 furlough days is unacceptable in our traditional public schools. Tell them that building a football stadium with tax dollars while we have an incomplete school calendar is unacceptable. Tell them that if they voted to fund “Go-Fish” but they can’t find the funding to eliminate furlough days then they shouldn’t be making any more votes because their priorities are messed up.
Each side has claimed to be supporting “all of the kids” during the last year. Let’s all come together now and prove what we said. We have some serious issues standing before us in education, and I know we can move beyond the rancor of the last year and begin to work together to solve them. Will you join me? Will you fight for my kids the way I fought for yours? If so, let our elected officials hear from you.
-Scot Turner, Member of the Board of Directors for the Cherokee County GOP