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Charter School Amendment: Don’t Deny Children the Opportunity I Have Had

A charter school student writes about his experiences in school and argues for the passage of HB 1162 to allow for other children to have what he's experienced.

Dear Editor:

Many people are opposed to the Charter School Amendment, and many people are opposed to charter schools in general. I go to Odyssey Charter School, in Newnan, Georgia. I have gone to Odyssey since I was in kindergarten. I have been at the same school for nine years.

Going to a charter school has been a very unique and beneficial experience. I believe that I have done more and accomplished more than I could ever accomplish at a traditional public school. Yet, many of my “role models” oppose establishing another opportunity for children to get a quality education. Why, you might ask? It’s plain and simple. Some people are more worried about money and power than the education your child receives.

People are so worried about the money lost that they do not realize that no money is actually being lost. All a state charter school does is offer an alternative to the traditional system. None of your local tax dollars go to a state charter school instead of the traditional school, and you lose no money with the establishment of a state charter school. Any argument made otherwise is incorrect, and, to be frank, a flat-out lie.

Why do kids at a traditional public school deserve more than me, my friends, and my fellow classmates? Why should they receive more of your tax dollars anyway? Am I worth less than the average kid at Arnall? What people don’t realize is that voting no to charter schools is voting no to the thousands of kids who want a choice in their education.

The hypocrisy in everything I see is baffling. You may tell people that they care about your kid, people may tell you that they care about your kid, but the reality is: The people who vote no to charter schools care more about the money your kid brings to them. They want to control the education to receive the most money possible. If you are opposed to charter schools, then don’t send your kid to one. But please, don’t deny children the opportunity to have the same experience I have had.

-Eric Geeter, 8th Grade Student, Odyssey School, Newnan, GA

Emily October 24, 2012 at 01:13 PM
Good Job Eric. Thank you for your comments.
mfecope@gmail.com October 24, 2012 at 04:00 PM
Wow Eric. You are a very bright articulate young man and a credit to your school. Thank you!
Gayla October 24, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Well written Eric. Thank you for expressing your opinion so eloquently.
Frank Jones October 24, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Eric...I appreciate you writing your piece and obviously you are an intelligent young man. That said, the arguments against Amendment 1 can't be boiled down to simply choice and money. The issues are much deeper than you realize. For starters, the state of Georgia currently has the authority to authorize charter schools. The state supreme court ruling did not end the state BOE's authority to approve new and renew existing charter schools. Amendment 1 isn't necessary for state charter schools to continue. Amendment 1 isn't necessary for local charter schools. Other issues relating to Amendment 1, and charter schools in general, are that: 1. Most charters perform no better than traditional schools. 2. Most charters while publicly funded aren't equally accessible. 3. Most charters have demographics that don't respresent the surrounding community. 4. Most charters aren't as open with there financial and management operations as traditional schools. They operate with little to no oversight using public funds. 5. For-profit management companies are in it for the money. They will perform a cost-benefit analysis that will provide just the amount of education to maximize their profits. 6. Real estate is a crucial component of the charter movement. Essentially, the charters want to acquire and own real estate using public tax money. Lastly, while you've received a good education at Odyssey, your local traditional school could have done just as well.
hope October 25, 2012 at 09:18 PM
Great opinion piece Eric. Your parents must be so proud of you! It takes courage to stand up for what you believe in. This world needs more courageous future leaders. Keep up the good work.

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