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Resolution: Reject Charter Measure

During Thursday's meeting, the Cherokee County Board of Education will consider a resolution that asks voters to strike down a constitutional amendment on charter schools in November.

The Cherokee County Board of Education on Thursday is expected to consider a resolution asking voters to reject a constitutional amendment that would restore the state's power to approve charter schools.

"The lack of support for public education by those advocating for school vouchers, state-approved charter schools, and other programs that allow public school funds to be redirected to private schools and for-profit charter schools serves to deepen inequalities and the promise of opportunity for every student to become a part of an educated citizenry, achieve the American dream and contribute to the greatness of this Nation," according to a copy of the resolution on the school district's website.

The resolution was added to the agenda "in light of requests from constituents and the media regarding the School Board’s position on the Constitutional Amendment relative to State charter schools, which will be on the November 2012 General Election ballot," according to additional background material on the system's website.

BOE Chairman Mike Chapman told the Cherokee Tribune that he believes "there’s a responsibility for us as a board to take a position," a sentiment echoed by Vice Chairwoman Janet Read.

"They do look to us as to how it affects their students," she told the .

On a 40-16 roll-call vote, two votes more than the two-thirds majority required, the Georgia Senate on March 19 approved House Resolution 1162, a Republican response to last year’s 4-3 state Supreme Court decision undermining the authority of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to .

The amendment referendum will read as follows on ballots in November:

Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?

All persons desiring to vote in favor of ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote "Yes." All persons desiring to vote against ratifying the proposed amendment shall vote "No." If such amendment shall be ratified as provided in said Paragraph of the Constitution, it shall become a part of the Constitution of this state.

While critics of the charter school amendment have said that the measure, if approved, would force local school districts to fund charter schools, language in H.R. 1162 prohibits that.

The state is authorized to expend state funds for the support and maintenance of special schools in such amount and manner as may be provided by law; provided, however, no deduction shall be made to any state funding which a local school system is otherwise authorized to receive pursuant to general law as a direct result or consequence of the enrollment in a state charter school of a specific student or students who reside within the geographic boundaries of the local school system.

While the measure was sent to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature on April 2, it is not on the list of bills signed so far.

The Cherokee County Board of Education will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday in the .

"As this is a referendum for a Constitutional Amendment, the governor does not sign such a resolution," said Tony Roberts, the CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association. "It now goes directly to the voters of Georgia."

Open the PDFs attached to read the resolution and the cover sheet explaining the reason for the resolution.

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Southdem April 18, 2012 at 02:58 PM
Good for the school board! This measure is a horrendous blow to public education, which is what its authors and sponsors intended all along. And don't insult us by claiming that funding for the public system won't be affected. The money for these private but taxpayer funded schools will have to come from somewhere.

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