Buckhead: Atlanta Public Schools comes out against charter school amendment
The Atlanta Board of Education on Sept. 10 approved a resolution urging the public to vote against a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to create charter schools.
The amendment will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. It approved, it will allow the state to fund charter schools opposed by local school boards.
The Board of Education said in its resolution that the measure, if approved, would cut into school funding and erode local control over education.
Superintendent Erroll Davis said during a Sept. 4 meeting with parents at North Atlanta High School that the amendment would take away the school board’s ability to oversee charter schools.
“I cannot use the resources of this system to tell you how to vote,” Davis said. “I will say, however, that this system is the most charter-friendly system in the state.”
Here is the full resolution passed by the BOE:
September 10, 2012
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF QUALITY PUBLIC EDUCATION
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.