On November 6th, voters in Georgia will weigh in on changing the
constitution to give a politically appointed state commission the authority to
create and fund a separate system of schools.

Myth: The State Does Not Have the Power to Approve Charter
Schools That Were Denied by Local School Boards

Fact:
The Georgia Department of Education currently has the authority to
review and approve state charter applications.


Myth: Charter Schools Are More Innovative and Flexible

Fact:
Charters are allowed to “kick out” students for behavior or academic
reasons.
    Where do these students go once they are kicked out?  They go
    back to the area’s traditional public school.   This “flexibility” charters
    are given to kick out students means the most challenging students
    are simply tossed around and the real issues are never addressed.  
    True innovation would mean that charters would be forced to find
    solutions to teaching the most challenging students.  Charters can
    only prove their perceived innovative edge if they are required to
    meet the same challenges as their traditional school counterparts.

Fact: Charters are able to hire uncertified teachers/staff and ignore class
size caps.  
    In Florida, charters are given the flexibility to ignore state standards,
    opt out of being assigned a grade, and do not have to meet the
    same building standards required of traditional public schools.  If the
    proposed charter amendment passes, Georgia is likely to follow
    Florida’s lead.

    It should be noted that the lawmakers who sponsored/supported the
    proposed charter amendment are the same ones who have a history
    of creating more red tape for traditional public schools.


Myth: State Charter Schools Will Not Take Funds Away from
Traditional Public Schools

Fact:
If the proposed charter amendment passes, charter schools
authorized by the Commission will be 100% funded by the state.
 

    If the state can't provide 37.8% for current traditional schools, how is
    it going to provide 100% funding for a separate charter school
    system?  Why are some legislators advocating in support of an
    additional constitutional obligation, when the state is unable to fulfill
    its current constitutional obligation?

Fact: The state has a constitutional obligation to fully fund and provide for
an adequate public education for every student in Georgia (Article VIII,
Section I).
    Currently, the state is not meeting its constitutional responsibility.  
    Most Georgians understand that budget cuts were necessary due to
    the economic downturn, but the passage of the charter amendment
    would bind the state to additional funding obligations.  
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EmpowerED Georgia is an
education advocacy group made up
of over 3,500 members -- students,
parents, educators, and concerned
citizens -- from across the State of
Georgia.  
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