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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