Tag: Georgia Charter Schools Association

By Brad Alexander In November, Georgians resoundingly approved a constitutional amendment allowing the state to authorize charter schools. Given that this was the most hard-fought constitutional campaign ever – or at least since the Lottery debate in the 1990s – it is not surprising that explanations for the outcome abound. This need to explain the result has been exacerbated by the reality that the strongest support came from Democratic voters. Yet the most accurate explanation is generally being ignored:  that informed voters made a decision that they believed was good for them. The first explanation being offered is that the proponents’ campaign team produced some uncommonly effective strategies that completely reversed the direction of the vote. The advertising developed and… View Article

No Generation Holds a Copyright on Learning Innovation

By Mike Klein We have a choice this fall:  Do we want to be nationally recognized as innovators who push the learning envelope or, will Georgia become the first state in the country whose voters reject a constitutional amendment that would guarantee public school options for families? Last week’s Georgia Public Policy Foundation commentary by Benita Dodd provides terrific context to positions on both sides of the proposed constitutional amendment question that will ask voters, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” No generation holds a copyright on learning innovation.  We cannot predict how innovation tomorrow will advance learning to better levels of accessibility… View Article

In the News

The Columbia County News-Times of Sunday, September 16, published a letter to the editor from Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd in response to the publisher’s column on charter schools: Editor: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation would like to congratulate the schools of the Columbia County school system for what publisher Barry L. Paschal describes as one of the “communities with the best schools” (column, Sept. 12). It’s commendable that your system’s faculty and staff are committed to providing students with an opportunity for academic excellence. Unfortunately, in many of Georgia’s school districts, parents are dissatisfied with the quality of their local school – or it does not meet their child’s needs – yet they have no affordable alternative. A public… View Article

Charter School Successes Well Documented

By Jay P. Greene According to the Global Report Card, more than a third of the 30 school districts with the highest math achievement in the United States are actually charter schools. This is particularly impressive considering that charters constitute about 5 percent of all schools and about 3 percent of all public school students. And it is even more amazing considering that some of the highest performing charter schools, like Roxbury Prep in Boston or KIPP Infinity in New York City, serve very disadvantaged students. As impressive and amazing as these results by charter schools may be, it would be wrong to conclude from this that charter schools improve student achievement. The only way to know… View Article
By Mike Klein Senate Democrats intent on defeating a charter schools constitutional amendment vilified the legislation Monday afternoon.  Then four of their own including the Senate’s two longest serving members crossed the charter schools political divide to assure that Georgia voters will decide whether the state shall be allowed to approve charter schools when they vote in November. George Hooks of Americus and Steve Thompson of Marietta have been in the Senate since 1991. They came to Atlanta as House freshmen ten years earlier. Together they have walked those State Capitol corridors and heard thousands of speeches for some 60 combined years. Monday afternoon Hooks and Thompson helped provide the difference in a charter schools bill vote that one day… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia voters – the people whose tax dollars pay the bills at every public school system statewide – are one step closer toward being allowed to decide whether the state should have the authority to create and fund charter schools over the opposition of local school boards. Wednesday afternoon the state House approved HR 1162 by a slim 123 – 48 margin.  That is three votes more than the measure needed for two-thirds super majority passage and 13 more than a different version received during the House floor vote two weeks ago.  The bill moves to the Senate where an education committee hearing is scheduled for 1:00pm Thursday. “There have been a lot of people working hard… View Article
MACON – Georgia children who attend charter public schools are typically boxed into smaller facilities that have inadequate library, science, art, music, cafeteria and physical education resources compared to traditional public schools.  That is the conclusion of a six-month study highlighted last week during the Georgia Charter Schools Association ninth annual conference. “Charter schools are in a facilities crisis,” GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts told the Public Policy Foundation.  “The only way to alleviate that is for them to receive per pupil funding for facilities so they can afford to lease or buy facilities.”  Georgia start-up charter public schools do not receive facilities funds. Traditional public schools receive facility funds by several means. Georgia instituted competitive public schools facilities… View Article
MACON – Hundreds of charter public school advocates who traveled here last week heard Apple founder Steve Jobs remembered, discussion about a proposed national legal defense fund to help protect charter schools that are under legal assault and they heard a glimpse about what might come after No Child Left Behind. But if they were hoping to hear about a resolution to who can authorize charter schools in Georgia, that wasn’t happening. Georgia – once considered a national leader in alternative authorization for charter schools – took a significant step in another direction — some say backward — in May when the state Supreme Court ruled that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission was unconstitutional. The decision returned authorization solely to… View Article
Governor Nathan Deal has approved a financial rescue package that will significantly improve state funding for eight former brick-and-mortar state commission charter schools. The schools were notified Thursday in an email from the state Department of Education. Tony Roberts, chief executive officer at the Georgia Charter Schools Association, was elated when he heard the news:  “Governor Deal said at the beginning of this crisis that he was going to take care of the children in these schools and he really made it happen by encouraging the state superintendent to have a streamlined approval process for state special charter schools and now he has seen to it that those schools get full funding.” What this means on a practical level is… View Article

Georgia Attorney General Will Investigate Cherokee County School District

Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens said Friday his office will open an investigation into how the Cherokee County School District responded to a citizen’s request for information. The Georgia Open Records Act should give citizens a reasonable path to request information from their local governments, including school districts.  But how open is open when a local school district tries to charge $324,608 for the information?  That happened this week when Atlanta attorney Keith Meador sent a request to the Cherokee County School District. On Monday June 20 Meador sent a request to Cherokee County School Superintendent Frank Petruzielo.  Meador asked for documents including emails and other communications that pertain to the proposed Cherokee County Academy charter school.  The request dates… View Article

Thank you for what you are doing to lead the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is leading the way. This is truly one of the leading lights in the state think tank movement. Excellent ideas. It’s well run. For those of you who are donors I congratulate you on your wisdom and I encourage you to do it and do it more.

Arthur Brooks, President, American Enterprise Institute (2015) more quotes