The Bryan County Board of Education on Thursday took a stand against the proposed amendment on the Nov. 6 ballot regarding state charter schools.
The board unanimously approved a resolution in “support of quality public education” that notes Bryan County Schools’ opposition to the measure, which, if approved, would allow the state to authorize charter schools and could mean less money and control for local school systems across Georgia.
Board member Jeff Morton said he, along with schools Superintendent Dr. Paul T. Brooksher and several other school officials, attended a meeting regarding the amendment.
“If you read the amendment, it says, ‘Shall the constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities,’” Morton said.
“And that sounds great, but right now the local communities can go to the local school boards to get charter schools (started). So the only change in there is that it would allow the state to form charter schools without the approval of the local system.”
Morton explained that the matter was struck down a year ago by the Georgia Supreme Court. He said the way the resolution is written makes it sound “great” but in reality its approval would be detrimental to local school systems.
“It’s scary because the way it’s written and the way you read it sounds like ‘oh that’d be a great idea.’ But really what it’s doing is going to undermine (local boards),” he said. “We know all the money that’s been taken out of our school system through austerity cuts, and if they start forming these charter schools at the state level, that’s going to be more money that’ll be taken out of our schools.”
Read more in the Oct. 3 edition of the News.