Ga. House Expected to Vote on Charter School Amendment

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The Georgia House is expected to reconsider a proposed constitutional amendment to allow the state to create charter schools on Wednesday. The potential vote comes after a Georgia Supreme Court ruling which declared charter schools approved by a state commission unconstitutional.

The measure fell ten votes short of passing more than week and a half ago. But a recent compromise could get more lawmakers on board. The compromise is supposed to guarantee that traditional schools would see not reduced funding if the state is allowed to create charter schools. Tony Roberts heads the Georgia Charter Schools Association, which supports the amendment.

“Many local school systems have just flat out rejected having any charter schools in their districts, so there really hasn’t been a fair playing field and this tries to address that.”

But the Georgia School Boards Association believes only local school systems should be able to approve charter schools. The Association also does not believe the amendment will protect traditional schools from losing funding. Angela Palm is Director of Policy and Legislative Services for the Association:

“There’s a whole litany of things the state currently is unable to do in k-12 funding, and yet they say we want to be able to be able to create these schools and we will fund them so it doesn’t hurt the local schools, and I simply don’t see how they can do it.”

If the amendment gains House and Senate approval, it would allow voters to have the final say.

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