Charter change would sacrifice local control
October 26, 2012 12:00 AM | 973 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

As a father to seven children, a nonpartisan public policymaker and a consistent advocate for effective and fruitful education, I oppose the Charter School Amendment simply because it will functionally fail to help most students and because for a majority of families, it will actually diminish educational opportunity, even below existing marginal conditions.

Like the T-SPLOST and spring’s SB 469 anti-protest legislation, this is a proposal wrapped in a fake “public service” banner, offering no real effective value, crafted for ignoble purposes of personal and political benefit and containing elements fundamentally unacceptable to a broad range of American ideologies. It calls for the sacrifice of local authority and control over public education to a farther-removed and unelected state-level entity; the subtraction of precious revenues from an already challenged public education system (weakening it further) and the migration of those funds (in a manner inadequate to alone cover the charter school costs), sometimes to semi-private institutions, heaping profit margin and additional funding demands upon all taxpayers — all the while making no promise to families outside the sphere of political favor that THEIR children will ever get to attend these new schools.

In all governing situations, people of different viewpoints can and should compromise on policy and program development toward solving problems and improving conditions; doing so without sacrificing or violating their base principles. But for everyone to give in at the same time against their own core orientations for no good gain in return is wrong. And that’s the situation before us here.

Rather than abandon — and indeed accelerate the decay of — our public schools, let’s dedicate ourselves to improving them. En route to that goal, we must Vote ‘NO’ on the Charter School Amendment this Election Day.

Jeff Anderson

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