Top Ten Reasons for Supporting the Charter School Amendment

Op-ed by State Rep. Mike Dudgeon





These are state Rep. Mike Dudgeon's Top 10 reasons to support the Charter School Amendment.

  • #10 Unfortunately, some local boards for political reasons or to cover up the shortfalls of their own failing schools refuse to grant good charters. A state appeals panel granting the charter in many cases is more impartial.
  • #9  Charter schools, no matter who approves them, are public schools. They have public school teachers who participate in the same benefit systems as traditional schools.
  • #8 State charter schools give parents and local community members the opportunity to start their own school when the local BOE has them zoned for a consistently failing school.
  • #7 Local control is great. Parents making an individual voluntary decision to enroll their own kids in a charter school is the most local control possible.
  • #6 Having an "alternate authorizer" for charter schools other than the local board is a widespread, mainstream, and working idea. 31 other states already have this.
  • #5 State charter schools in Georgia perform on average better than the districts in which they reside.
  • #4 In order to compete with other states for companies to locate jobs here, we need to have a better reputation nationally for K-12. If the story on Nov 7 is that Georgia has voted NO on supporting state authorized charters which is a bipartisan mainstream idea, that will reinforce the negative reputation we have and not help economic development. That is one of the many reasons why Governor Deal and the Georgia Chamber are in full support.
  • #3 We had this (state appeals to approve charters) from 2008-11 and it worked just fine, and it was only controversial to a very small number of people who filed a lawsuit. If you believe in checks and balances between levels of government, this appeals process is a good thing.
  • #2 State authorized charter schools will use less total taxpayer money (state + local) per child than a regular school. A good estimate is 62 cents on the dollar, but worst case that will be 75 cents.

Drum roll please...

  • The #1 reason to vote for Amendment #1 is...

    State charter schools have already provided better educational opportunities for some Georgia children than their traditional schools. More kids will get these benefits if the amendment passes and we restore the appeals process. Also, I honestly and sincerely believe that these state charter options will not negatively impact in any real way the kids who are in regular public or local charter schools.

State Representative Mike Dudgeon currently serves the residents of Georgia House District 24.  Prior to that, he was a member of the Forsyth County Board of Education from 2007-2010.  He is also a parent of three teenage boys who all attend traditional public schools.

MP November 01, 2012 at 02:45 PM
VOTE YES - Support a parent's right to choose what's best for their child, a community's right to establish schools that better and more successfully address community needs, and a child's right to a quality public education irrespective of their zip code!


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