Local school systems jointly oppose charter school amendment

The Valdosta Board of Education, followed by the Lowndes County Board of Education, adopted a “Charter School Amendment Resolution” or a “Joint Resolution in Support of Quality Public Education”, depending on which ones minutes you go by. What does the resolution actually say?

Brittany D. McClure wrote for the VDT 11 September 2012, School boards to adopt resolution against charter school amendment.

“The Lowndes County and Valdosta City Boards of Education request that the Governor and State Legislators commit their support to adequately fund a first-class K-12 public education for students in Lowndes County and Valdosta City and across the state of Georgia,” the resolution states.

The resolution explicitly states that the boards are asking voters to not support the Constitutional Amendment relative to state charter schools.

Valdosta Board of Education did that at their 10 September 2012 meeting:

Charter School Amendment Resolution—Mrs. Beeland—action required

The joint resolution was developed by Dr. Cason and Wes Taylor of Lowndes County Schools, by combining parts of four samples, to make a strong resolution. A motion was made by Mr. Love to approve the resolution. The motion was seconded by Mr. Lee and passed with a vote of 9-0.

Motion made by: Mr. William Love
Motion seconded by: Mr. Warren Lee

Unanimously Approved

That was the same night that Dr. Troy Davis of the Lowndes school system spoke at the LCDP meeting.

Lowndes County Board of Education adopted the joint resoultion at their 17 September 2012 meeting, as part of a consent agenda, motion by Fred Wetherington, seconded by Mike Davis, unanimously approved.

Then representatives of both school districts attended a meeting in Tifton along with people from other school systems, according to Brittany D. McClure in the VDT 20 September 2012, School systems meet to oppose the Charter School Amendment,

For those questioning the legality of school officials lobbying for a ballot question, Angela Palm, GSBA director of policy and legal services, said that there is noting illegal about it.

“When teachers are on their own time … they can do whatever they want,” said Palm.

“Teachers are taxpayers, too, and we’ll be affected as citizens and in our careers,” said Tucker.

Lowndes County Schools Superintendent Wes Taylor also supported the efforts of his teachers.

“We would encourage our staff as well as our students to be good citizens and inform themselves and become educated on any issue as well as acquaint themselves with candidates and issues,” said Taylor.

While schools are not allowed to produce literature or explicitly state to vote one way or another, they are allowed to produce information that educates people on the issue.

But what does the joint resolution actually say? Neither school system has published it.