Tag Archives: public school

ALEC behind Georgia charter school referendum

ALEC has been pushing charter schools in Georgia, both through “our state legislators” sponsoring bills and through the National Association of Charter School Authorizers (NACSA). We already got that private prison customer law HB 87 from ALEC; why would we want to approve an ALEC-sponsored law to let Atlanta siphon public school money to charter schools?

Salvatore Colleluori & Brian Powell wrote for MediaMatters 9 May 2012, How ALEC Is Quietly Influencing Education Reform In Georgia,

Georgia media have been silent as members of ALEC in Georgia’s legislature have successfully pushed through a version of ALEC’s Charter Schools Act, which would create a state-controlled board with the power to establish and fund charter schools over local opposition. A Media Matters analysis found that while Georgia media have frequently written about the bills, they have completely overlooked ALEC’s influence in the debate.

The article details how at least two of the statehouse sponsors of the relevant bills are ALEC members: Speaker Pro Tempore Jan Jones R 46 and Majority Whip Edward Lindsey R 54. Remember them, from the list of Georgia Legislators with ALEC Ties? You thought maybe that list was hypothetical and of little effect? Nope, these bills echo ALEC model charter school legislation, and these ALEC legislators actively pushed them into law. Plus look at the titles these two legislators have on their own legislative websites: Speaker Pro Tempore and Majority Whip. How close is that to our legislature being owned lock, stock, and barrel by ALEC?

But wait! There’s more…. Lee Fang wrote for Republic Report 14 May 2012, Charter School Lobby Group Quits ALEC Two Days After Being Identified By Republic Report,

Continue reading

Georgia would send much more money per student to charter schools than to public schools

An AJC columnist asked the state Department of Education to check figures from Herb Garrett, Executive Director of the Georgia School Superintendents Association, that the proposed charter school law would have the state send much more money per student to charter schools than to public schools. The DoE confirmed it. We can’t afford to have public schools sucked dry for Atlanta-picked charter schools. And yes, this is another ALEC boondoggle.

Maureen Downey wrote for the AJC today, Under new law, state will send more funds per child to state charter schools than local systems

Given this funding disparity, though, it would make far more sense now for aspiring charter schools to seek state approval rather than local.

We need the state to fund public schools determined by local school boards; we don’t need the state rigging the system to divert public school funds to Atlanta-chosen charter schools.

The Democratic primary ballot had an opinion item about charter schools:

Democratic Party Question 1: Should the Georgia Constitution be amended to allow the state to override locally elected school boards’ decisions when it comes to the creation of charter schools in your county or city?

Democratic voters said by 56% they don’t want the charter school law.

However, that primary question was non-binding. The real charter school referendum will be on the November general election ballot. Here’s yet another reason to vote it down.


Valwood, CUEE, and the Chamber

This interesting graphic found on 2 is better than 1 illustrates that the connections between CUEE and Valwood go beyond what Annie Fisher pointed out,
“The members of the CUEE, they send their children to private schools.”
Beyond what Alex Rowell pointed out, that several CUEE board and supporters are Valwood trustees or donors. The Chamber is also closely tied to Valwood.

The Chamber and Valwood are actually even more tightly coupled than the graphic indicates. According to Valwood’s own website:

Valwood Board Elects Officers and Trustees
May 27, 2011

Valwood’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that it has elected the following officers who, along with Tom Gooding as Immediate Past Chairman and Dutton Miller as “Chairman’s Choice,” will serve on the Board’s Executive Committee for the coming school year:

Terri Lupo – Chairman of the Board
Billy Tidmore – Vice Chairman/Chairman Elect
Jack Henry – Treasurer/Chairman of Finance Committee
Jim Godbee – Secretary
Also, the Board of Trustees has re-elected the following Trustees to 3 year terms beginning July 1:
Brooks AkinsLaura Perlman
Mike GodwinSally Querin
Tom GoodingApril Scruggs
Bill Peeples
Now let’s look at the Chamber’s board. Tom Gooding is the Chamber’s Chair, and Terri Lupo is on the board, and is the Chamber’s immediate past Chair. That’s right, Gooding and Lupo just switched spots (Chair and past Chair) with both the Chamber and Valwood.

Plus as the above graphic points out, there are further intersections between the Chamber board and CUEE supporters. So the Chamber, CUEE, and Valwood are tightly intercoupled.

It seems we have a group of private school supporters trying to take over both the local public school systems. Does that seem right to you?