Tag Archives: rich

Charter school referendum preamble is Parent Trigger jargon


A pressure group for privatizing schools is the origin of the jargon in the charter school referendum on the November Georgia ballot. And yes, it’s tied to ALEC.

In Our south Georgia school tax dollars would go to Virginia rich people, Karen Noll asserted “…the wording that is on the preamble comes straight out of ALEC documents….” The preamble to the charter school amendment on the November ballot reads:

Provides for improving student achievement and parental involvement through more public charter school options.

Where else is that wording found? Combinations of the three phrases “student achievement”, “parental involvement”, and “charter school” actually are not very common, according to google. But the Parent Trigger wrote in Empowering Parents,

Policy initiatives that empower parents are likely to increase parental involvement and satisfaction and raise student achievement by inviting parents into the process.

What process?

The designers of the California Parent Trigger made a grave mistake by leaving tepid reform modules in the bill and allowing districts to override the parents’ reform choice.

The Georgia constitutional amendment wouldn’t leave school districts any ability to decide anything.

What would the parents’ reform choice be?

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Democrats and Tea Party: both against charter school amendment

In the same month, both the Lowndes County Democratic Party and the Valdosta Tea Party had speakers explaining how bad the charter school amendment is. Neither group took a vote, but it seemed pretty clear most of the attendees at both meetings were against that referendum on the November ballot, and mostly for the same reason: nobody wants an unelected state committee taking away local control and local tax revenue. Parental choice is one thing, and charter schools are another, but nobody seemed to like Atlanta taking away local control.

As the PAGE slides say,

This isn’t a Democrat vs. Republican debate. Legislators voted across party lines to put the constitutional amendment on the ballot. Republican and Democrat voters must defeat it together.

You can watch for yourself. Here are the two presentations:

If you don’t want Atlanta taking away our educational control and local tax dollars, vote No on the charter school amendment in November.


The charter school amendment is about control —Dr. Troy Davis @ LCDP 2012-09-10

Lowndes County Schools Assistant Superintendent Troy Davis gave his personal opinion: “it’s about control”. The charter school amendment on the November ballot is not about charter schools, which any community in the state can create now. It’s about control by the state of local schools and resources.

Dr. Davis pointed out Georgia already has 350 charter schools, up from 160 three years ago. All but 19 were established and agreed upon by local communities. There’s a successful one in Berrien County, established by the Berrien County school board. The process to create more is in place in every community. If we wanted one in Lowndes County, all it would take would be for one of the two school systems (Lowndes or Valdosta) to approve one.

He suggested looking at the sources of funds for Families for Better Schools, which is backing the amendment. Top of the list is a Wal-Mart heir. (It’s Alice Walton. Dr. Davis deferred to Al Rowell for that information, and that’s also where I heard about Alice Walton. And as I discovered, the Walton Family Foundation put in much more than that last year.) He noted the bulk of the rest comes from for-profit school operators. (They include K12 Inc. of Virginia.)

He noted that the state of Georgia just passed this fiscal year the third largest budget in the history of Georgia, $19.1 billion. Yet the public schools have been cut $6.6 billion (apparently since 2002). And the Lowndes County school system lost nearly $8 million last year, and $43 million in the past 10 years. So he asked:

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Our south Georgia school tax dollars would go to Virginia rich people —Karen Noll

Received yesterday on K12 CEO Packard: $5M in 2011, up 36% -jsq

Keep in mind that this company is based in Virginia, so our tax dollars from say, South Georgia meant for our school teachers, administraters, supplies, and educating our students, would go to bolster the economy in Virginia and line the pockets of the very rich. Meanwhile we have to raise taxes to simply educate the students attending our public schools. This is clearly NOT a plan to ‘improve academic achievement’ as the preamble boldly lies.

The preamble is boldly inaccurate and completely biased. The wording added to the question on the ballot implies that the amendment would improve student achievement and parent involvement. My stars, what breathing individual doesn’t want those things.

Facts are that by some measures charter schools perform 3% worse than traditional public schools. We would hope that schools where parents have to sign a commitment of parent involvement would have superior parent involvement. Might I just add that students can be kicked out of charter schools and all students are educated in the Traditional Public School setting as per our Georgia constitution.

The ‘biased and inaccurate’ wording in the preamble to the charter schools question is not found in HB 1162, the law that allowed this question to be placed on the ballot. It is not in HB 797, the law thaw would be enacted should the amendment pass. NO the wording that is on the preamble comes straight out of ALEC documents, which are the equivalent of ‘legislation for Dummies’ with a particular slant as you might imagine.

-Karen Noll