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Wednesday, August 25, 2010 - 6:24am

School Systems Band Together Against Charter School Commission

School systems are banding together against the state’s charter school commission—which has the authority to grant charters after local boards have denied them.

The Georgia Schools Superintendent Association and the Georgia School Boards Association are urging local school boards to sign onto an amicus brief that challenges the constitutionality of the Georgia Charter School Commission. The systems aren’t part of the lawsuit against the state; they’re backing those systems who have sued.

Head of the Georgia Schools Superintendent Association Herb Garrett says it’s illegal to divert local funds to charter schools a school board doesn’t want.

"What the legislation did was create a shell game that gives these charters schools local dolalrs by deducting that from the local system’s state earnings," says Garrett.

Bibb County School System has recently signed on. Garrett says he hopes the legal support of the schools will help in the current lawsuit against the state.

Seven systems sued the state after the commission approved charters denied by local boards. A judge ruled in favor of the state several months ago, however Garrett says the schools are appealing that decision in court this fall.

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