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Thursday, February 9, 2012 - 9:59am

Second Vote for Charter Schools Bill

State lawmakers will allow another vote on a change to Georgia's constitution that would allow the General Assembly to create more charter schools.

The 114-49 vote Thursday allows Rep. Jan Jones, a Milton Republican, to hold a second vote on the amendment itself. That vote has not been scheduled.

Jones fell short Wednesday of the two-thirds majority needed to change the state constitution. The state Senate and Georgia voters would also need to approve the amendment before it could take effect.

The amendment responds to a state Supreme Court ruling that found a commission that created a dozen charter schools was unconstitutional because it created schools and allocated money without the consent of local school boards.

Opponents have said creating more charter schools will deprive public schools of already scarce state funding. They also say the change would break the long-standard practice of giving local education boards control over schools.

The amendment has heavy GOP support but a handful of state Democrats are co-sponsors of the bill.