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Wednesday, March 7, 2012 - 12:51pm

Charter School Bill Passes House

The State House has passed enabling legislation to allow the state to commission charter schools in Georgia.

The question over whether the state or local school boards should fund charter schools divided House Democrats and Republicans.

The bill states that those wishing to create a charter school must apply to the local school board first. If that local board says no, that would open 60 day window to apply with the state Charter Schools Commission.

At issue: State funds being used for charter schools instead of local schools. House Democrat, Representative Rashad Taylor, of Atlanta, says while that might benefit charter schools it damages traditional local schools.

“This bill and the budget that we just passed, does more for charter schools really than it does for our public schools, that we’re turning our back on our public schools that have educated our kids up until now.”

The bill will go into effect in January 2013 only if a constitutional amendment is approved by voters in November.

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