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Friday, April 6, 2012 - 12:26pm

Lawmakers Focus On Charter Schools

State lawmakers spent the legislative session focusing on a fraction of the students in Georgia — those at a handful of charter schools created by now-defunct commission.

The aim was to pass a constitutional amendment to address a nearly year-old ruling by the state Supreme Court that outlawed the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, which approved 16 schools before it was disbanded in May.

The proposal dominated much of the legislative session, stealing the spotlight from other priorities including tax and criminal justice reform and the state budget.

Critics said lawmakers should have paid more attention to nearly $1 billion in cuts that have not been restored to K-12 schools, the 1.7 million students enrolled in Georgia's public schools and the teachers who haven't had a raise since 2008.