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Thursday, October 4, 2012 - 10:27am

School Boards Warned Against Electioneering

State Attorney General Sam Olens has sent a letter to State School Superintendent John Barge saying local school boards can’t advocate or oppose constitutional amendments using public funds.

Many school boards have been opposed to the proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools that will appear on the November ballot.

Olens said “Georgia law provides that local government entities, including county school boards and charter schools, may not expend local funds or resources on electoral advocacy.”

Barge asked Olens about how violations would be handled. But that is not yet clear. Olens told Barge he will provide that advice in a subsequent letter.

Governor Deal, who supports the charter school amendment, earlier this week removed a statement from a press release on his official website. The statement said the Governor hopes Georgians will vote for the amendment.

A spokesman says the Governor is happy to play on a level playing field. He says the Governor is not using public funds to influence the election. He says this is a policy debate and Governor Deal was elected to focus on policy.

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