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Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 9:32pm

Charter Schools Get Voter Nod

Georgia’s Constitutional Amendment 1 passed by a comfortable margin Tuesday. It will re-establish a state commission that can approve and fund charter schools over the objections of local school boards.

The amendment passed even in some parts of Georgia where it was not expected to do well.

Opponents of Amendment 1 argued that it would establish an unnecessary extra level of government at the expense of the state’s existing traditional public schools.

Supporters, by contrast, argued that the measure would expand the opportunities for school choice for the state’s students and their families. And that was the perspective that seemed to prevail for the majority of voters around the state, including Atlanta’s Chase Jackson.

"I voted yes, because I’m the product of a charter school, and I think they’re a great opportunity for most kids," Jackson says. "I think it’s all about the kids, either way it goes."

The pro-amendment campaign focused its efforts on metro Atlanta, but the amendment exceeded its supporters’ expectations outside of the city as well, including in Bibb, Richmond and Chatham Counties. The charter school lobby heavily outspent the amendment’s opponents, and the amendment’s passage was also likely aided by ballot language that opponents argued was written to encourage yes votes.