State lawmakers are considering a bill that would deny jobless benefits to school workers employed by private companies during summers. Backers say it would save the state money, but critics say the bill merely favors private companies, including charter school management firms.
Georgia would become the eighth state to adopt so-called "parent trigger" legislation if state House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey gets his way. The laws by which parents can petition to have struggling traditional schools converted into charter schools were popularized by the 2010 movie "Won't Back Down."
Campaign finance records show that supporters of Georgia's charter school amendment have outspent opponents by a significant margin. Pro-amendment groups have raised more than $2 million; opponents have collected $123,243.
A lawsuit alleging illegal campaigning by public education authorities opposed to a constitutional amendment on charter schools unraveled Wednesday in a Fulton County courtroom. Five plaintiffs filed the case against every Georgia school district over some officials' actions regarding a Nov. 6 referendum that would grant the state more power to select private operators for independent public schools.
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.
A spokesman for state Superintendent John Barge says his boss has reached an agreement with Attorney General Sam Olens on the school chief's political activity regarding a statewide referendum on charter schools.