The controversy over whether the state can fund a charter school over the rejections of a local school board will be decided in November’s election. Education advocates are split over where state funds should be directed.
After most Georgia voters decided against a transportation tax, political attention is shifting to a new battle involving charter schools. At issue is whether the Georgia constitution should be amended to guarantee the state's power to authorize and fund charter schools.
A poll paid for by a group promoting a charter school constitutional amendment has found that nearly 60 percent of Georgians support the ballot question. Voters will decide in November whether the state should have the power to approve charter schools even if a local board disagrees.
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 state Senate has approved a new funding system to support new charter schools in Georgia. The legislation approved Monday by a vote of 38-14 now heads back to the House for final approval. Voters will decide in November whether to change the Georgia Constitution so state officials can create new charter schools.
GOP supporters of a bill that would allow the state to approve charter schools are still hoping the state Senate will vote on it before the legislative session ends. But Senate Democrats say they are unified against the legislation.
It’s unclear if Georgians will vote in November on changing the constitution to allow the state to approve charter schools. The state Senate Wednesday unexpectedly tabled a constitutional amendment after two hours of debate.
The Georgia Senate is debating a constitutional amendment to allow the state to create charter schools. If the constitutional amendment passes the full Senate Wednesday, it goes on the ballot in November for voters to decide.