Editor, Dick Yarbrough’s recent column failed to accurately explain the concerns of charter-school amendment proponents regarding the future ability of the state school board to handle charter-application appeals absent this constitutional amendment.
Contrary to his assertions, our concern does not merely rest on the well-reasoned dissent of Justice David Nahmias, who warned of the state’s future inability to consider charter-application appeals as a result of the 2011 Gwinnett School Board v. Cox decision. It is the result of the explicit finding in the majority decision in that case, which stated:
[The Georgia Constitution] sets forth the sole delegation of authority in our constitution regarding the establishment and maintenance of general primary and secondary public schools. No other constitutional provision authorizes any other governmental entity to compete with or duplicate the efforts of local boards of education in establishing and maintaining general K-12 schools.
While local school boards should have primary responsibility over schools, no governmental entity should ever have exclusive, monopolistic, unfettered authority over any action — and especially not in the area of our children’s education. There always must be a check and balance. The proposed charter-school amendment merely restores an appeal process and ensures all Georgia parents and students will be treated fairly in applying for the establishment of a charter school.
Therefore, I ask voters to vote “yes” on Nov. 6 for this important step toward education reform in Georgia.
— State Rep. Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta
Georgia House majority whip