AFP GA Activist, Tea Party Member Supports Charter Amendment 1 – By Jim Jess

November 01, 2012

(reprinted with permission from a letter responding to Campaign For Liberty opposition to the charter school amendment)

With all due respect, the Campaign for Liberty is dead wrong on this. We should all vote YES on Amendment 1.

I used to serve on a Charter School governing board, and I know the effectiveness of a well-run charter school. I have met parents from areas of the state in which local school boards, with only the interest of the local school bureaucracy and power structure in mind, would NEVER approve a charter school in their school district. It was about their CONTROL over the choices of parents.

What Amendment 1 does is give parents another route to follow to set up a charter school if their local board refuses to allow one to be established.

You have to make some logical assumptions here. Are parents the chief educators of their children, with the public education system in a role to support parents, or should local school board members have more say about the education of my children than I do? If you want elected school boards to overrule parents in the education of their children, then vote against this amendment. Those who would oppose the choices of parents to put their children in a charter school are demonstrating that they believe our children are wards of the state, and the state can do whatever it wants with them. This view assumes that school boards have a greater say in my child’s future than I do. I reject that argument without reservation.

I think parents should have choices and that is the only thing this amendment is about.

The author of the Campaign for Liberty message doesn’t even get it right about who appoints the state charter commission. The enabling legislation, which I believe has already passed, gives the governor and the House and Senate leadership the power to appoint the state charter commission, not the state school board. And the only thing this state charter commission will do is approve the charter or not. Once it’s approved a local nonprofit governing board—which is usually composed of parents and teachers—will run the school.

Frankly, I’m an admirer of some of the initiatives of the Campaign for Liberty. In this case, however, I am embarrassed and ashamed for Nathan Adams or whoever composed this message. They have no idea what they are talking about.

Georgia Tea Party endorsed the Charter Amendment some months ago because we understand the importance of educational choice and a free market of choices for parents in improving education here in Georgia.

Please VOTE YES on Amendment 1.

Jim Jess

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