The members of the Georgia PTA do not represent special interest groups; we represent every school, every child, every parent, and every teacher in this state. We must speak up to advocate for every child, all 1.7 million, who are enrolled in public education. We speak up for all those who want accountability in how their taxpayer dollars are spent.
Simply put, Amendment 1 takes control away from local communities and places it in the hands of appointed state bureaucrats and private interests. Amendment 1 uses a flawed grading system to justify transferring local funds and buildings to state control. Amendment 1 adds an additional layer of government bureaucracy to our school system
Georgia PTA supports existing Georgia law
which permits the Georgia Department of Education to provide assistance to struggling schools deemed "focus" or "priority." Rather than endorsing an amendment which diminishes the power of our votes, eliminates accountability to taxpayers, increases the size of state government, and has failed in every other state where it has been attempted, the State of Georgia should charge and support our elected State Superintendent of Schools to fully leverage existing laws for intervention to aid struggling schools.
If Amendment 1 passes, a political appointee would have the sole power to select "Opportunity School District (OSD)" schools from the list of struggling schools and determine the interventions prescribed for these OSD schools - including closure or turning over the school building to a charter school. These powers would come without any oversight, as the Superintendent would report directly to the Governor. Amendment 1 would also change the Constitution of the State of Georgia to allow for local taxpayer money to be used for state charter schools, to transfer locally-funded buildings and equipment to state charter schools, and to would allow private management companies to charge a 3% "administration" fee to local districts for the privilege of taking over a school.
For the complete Georgia PTA press release, click
Please stand with PTAs across Georgia and "Vote NO on Amendment One" and the Opportunity School District!