ATLANTA -- October 14, 2012
The debate over a proposed constitutional amendment on charter schools has been fierce, complete with lawsuits. But details get lost in the back-and-forth, and what's at issue is more complicated than the question printed on the Nov. 6 ballots.
Voters will be asked: "Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?"
But Georgia already has more than 200 charter schools. And the state already plays a role in regulating the independent schools that get public money.
What's really at issue is how much control the state has in the process. Currently, local school boards decide whether to grant charters. The proposal is for a new state board that would concentrate more power in Atlanta.