Tea Party Groups, African-American Leaders Among Supporters of Charter Amendment
Wide cross section of support for charter amendment, including Tea Party groups, African-American leaders
ATLANTA – With just 8 days until Election Day, about the only thing that President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney agree on is the need for more public charter schools. Reflecting that bipartisan agreement, Tea Party groups and African-American leaders across Georgia are coming together and asking voters to support more educational opportunities for Georgia’s children by voting yes for charter schools.
Tea Party groups support charter schools because it puts power back in the hands of parents instead of central office bureaucrats. Former Presidential front runner Herman Cain has joined Atlanta radio host Neal Boortz to publicly endorse a YES vote.
The Savannah Tea Party Education Committee is running radio ads supporting the amendment. The ad, in part, says: “Charter schools offer the truest form of local control where we, the parents, get to decide what is best for our
children, not central office bureaucrats.”
Bob Ross, Co-founder of the Fayette County Issues Tea Party, wrote this is a recent op-ed: “Wishing and hoping for poorly performing boards to ‘do better’ is not a strategy or solution, it’s simply more unproductive wishing and hoping against entrenched bureaucrats and special interests — and kids suffer. Allowing the state to charter schools isn’t a complete solution to Georgia’s low national
standing, but it’s certainly a useful part of a solution. The vast majority of Georgia charter schools are in poorly performing school districts. State-chartered schools provide students in those areas with an alternative
that they are literally standing in line for. Are you going to deny them the choice for a better education at a reduced cost?”
An Oct. 14 article in the Marietta Daily Journal reported that the board of the Georgia Tea Party voted to support the amendment. In addition, the Carroll County Tea Party Association supports more public charter schools and a
majority of attendees at a recent Rome TEA Party meeting voted to support charter schools.
Tea Party groups are joined by a wide cross section of support from across the political spectrum, including African-American and Democrat leaders.
Democratic State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, a leading voice for education reform, led a bipartisan group of legislators in supporting the amendment as it worked
through the legislative process this year. She recently penned a op-ed looking at the record of traditional school in educating African-American children and specifically noted the achievement gap evident in our schools today. She wrote: “Having more quality public school options provides more access to low income and minority students, and will make significant gains in helping close these gaps. It’s time to give low-income minority parents the same right as middle- and upper-income parents – parental control.”
Other Georgia Democrats, such as State Rep. Rahn Mayo, have been actively supporting the amendment, which has also drawn support from national groups dedicated to
improving education such as UNCF and Democrats for Education Reform. Joe Williams, executive director of Democrats for Education Reform, sent an op-ed
around to Georgia newspapers explaining his group’s support for more public charter schools. It included this: “Far too many of our most vulnerable children simply aren’t getting the education they need and deserve. Some critics of the amendment say they support charter schools, but only if the local school board is cool with it. It’s not hard to understand why that position ends up being a major road-block in the struggling and dysfunctional districts where public school alternatives are most needed.”
Families for Better Public Schools can be found on the web at www.bettergaschools.org and on Facebook at this link: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/pages/Families-for-Better-Public-Schools/307417942687616
. The campaign’s Twitter handle is @BetterGASchools .