The Myth of Local Control

by Nancy Jester, District 1, DeKalb County (GA) Board of Education

Let’s set the record straight about who controls education in Georgia. Superintendents and their administrators do. Local boards of education do hire the Superintendent but once in place, these educrats are in the driver’s seat. The legal framework in our state reinforces the supremacy of the superintendent’s position relative to a board.

School system administrations choose who works in the system and what they do. We often hear that the board and administration are a “governance team”. Sadly, “the team” is dominated by board members with “Stockholm Syndrome” or they are accomplices in the abduction of local control. All of this power comes with a hefty contract that insulates superintendents and gives them a golden parachute at taxpayer’s expense even if their tenure is marked by failure. Make no mistake about it.  Local control is superintendent control. If you agree with the superintendent and they are making good decisions for your particular community, you’re probably content. But, if they are not, you are in a constant struggle with little to no redress.

The charter school amendment is perceived as an existential threat to the gravy train for educrats throughout the state. That is what the fight is about. The “local control” that is hailed by the current purveyors of the fine educational products in Georgia, is “educrat control”. They push the buttons and pull the levers and try to make you believe that “stakeholders” have a say in it all. Despite state legislation on school councils, parents don’t get a seat at the table when selecting a principal for their school. In the struggle for power and control, the educrats have failed you and your children; all the while collecting fat paychecks and doling out six-figure jobs and lucrative contracts to more educrats. If you realize that your voice as a citizen is so diminished within the current power structure of education, you will know that voting for the charter amendment is one of the solutions.

Parents deserve more choices. Communities deserve more input into how their schoolhouses are run. Charter schools are innovation incubators and are governed by a volunteer group of parents, teachers, and community members. That’s local control. They get to choose the companies that provide services to their school. If they do a bad job, they will lose their charter and parents will leave their school fora better product. If they are responsible and create a valuable product for their community they will thrive and our children will get the education they deserve. This responsiveness is completely missing in education today. In fact, in DeKalb we have some schools that have been labeled “failing” for as long as a decade, yet remain open with no replacement of staff. All of the “turn around” plans, accountability measures and excuses brought to us courtesy of the “local control” we have today do nothing to rid our system of failure or make it more efficient, helpful and valuable for the students and community. Please join me in supporting real local control. Please join me in advocating for kids and taxpayers in DeKalb County and throughout our state. Please join me by voting YES on the charter school amendment.

This article is re-printed with permission.  It originally appeared on Nancy Jester’s blog, http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com/
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About dekalbschoolwatch

Hosting a dialogue among parents, educators and community members focused on improving our schools and providing a quality, equitable education for each of our nearly 100,000 students. ~ "ipsa scientia potestas est" ~ "Knowledge itself is power"
This entry was posted in Fraud & Corruption, GA Legislature / Laws / O.C.G.A., Georgia Education, Nancy Jester, SACS/Accreditation, Superintendent Cheryl Howell Atkinson. Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to The Myth of Local Control

  1. teacher/taxpayer says:

    How refreshing to read Nancy Jester’s opinion on charter schools. It is clear and well-written. As one who is so fed up with the absurdity coming from the Palace, I have been wondering what I can do about it. I feel more powerless with each new and senseless demand that lands on all of us who teach. Now I realize I at least have a small chance to affect change with my one vote. I am going to listen to Nancy and vote YES.
    I also hope that we taxpayers are now smart enough to really look at our candidates before we vote for them. Even though Nancy Jester is not my rep, she spoke with me for quite some time after a Board meeting last summer. I was so impressed. She is smart, really cares, and won’t be intimidated by some of the less capable board members. I admire her tenacity. I hope Jim McMahon joins forces with her to help build a team of members who can push for better decision-making by educrats. Go, Nancy!

  2. guest says:

    I will be voting NO.
    I believe that we have seen quite enough of what private businesses can do to people and the economy in unrestrained pursuit of the almighty dollar, and now they, with the help of the American Federation for Children and American Legislative Exchange Council, two groups that are gunning for publicly funded private schools, are going after the State education funds that they can make off of our kids. We at least have some legally guaranteed power with an elected local board that we would not have with state charters. Elect the right people to serve there and you get the right superintendent. Get the right board and you get the right public charters, like the great ones we already have. If you don’t like the super or the charters the board selects, then vote them out, get new blood in and make it right.This is the power we are given by law. This is the power that will be stripped from us once public schools are purposefully starved from lack of the ever decreasing state money magnified times ten if solely state funded charters take hold rather than the locally funded ones we enjoy and control now..
    Handing public schools over to private companies will be the END of constitutionally mandated equal education opportunities for every child.
    USE THE GUARANTEED POWER that we have to make sure that ALL of our children get a fair shake! Don’t give it up, take it back!

  3. Weary worker says:

    Public schools have already been handed over to private companies. The educational industrial complex controls public schools through testing, textbooks and packaged curriculum programs. The boards and supers are little more than puppets. Wake up and face reality.

  4. guest says:

    Wake up and take charge before your right to do so is removed by your own hand.
    Why is Georgia ranked as high it is in all the bad things? Because people here buy the freedom from government garbage that gets handed out to them year after year after year and don’t demand what they are due and what they pay for from the very same government officials busy feeding us the garbage that government is bad. They are our employees, fire them if you don’t like what they do. When they mess with your constitutional rights, fire them. That’s why we have elections. Stand up and fight, don’t grab onto the nearest privatization teat.
    We are in control if we would only take it.

  5. @guest: How will taking money earmarked to educate a child and moving it to another “education provider” cause harm to the public school that the child left? After all, that public school will no longer have to educate that child. The math of that theory doesn’t add up. The money is attached to the child and follows the child. EXCEPT in the case of Title 1. The students who qualify for Title 1 funding DO NOT get that funding if they do not attend a school that is a certain percentage of students who qualify for Title 1. This only encourages the administration to keep poor students congregated in their home schools in order to rake in those extra dollars — which our administration has chosen to spend on more administrators.

  6. momintheknow says:

    Mrs. Jester is so right. Those that want to be against “private” or “for profit” companies in education please look at how your public education dollars are spent. Many companies that are “for profit” get your tax dollars. The bureaucrats that run your system often end up working for these “for profit” companies. It’s all so cozy. Being for profit doesn’t make you bad. Being non-profit doesn’t make you good. Judge the outcome. Where has the current group of superintendents and boards gotten us? Are we proud of our educational outcomes as a state? Parents, do you believe that your concerns and desires have been heard and acted upon by the people running your school district? What companies make money on the current system? I think that parents should be able to choose. I agree with the @teacher/taxpayer, “Go Nancy!”

  7. dekalbmom says:

    “Parents, do you believe that your concerns and desires have been heard and acted upon by the people running your school district?” Answer: No
    Q: Do I believe a commission composed of folks appointed by Governor “Let’s make a” Deal, will be any better? Answer: No, Heck No.
    Q. Can I vote for my local School Board representative and support candidates in other local districts? Answer: Yes
    Q. Can I vote for the people who will be on Charter School Commission and who will be spending my hard earned tax monies to fund commission charter schools? Answer, No, Heck No.

  8. Denise McGill here- Somehow after being very vocal on the BLOG during election I mysteriously got deleted and no longer received updates from this blog- I am trying not to take it personally and am assunming there was a systems glitch and not moderator error…..Everythign just came to a sudden hault after run offs- I didn’t know I had to remain a school board candidate to be part of the discussions on the board.

    I’ve had my hiatis (voluntary and involuntary) and I’m Back… I felt I had a viable voice here and decided that I better sign myself back up so that I would not be left in te dark- where I have been for the month of September. I have a lot of “catcing up” to do.-

    dekalb mom I applaud you – and all those who understand that HR 1162 is an unnecessary EVIL that will be doing us a great injustice.

    The sad thing is, the media outlets have already indicated that the Amendment will pass- and when you look at its wordings, as well as the audiences outside of metro proper- I really don’t think there is a way to stop it from NOT passing. We talk about ignorance, and it is sad when we cover up trut to sustain our own hidden agenda’s or desires. Again, at the end of the day- the ones that suffer are our children….

    Of course, if one thinks outside of “Georgia” proper- dependeing upon te November election results- and the direction and focus on education- That elected commission might want to take a clue from where the rest of the country is headed. It’s scary enough to know that we are reverting back to the 1950’s pre-segregation days- I for one will be keeping my community informed. See us at http://www.stephensoncommunitycouncil.org/index.html

    I clicked my heels three times and I have found that there’s no place like home….I’m back…..

    Denise McGill

  9. @Denise says:

    @Denise
    Dump the sarcastic remarks. They are the reason you didn’t get elected.

  10. TuckerKmom says:

    The part that confuses me is that some people are so pro-charter, the dollars follow the child, etc. yet a year ago were desperate to close all the small schools because it was such a waste of money. Those don’t reconcile in my head. If we have dozens of new charter schools, taking a few kids from each of our regular schools, starting up each year, how does the district stand a chance of staying on top of the redistricting that would be needed? I thought the consensus was that we need fewer schools in DeKalb, not more.

  11. Denise — you might want to ratchet down your raging paranoia. We can’t remove RSS feed or e-mail sign-ups. And, even if we could, what would be the purpose? RSS feed and e-mail sign-ups do not require any involvement on our part — one of the things we really love about WordPress.

    Speaking of WordPress — you might really want to consider starting your own blog for your Stephenson community. Dunwoody Mom has done this for Dunwoody and her blog [hosted by Blogger] has been found to be quite helpful to her community. Check it out here: http://dunwoodyschooldaze.blogspot.com/

    Meanwhile, could “operator error” explain your problems? We noticed that you used to comment as “Denise McGill.” Now you are commenting as “Denise E. McGill.” Did you, perhaps, change Internet providers — (say from Comcast to AT&T or vice versa — just a guess; we don’t know what is available in your area) — and neglect to sign up again for RSS feeds and/or e-mail from DeKalb School Watch? Just a thought …

  12. The Deal says:

    Sorry, the “vote them out” solution isn’t valid any longer. In a system as large as DeKalb, there are voters living 60 minutes away from each other who are voting for their own representative. I can’t do anything about 7 of the 9 board members. That is not fair representation. I am voting YES for charters because I am desperate for some other pathway for my children. I don’t buy the “don’t let private industry into our public schools” because it is already there. Book companies, online providers, and, worst of all, our own administrators are enjoying the $1 billion DeKalb gravy train. DeKalb’s problem is not money; it is the people in charge of it. To somehow vote every board member out and then convince them to hire a new superintendent would take more years than one family will be in the school system. Charters give our kids a fighting chance.

  13. @TuckerKmom: That’s the beauty of it. The charter schools MUST operate within their allocated budget. Our tiny boutique schools and schools with special circumstances are spending FAR more per student than our regular schools. Take DSA for example. The per student cost there [at least for the last set of numbers we were able to wrench from the clutch of the administration] was $11,612.95 vs say, SW DeKalb at $7,960.70 per pupil or Lakeside at $7,834.76 per pupil or Towers HS [a Title 1 school] per pupil cost of $9,506.14 or the former Avondale HS at $10,638.17 per pupil or specialty school DeKalb Early College Academy at a whopping $15,208.96 per pupil. At the elementary level compare Oak Grove’s per pupil cost of $7,930.98 to Snapfinger’s $10,895.38 per pupil cost vs Kittredge’s $11,001.34 and Knollwood’s $12,857.36 to Wadsworth’s $13,010.20 cost per pupil. (These numbers don’t even include the special transportation.)

    Per pupil spending is all over the board – and where do you think the money comes from to fund the very expensive programs? This is where the money is twisted, misappropriated, and reallocated – in our very own public schools! We are in a power/money struggle for sure. The current bureaucracy is in a panic to defend their ‘territory’ while parents and communities want to take back control of our childrens’ schools. Think about it. How many Ramona Tysons, Cheryl Atkinsons, Ron Ramseys, Audria Berrys, etc would have the high-paying jobs they currently enjoy if schools were not the bloated bureaucracies that they currently are?

    The per pupil cost worksheet can be found in our FILES tab under Title 1 – or just click here:
    Per Pupil Expenditures – General and Title I

    To see the new listing of central office staff and their salaries, [just received last night] click on our FILES tab under ORR Responses. Take a look at the Organizational Roster you can find there. Or just click the link below to download:
    Organizational Roster 2012_2013

    For starters, Cheryl Atkinson ($275,000.00), her secretary ($96,951.02), her receptionist ($32,950.88), her other secretary ($29,912.57), Ramona Tyson ($235,041.73), her Director ($76,686.59) and Ron Ramsey ($158,547.05) alone add up to just about a million dollars. Then pile on the $3.2 million for Curriculum and Instruction Administrators and the $1.1 million for Special Programs Administrators as well as the $2 million for the CO Leadership Team and the $9 million for the IT department employees and we’re talking some big bucks to lay claim to.

  14. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    @DekalbMom
    The Charter School Commission won’t be spending your money. They approve charter petitions by local communities that will be spending your money.

    Do I believe a charter school board and administration will listen to me and act upon it? I believe my kids won’t be attending any charter school that doesn’t listen to me and act. No kids means no money. No money means no charter school.

    DCSD is customer NO service. They don’t care. They’re getting your money either way. If every child left DCSD, they would be left with a pot full of money. The board can snap their fingers, take a vote, and take as much money from you as they want. Princess Nancy is only 1 of 9 votes. Her gang of 4 can’t protect us from that.

  15. NOTICE OF DEKALB BOARD OF EDUCATION WORK SESSION & MEETING

    The DeKalb Board of Education will hold a work session & meeting at 6:00pm, Monday, October 1, 2012, in the J. David Williamson Board Room in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center at the DeKalb County School System’s Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

    Meeting information can be accessed online by going to: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.

  16. another comment says:

    How many clerks does the bus department need. More than the number of mechanics. That is crazy. The bus department should only have 1 or two clerks max. That they have several just for field trips is crazy. Weren’t field trips cut from the budget. All schuduling should be done on-line with a scheduling software. This is the most absurd thing I have seen in my life. Big trucking companies, that are nationwide, run with one or two dispatchers.

  17. solution says:

    No to Charter Commission, Local Board approval in needed and if turned down, the State Board.

  18. booksrkool says:

    I agree that the charter school bill is a HUGE red herring. But what if the charter school bill passes? What if this charter school commission screws up then what’s the recourse? Can the people “unvote” for the amendment? How can the train wreck be fixed? Can we fire the people on the commission?

    How can the people get out of this deal? (These are rhetorical questions.)

    I will vote no because what we have is not the best but it’s better than some vague commission that we (voters) can’t get rid of.

    *Look for this at a future charter school near you: Non certified teachers, how else are they going to control overhead?*

  19. @books – “Non-certified teachers” — that’s kind of dramatic. I personally have faith in teachers. I do not have faith in bureaucrats (educrats). I think that a commission of qualified educators and community people can decide if a program is worthy of funding. I would trust them more than the State Superintendent, who is beholden to District Superintendents and the “bureaucracy”. I think that parents know what is best for their child and can make the decision as to where there child would best be educated. If a charter fails, it is shut down. If a public school fails, it is granted more money. I have faith in the free market, even when the ‘product’ is education.

  20. The children says:

    Don’t pass the buck Nancy. You and the rest of the board hired atkinson.

  21. @The Children: Perhaps you missed it: Nancy, Don and Pam strongly opposed hiring Atkinson. They wrote open letters to the community and voted NO on her hiring at the formal vote, making it 6:3. Check the search bar in this blog and the old DSW blog to read more on the history of this vote. Nancy, Don and Pam (and for a long time, Paul Womack, until he ‘flipped’ his vote suddenly and agreed to hire Atkinson) did not want to hire Atkinson and decried the ‘leaks’ that foiled the candidates before her.

  22. d says:

    So it appears Nancy supports taxation without representation. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with charters, but I am very very very very opposed to the amendment simply because there is no way for us as voters to hold the charter commission accountable. If the commission was elected, I would have a very different stance on this process, but as it stands, I cannot be comfortable having some political appointees who are there because they did something for the governor (and you know Georgia politics, that is how it will be) overrule the voice of my elected board member – even if he is not who I voted for.

  23. mojo says:

    @d We have taxation without representation in DeKalb right now. Maybe that’s what Ms. Jester was getting at when she said that, “If you agree with the superintendent and they are making good decisions for your particular community, you’re probably content. But, if they are not, you are in a constant struggle with little to no redress.” The fact that you get to elect one board member doesn’t help if the superintendent has the real power. The board can fire a superintendent but they are so protected by law, contracts and sacs, and get a taxpayer funded golden parachute on their way out. The DeKalb Board itself is taxation without representation. Look at who pays the majority of property taxes. Those that pay the biggest bill have the least say in DeKalb. DeKalb is the poster child for taxation without representation.

  24. Resident & Teacher says:

    I too will be voting NO. If this is an education issue then read Stanford’s study, considered to be the most complete one comparing public to charter. http://credo.stanford.edu/reports/MULTIPLE_CHOICE_CREDO.pdf
    What do successful Charter Schools have in common with successful Public Schools? Involved parents, competent and involved administrators and teachers; what they have that is different is a selective population which makes it easier to have the other things. Really are there unsuccessful Public Schools in Upper and Middle Class neighborhoods or areas?
    This charter vote is about Politics, we want the power and we’ll know what’s best without your input. Kind of like public education, except I know that I didn’t vote for Mr. Orson and now can campaign against him some day. Won’t be able to do that with the new Deal Charter Commission.

  25. Miss Management says:

    @d: Another option to consider is my personal favorite: vouchers. They make sense. They are similar to food stamps. You get your ‘education voucher card’ and go shopping. You can shop at your local small store or drive across town to the big box store. You can use it to pay for all or part of your ‘groceries’. Simple.

  26. dekalbmom says:

    Miss Management: Your analogy to food stamps is flawed and wrong. Yes, you can use your food stampa at ANY store. But if I have a voucher for my child to attend a private school, i can ONLY use it at a school that accepts my child. Now if my child is a sports star, or has exceptionally high academic scores, or is a musical prodigy, they might take my child and my voucher. But if my child is “average” or has learning disabilities or physical disabilities, just how many expensive private schools (and the academically superior schools already have long wait lists) are going to take my little ole state voucher.

  27. booksrkool says:

    @ DSW Pay very close attention to upcoming legislation. If a particular bill makes it to the floor for vote it will only be the beginning. How do you all feel about any public school in Georgia not needing a certified librarian? After all anyone can check out books, right? Riiiight?!

    As Samuel L. Jackson said in the original Jurassic Park, “Hold on to your bu***.”

  28. Dr. DeKalb says:

    Does anyone know who is behind the charter ammendment?? We are closing schools because we cannot afford them. Now we want to open MORE? Doesn’t make sense … unless this is truly an ALEC trick to turn more schools into virtual learning environments. They get the same per pupil dollars, but they have lower overhead as they encourage most kids to stay home to attend school, or they attend in small rooms at a local church, headed by non-certified babysitters. Sounds like New Birth would be in favor, but how does a charter school approval board help my neighborhood? Where do they think these parent volunteers are coming from?

    Last I heard, we have lots of charter schools and even the ones that the state approved, but had to deny upon the outcome of legal action, ended up being approved by the local board. What school board would NOT be in favor of a charter? They require less oversight from the administration (more money in their pocketss), have parents stepping up to take responsibility (can’t blame others) and can be dissolved without results. Results means more Race to the Top or similar dollars, so why is there this concept that our local board has a string of charter requests that are being turned down and need another approval method?

  29. Marney Mayo says:

    Some of the best teachers my kids ever had were not certified to teach in Georgia at the time they taught my child…including Ann who wasn’t, despite having 30 years experience teaching in IB schools on 5 continents:

    http://littlebillclinton.csmonitor.com/littlebillclinton/2009/02/09/third-grade-math-a-teachers-calculus/

    Some of the worst teachers they have experienced have been both certified and “highly qualified”. Certification is neither necessary nor sufficient to guarantee learning in the child–else why would all those home schooled children generally test as well as they do?

    Much of this debate comes down to who you intend to presume goodwill toward. The commission that was struck down approved a very low percentage of petitions(I think it was 6 or 7 that first year and even fewer the second while they were awaiting the court ruling)—and you do vote for the governor and legislature don’t you? So you either vote for the school board member who appoints the Superintendent to recommend and oversee the charter, or you vote for the governor/legislature who appoints the commission to oversee it.

    As soon as this passes, someone is actually going to do the math and figure out that agreeing to funding that is the same as the average of the 4 poorest district in the state isn’t sufficient to provide what people are imagining they can get.

  30. Mad Dad says:

    Miss Management: I tend to agree with your thoughts on vouchers. Maybe the analogy to food stamps is not quite getting the point across. Maybe a “gift card” would make more sense because people who have money understand that better. If you are not happy with what your public school has to offer, you get a “gift card” that can be spent at any private school. You gift card is equal to the per student amount that is paid to the system by taxpayers (not the amount per student they actually spend but the per student amount paid in that year). You can then apply to whatever private school you wish within the district. You may have to supplement that amount, but at least you are not having to come up with all of it out of your own pocket. After all, taxpayers are paying their money because they want the children to get a good education. If that isn’t possible where you live, your child should still get the “gift” that the taxpayers intended. The difference between this idea and a charter is that it actually takes money away from the educrats who are ruining the public schools. It means they will be held accountable when they fail because kids will leave the system and that will reduce the overall bottom line dollars they have to play with. If they want to keep the money, they have to provide an education that can compete, really compete, with what else is out there. If they don’t like a charter, they can play with the numbers or do all kinds of things to try to harm the community that started it. They are still getting the tax dollars. They still have control over the testing. Your child still has to take the CRCT as charter schools are still public schools. I don’t have a problem with choice, when it is a real choice that fosters competition that raises the bar for what is being offered. But, so much money is sucked out of the schools to pay those at the top that another group of administrators cannot possibly be a good thing.

  31. Mad Dad says:

    Welcome back, Ms. McGill. Your comments are appreciated as was your willingness to step up and run for the school board which is much more than many people here can say, myself included. I would tend to believe that DSW would not intentionally lock you out as they were in support of you for the election. It is a disgrace that your district did not get out and vote. What do you attribute that to? Perhaps their children in large part are not attending school in their own area so they do not care? I am not in your district, but was pulling for you. Sarcasm has its place when outright anger is inappropriate. I find myself using it more and more these days.

  32. @dekalbmom and in response to MM’s comment: Actually, I don’t think that all stores take Food Stamps. But I’m pretty certain that Sophia Academy or Schenk School or the Howard School would take the voucher as a partial payment. In fact, for special education, you can already claim your money and use it privately.

  33. PCrawl says:

    Take away the money and you take away the corruption. Keep paying, keeping hoping, keeping passing the money to others and you are just feeding the beast. Approving SPLOST was a big mistake. All that money and someone has to spend it. We will not find a way out of this until we can vote NO on SPLOST. I intend to vote NO on anything my government puts before me until they start being responsive to the needs of the voters instead of the businesses who got us into this mess to begin with. We are run by real estate right now. Whatever it is they want us to do, it is probably a bad idea. Dunwoody, Lakeside, Fernbank – do these people care about anyone but themselves? If this idea came from them then it is likely to only help them. End of Story.

  34. @Miss Management says:

    Education Vouchers

    We already have education vouchers for IEPs and the program is very successful.

    We have many voucher programs … Living vouchers, medical vouchers, food vouchers, etc..

    People aren’t ready for educational vouchers … even if it was means tested … even if it only helps a handful of people escape from their horrendous schools.

  35. @Dr. DeKalb: The thing is, parents would have to CHOOSE this school. Not many parents would choose a school like you describe.

  36. Miss Management says:

    Thanks Mad Dad. Yours is a better analogy. And thanks DSW and the others who pointed out that you can already get vouchers for special education.

  37. Marney Mayo says:

    Dr. Dekalb..while I was attending the state board charter subcommittee meetings the point that you make was addressed by the commission by changing the dollar amount to be given to virtual schools down to a much lower base, based upon the estimate that the bricks and mortar costs would not exist and the teacher/student ratio would be much higher. I don’t remember the exact number, but my recollection was that it was set as a little less than $2500—pretty much the state FTE amount. This was a big deal as it meant that those schools really got no financial benefit from being commission schools over being state only approved charters. Georgia Virtual School which was already up and running as a partnership with a bricks and mortar state charter in Newnan, was trying to move to the commission status, but the commission delayed approval of the others so they decided to delay so as not to incur the risk that came with the supreme court case that was pending.

    Of those orphaned by the ruling, Peachtree Hope closed–bad governance by a board of South Dekalb politico’s which crashed in on them just as they were maneuvering for Dekalb board approval. So you can interpret that school as a mistake that the commission never should have let out the gate to begin with. However, before you lambast the commission—I would remind you that the Academy of Lithonia was approved by the Dekalb board through several renewal cycles. At least Peachtree Hope was short lived and some of the harshest criticisms in the papers came from members of the commission itself.

    The Museum school was taken on by Dekalb—but the two Ivy prep local charter petitions were denied locally the same month, and pretty much all the rest of the commission schools that were given the state charter status so that they could continue to exist receiving only the state funding–with the Governor promising a special one-year funding supplement to partially bridge the funding gap.

    What I find ironically amusing in all this is that providing that bridge money amounts to the Republican Governor and legislature tacitly admitting that straight state FTE funding does not provide an adequate education.

  38. Mad Dad says:

    Isn’t Walker a former state Senator? So, why would I trust the “state” with my money? He’s part of their network. Same as Womack, “I’m gonna call the state to investigate this.” They are pushing all of us to believe the “state” is some higher power that can save us. We have to stand up and save ourselves. Where is the grand jury and the DA? Where is the Attorney General. Stealing money is a crime. These people are stealing our money. What ELSE can we do?

  39. DeKalb Inside Out says:

    It’s important to note the current state of charter school approving bodies.
    The Georgia Supreme Court ruled last year that the state had no constitutional right to approve charters. We are currently left with only county boards approving charters. This new amendment addresses that ruling.

  40. guest says:

    Dr. Dekalb and anyone else interested in reality.
    ALEC shenanigans:
    http://billmoyers.com/
    You can watch the full broadcast of The United States of ALEC at the link. I highly recommend it.

    Also for a local look: How ALEC is Quietly Influencing Education Reform in Georgia
    http://mediamatters.org/research/2012/05/09/how-alec-is-quietly-influencing-education-refor/184156
    The article compares the legislation up for vote with similar language used by ALEC.
    “Georgia media have been silent as members of ALEC in Georgia’s legislature have successfully pushed through a version of ALEC’s Charter Schools Act, which would create a state-controlled board with the power to establish and fund charter schools over local opposition. A Media Matters analysis found that while Georgia media have frequently written about the bills, they have completely overlooked ALEC’s influence in the debate. “

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