Second Vote Coming On Charter Amendment
ATLANTA – (AJC/WAOK) Charter school supporters plan a second attempt Wednesday at persuading the Georgia House to approve legislation asking voters to restore the state’s power to approve charter schools. Lobbying has been intense since Feb. 8, when a constitutional amendment dealing with charter schools fell 10 votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to pass the House. The amendment, known officially as House Resolution 1162, was sparked by a May state Supreme Court ruling declaring that the Georgia Charter School Commission had been illegally approving and funding charter schools over local school board objections. The ruling came in a lawsuit filed by school districts including Gwinnett County Public Schools. The amendment is being championed in the House by Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton, and Majority Whip Ed Lindsey, R-Atlanta. Local school superintendents and school districts vehemently oppose the amendment, which could be before voters later this year. Rep. Rashad Taylor, D-Atlanta, on Tuesday proposed an alternative constitutional amendment, House Resolution 1521, setting up the possibility that communities could create a second local board, beyond the local school board, with the power to approve charter schools.