This letter is about the charter school amendment to the Georgia Constitution, which will be on the general election ballot on Nov. 6, 2012, for consideration by our voting public.
My purpose in writing today is to ensure that the public has proper guidance before voting. Specifically Superintendent Curtis Jones in his letter to the editor in The Griffin Daily News printed on Sept. 16, 2012, omitted some important facts.
This is understandable since he is paid by the school system, and he would be expected to defend public schools.
My take will be different. I am speaking up for the students and parents of public schools, private schools, charter schools and any other school for education.
Some try to say this is against public schools. If that were true, I would be against the amendment as I am a product of Spalding County Schools and Georgia State University. I owe my success in life to the many fine, dedicated teachers that I have had.
The reason for the amendment is very simple. After the state established charter schools, charter schools were approved by many local school systems, but many were turned down for no valid reason. When this happened the state approved some in worthy cases. This seemed very appropriate since the state Constitution states that the state is obligated to offer a high school education to all Georgia children and the state appropriates major funds for that purpose. It appears evident to the Legislature that most Georgians believe that students and parents believe that choice is very important. Charter schools offer a choice with little adverse effects on public schools.
On Sept. 17 at the request of Mr. Michael Kendall, I was on his WKEU radio show for an hour in an effort to inform the people about charter schools. Since I furnished him several documents, I knew that one hour would not be sufficient. So I left him a copy of my file, asked him to study them and invite me back for another discussion. He stated that he would.
REP. JOHN YATES