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Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:11 PM


GA Senator's lawsuit alleges fraud in charter school amendment ballot

Opponents of Georgia’s just-passed charter school amendment who say it was deliberately worded to mislead voters now claim that a legislator’s email helps prove it.

“People high up are wanting this legislation,” Rep.Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, wrote to a constituent on Feb. 3. “The vagueness of the ballot wording is something they want to keep. They think if they keep it vague it will more easily pass.”

Charter school amendment opponents say that email is among documents they hope will help in a lawsuit, which was filed before Tuesday’s vote, over the ballot language — a type of lawsuit experts say is difficult to win.

Benton confirmed to the AJC that he wrote the email to Jeanette Knazek, an Alpharetta parent who had been following the charter issue and attended a public hearing at the Legislature...Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, said he obtained the email on election day and sent letters this week asking Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to investigate. Neither office has responded...

A lawsuit pending in Fulton Superior Court alleges that lawmakers wanted the amendment language to tout charter schools’ ability to improve student achievement. That language was stricken before final, narrow passage of the proposed amendment by legislators. But on Aug. 15 it was put into a preamble to the amendment language by a Constitutional Amendments Publication Board.


Local school systems already are the approval body for charter schools. So there was nothing new there.

What was in question was whether the then-defunct Georgia Charter Schools Commission should be revived as an “alternate authorizer” of charter schools, allowed to override local school boards’ denials of charter school petitions with charters of its own.


The amendment was worded so as to give the impression that a vote against it was a vote against charters, whereas the real aim of the admendment was to be able to overrule local districts' decisions about charters.

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Reply GA Senator's lawsuit alleges fraud in charter school amendment ballot (Original post)
HiPointDem Dec 2012 OP
Swede Atlanta Dec 2012 #1
xchrom Dec 2012 #2
trishtrash Dec 2012 #3

Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 08:43 PM

1. I voted against the Charter School Amendment because...


I am the product of PUBLIC education (not in Georgia but still in this country). I received a high-quality education that enabled me to go to a very good PUBLIC university from which I found a very good paying job. I later went to another PUBLIC university to obtain my Doctorate. I have done well, am providing for my family and feel I was well served by PUBLIC education.

I am not opposed to private and creative "charter" schools. But they should not be allowed to undermine the value of public schools. We can never hope to educate children through private schools. Historically, private schools were either religious or they served a specific income group. Charter schools are trying to broaden that base to use these as direct challenges and to compete with basic public education.

The "charter school" mentality is the mantra of Neal Boortz who considers public education a pariah and that all those that come out of public education learn dependency on the government from that experience.

Well, Mr. Stupidhead....nothing could be further from the truth. I have NEVER had to rely on public support. I was once temporarily unemployed and did not take unemployment. I am self-reslient but I understand the need for a social safety net to help people when they are down.

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 09:11 PM

2. Du rec. Nt

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Response to HiPointDem (Original post)

Sat Dec 1, 2012, 11:27 PM

3. The language on the ballot was a blatant advertisement for the amendment.

Can't understand why the lawsuit was filed so late. Georgia education is already pitiful. Now state-controlled for-profit schools will do us in.

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