Virtual School Meanderings

May 16, 2011

Here’s What You Can Do Right Now To Help!

This scrolled through my Facebook stream a few minutes ago.

Now as most of you know, I’m not a fan of charter schooling.  While I agree with the freedom and flexibility they provide, I question whether a state should be turning the operation of a public service (like K-12 schools) directly over to for profit companies – granted, it happens in the US with health care, so I guess it is part of what makes you not Canadian (or us not American).  I often refer to it as the McDonaldization of public education, where each student is equivalent to a Whooper that you can order any way you please.

Anyway, having said that I also don’t like discrimination.  In states where barriers are put up that allow one student options and another student doesn’t get those same options bother me.  If parents and students want to choose Big Macs for their educational experience, they should have equal opportunity to do so.  The last time I spoke along these lines was when people in Florida were trying to pass a law that allowed kindergarten students to attend full-time online learning programs.  I don’t recall all of the ins and outs of it off the top of my head, but the gist of the law was that in order to choose a cyber charter option, students must first have been enrolled in a brick-and-mortar option.  This essentially prevent students from start in the online option (i.e., a grade one student could enroll, but a kindergarten student couldn’t).  I believe the legislation has since changed.

While I haven’t been following what is going on in Georgia closely (and when I get back to North America I’d like to dissect this case a bit more), but essentially the fight is over who can authorize charter schools.  There was a round of charter schools that had been approved by local school boards (which would fit more in line with my own political views), but then the State created this state-level body to approve them because many local school boards were opposed to charter schooling.  The latest ruling essentially says that the State did not have the authority to do so under its constitution.

For me, this reminds me of the Wisconsin case and the misplaced anger that came with it.  The court system is simply interpreting the State’s constitution (in the same way the Wisconsin courts were interpreting the State’s legislation with regards to online learning).  Folks shouldn’t get mad at the courts for saying what he legislators did was against the law (and I wonder at what point in the history of the United States we began celebrating people who actively break the law – and how can I cash in on this sentiment, as there is a wonderful red sports car I drive by on the way to work that I’d love to have).

Anyway, I have re-produced the Facebook entry posted by the Georgie Connections Academy below.  For those of you with political leanings other than mine, this may be something that interests you.

Hi, Georgia Connections Academy Families and Friends.

As you may have read, the Georgia Supreme Court on Monday morning ruled that the Georgia Charter Schools Commission does not have the authority to authorize public charter schools in the state, including Georgia Connections Academy.

You can read more about the decision by visiting the following links:

AJC: http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2011/05/16/breaking-news-supreme-court-strikes-down-charter-schools-commission-in-4-3-vote/?cxntfid=blogs_get_schooled_blog

Dacula Patch: http://dacula.patch.com/articles/georgia-supreme-court-strikes-down-charter-schools-act

GA Charter Schools Association: http://www.gacharters.org/press-releases/supreme-court-ruling-in-on-state-charter-commission/

Connections Academy is reviewing the GA Supreme Court’s decision and working with the Georgia Charter Schools Commission on  its impact and options for Georgia Connections Academy.  We will continue to keep all of the families who have expressed interest or who have registered for the Georgia Connections Academy informed about the court ruling and what this means for their students.

The reality is, everyone in the charter school community in Georgia is impacted by this.

It is imperative that we share our concerns with our state legislators.  The message is simple: We love our public school. We don’t want the Supreme Court’s decision to take away our public school!

While many of our fellow public school choice supporters are working hard on finding a resolution, everyone has as stake in trying to reverse this decision.

Here’s what you can do right away:

*   Contact your local legislators IMMEDIATELY.  If you don’t know who represents you in the state capital, click here:  http://www.votesmart.org/official_state.php?state_id=GA&dist&go2.x=5&go2.y=8

*   Your message to them is simple:  Your school has been impacted by the Supreme Court decision and you need your legislator’s assistance to keep your school open for your children and other children in our great state.

*   Join charter school supporters at a rally TUESDAY morning (May 17th) at 10:30 a.m. (arrive by 10am) on the steps of the Capitol (Washington Street side) to rally on behalf of your school. Let’s show all of Georgia that we want quality public school choice.

1 Comment »

  1. [...] is funny because as I read through these items, I am reminded of the fuss over the cyber charter school court decision in Georgia that said that the charter school authorizing law the Senate had passed was unconstitutional and [...]

    Pingback by EDTECH597 – Commentary Entry: Examining The Neo-Liberal Response To The North Carolina Cyber Charter School Case « Virtual School Meanderings — July 25, 2012 @ 8:01 am | Reply


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