Seniors star in video opposing charter school amendment

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Seniors star in video opposing charter school amendment

The Southerner

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BY JOSH WEINSTOCK

Grady seniors Elen Pease and James Moy starred in an informational video, released on Oct. 17 about the downsides of the new charter school amendment to the Georgia Constitution.

Tomorrow, on Nov 6th, Georgians will be voting on more than who our next president will be. Georgians will also vote on a new amendment to the Georgia Constitution regarding the creation of charter schools.

The video, released on Oct. 17, was directed and produced by the Southern Education Foundation, a public charity that works educate and improve education policy.

“[The new amendment] would take away control and resources for local school districts and it would rewrite the constitution to do this” said Ben Guest, a program consultant at Southern Education. “Southern Education wanted to create an informational video that will help people understand the different issues that are involved”.

Ben Guest casted Pease and Moy in the charter school video.

The video, entitled “Go to School on Georgia Charter School Amendment” was posted on various online media outlets such as Better Georgia Schools.org, EmpoweredED and YouTube. On YouTube, the video had 14,238 views as of Nov 5th.

“Taxpayer dollars would be sent to out-of-state for-profit charter schools that on average do no better than our public schools,” Pease says in the video.

In the video Moy agrees saying the amendment would create a new state agency, that would duplicate what the state school board already does.

Dave Howland, the principal of Kipp Atlanta Collegiate, a charter School in Atlanta, has different view of how the charter school amendment would affect education in Georgia.

Howland said that in a school district with low graduation rates where education is suffering, a charter school can come into that community and provide a new way of making high school better for affected students. Howland said the amendment would allow the state, which is unbiased, to come in and determine if that particular charter school should be approved.

“I think what it would do is that in those cases where you have districts that are not open at all to the idea of charter schools, no matter what the school system was looking like, it would give [the state] the ability to open up those [charter] schools,” Howland said.

If the amendment were to be passed, he believes that the impact on Grady would be “very, very minimal.”

Guest argued that the new amendment would take away control over local communities to decide whether they want charter schools in their community.

“The money that’s coming in that’s supporting this amendment, supporting the passage of this amendment, 96 percent of the money is coming from out of state,” Guest said.

click here to see the informational video

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