“It’s a very, very bad bill,” Pinson told the Chamber committee. “It was written by some very, very narrow-minded people.”
McDonald said that since the founding of the country, the model for schools has been focused on schools being managed by the local community. “This would dilute public education dollars,” McDonald said.
Pinson said that even the wording of the amendment is deceptive. When voters go to the polls in November, one of the ballot questions will be a Constitutional amendment that asks, “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”
Nancy Griffin, director of the Communities in Schools program, said the charter school movement is part of a nationwide campaign that is essentially in opposition to the traditional public school systems.
Charter proponents claim the schools provide an alternative for parents who claim that traditional public schools are not getting the job done.
Local systems would still be able to charter schools, however, the amendment, if approved by voters, would allow for state funding of charter schools created outside the governance of local boards of education.
Pinson said any state funding funneled to such schools would take money away from the traditional public schools and would be a terrible mistake.
Floyd County Schools spokesman Tim Hensley also briefed the committee about plans for the selection of Lynn Plunkett’s successor as superintendent of the Floyd County Schools this fall.
Citizens can go to the system website, www.floydboe.net, and fill out a ten-question survey seeking input into important qualifications for the next superintendent.
“It’s part of our charter to involve the community,” Hensley said.
Hensley said the Georgia School Boards Association would handle the initial screening of applicants for the local board. The application window closes Sept. 15, and the board wants to have a replacement on board when Plunkett retires at the end of November.
The Chamber panel also got a briefing about the fourth annual Northwest Georgia/Shorter University Career Expo, set for Sept. 20 from 9 a.m. until noon at The Forum in downtown Rome.
A free Dress for Success workshop will take place Sept. 6 at 6 p.m., also at The Forum.