The board unanimously signed and adopted the “Resolution in Support of Quality Public Education” at its regular board meeting Tuesday night.
“This presents the board’s position in a formal way,” said Superintendent Dr. Kent Edwards. “Basically, we don’t think it’s good for our children, we don’t think it’s good for Carrollton City Schools, and we don’t think it’s good for Carrollton or Carroll County as a whole.”
The amendment, if approved by voters in November, will guarantee the state’s power to authorize charter schools and establish a commission to consider applications for them.
Board member Dr. Mike Rothschild commented that providing students with a quality education is a concern both in the present and in the future.
“We’re charged by the citizens of Carrollton to take care of our school children,” Rothschild said. “So we need to take care of these kids now and forever.”
Board chairman Dr. James Pope called the amendment a “disaster” if it passes.
The resolution states that the board urges the governor and state legislators to “commit to adequately fund quality public school education for all K-12 students in Carrollton City Schools and throughout Georgia.”
Several board members, as well as the resolution itself, have spoken out against the amendment because they see that it “erodes local control of public schools.”
“[We urge the governor] to encourage the innovation, flexibility and accountability that are necessary for Georgia’s public schools to continuously improve,” the resolution states.
The board also voted to authorize Edwards to transmit an official copy of the resolution to the governor, as well as other political and educational policy figures.
Edwards, as well as other local superintendents, will speak at a forum on the issue sponsored by Carroll County’s League of Women Voters to be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Carrollton Cultural Arts Center. League president Robin Collins said the forum should last about an hour-and-a-half, including a Q-and-A session.
Expected to attend on the panel are Edwards, Carroll County Schools Superintendent Scott Cowart, Bremen City Schools Superintendent Dr. David Hicks, and Dr. Tom Upchurch, a former city superintendent and president emeritus of Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. Dr. Bruce Lyon, a member of the LWV, will facilitate the panel discussion.
Earlier this week, supporters of the amendment sued Georgia school districts in a suit filed in the Superior Court of Fulton County Monday, alleging that Fulton County Schools and Gwinnett County Public schools (as well as “the rest of the Education Empire”) are engaged in a “coordinated campaign and conspiracy.”
The two metro school systems were named as representatives of all 180 school districts in Georgia, including the two in Carroll County.
Lawyers for the two districts and the Atlanta attorney representing those filing suit are scheduled to appear before a judge this afternoon to discuss the accusation that the districts have illegally used taxpayer resources to oppose the amendment.
One of the attorney’s clients who is suing the districts is Rich Thompson, founder and chief executive officer of 100Dads, a charter school parent group. Thompson spoke at a meeting of the Carroll County Tea Party Association in August.
Edwards has said previously that everything he and the board has done, including drafting and adopting the resolution, is within the guidelines of state law.