After a constitutional amendment on charter schools failed to pass in the Georgia Legislature last week, the McDuffie County school board voted unanimously to adopt a resolution in support of quality public education. The vote was taken at the regular board meeting Thursday.
House Resolution 1162, if passed, would overturn a Georgia Supreme Court ruling that requires charter schools to operate under the domain of the local school board.
It would allow for the creation of charter schools that fall under the jurisdiction of the state, rather than the local school board.
H.R. 1162 was narrowly rejected Feb. 8, with 10 votes shy of the two-thirds majority required to pass.
Supporters of the resolution say it would give parents more control over the education of their children.
As the law stands, any charter school must be approved by the school board and would be held to the same standards and accountability as all other schools within the school system.
If H.R. 1162 does pass, schools would lose not only students, but funding that is already in short supply. In addition to state funds, local property tax revenue would be diverted from the county school systems and given to the charter schools. Its passing could eventually affect property owners, said board member Bob Smith.
“The way I see it, it could result in a possible property tax increase, but we have no other way to fund the public schools,” he said.
The board adopted The Resolution in Support of Quality Education to call for adequate funding of K-12 education throughout the state, instead of allowing money to be drained from public education to fund what McDuffie County Superintendent Jim LeBrun called “private school funded with our dollars.”
The resolution will be sent to Gov. Nathan Deal and state legislators representing McDuffie County.