In November of 2012, Georgia voters affirmed widespread support of public charter schools with the passage of Amendment One. Just years later, our charter school system is in decay.
Instead of growing rapidly to meet demand, Georgia Charter School Commission has unapologetically embraced policies peddled by the special interests that stunt growth and force schools to shutter their doors.
Just seven years after the excitement of Amendment One, more than 15,000 students are waiting to enroll in a charter. Many of these young men and women are the most academically at-risk. The impact is being felt the most in rural Georgia, where students lack access to school options that meet their unique needs.
While disappointed in the current state of the charter school system, there is hope on the horizon.
Earlier this month, state leaders announced two new members of the Charter School Commission who are longtime supporters of Amendment One and its original intent. If there ever was a time to change course and right the ship — it’s now.
As the parent of a high school junior and one recent graduate, I have seen firsthand the value of school choice and impact that customized learning opportunities can have on students. It has always been my hope that children throughout the state — no matter their ZIP code or race or socio-economic status — can have the same positive experiences and outcomes as mine.
This is a pivotal moment in Georgia. I wish Sen. Hunter Hill and Rep. Buzz Brockway the very best.