Much has been written concerning the charter school referendum. There are two very significant reasons why I will vote “no.”
First, $430 million in new unspecified funding will be required. An unknown number of clerks and administrators will be required. The Georgia legislature will have to find this money and the only place the money can come from is tax increases.
Second, voting “yes” will establish another state-run bureaucracy that would have the final say on what county or municipality gets a charter school instead of local school boards. The bottom line is simple — this is an attempt to break down home rule, as did T-SPLOST.
With regard to clerks and administrators, look at the Georgia Board of Regents. In 2011, the board had 473 employees and a payroll in excess of $30 million. The chancellor was paid $658,000 and spent $17,000 for travel expenses. Costs of furnishing offices, phones, computers, cars and benefits cost many millions more. This department awarded the outgoing president of UGA a $5 million going-away present.
The charter school referendum needs to be defeated. I can think of no reason to give up home rule and add another tax burden to Georgia taxpayers.
Bruce W. Hallowell