by Georgia Charter Schools Association
By Bert Brantley
I am not a typical charter school supporter.
I attended traditional public schools while growing up in Valdosta. My wife attended traditional public schools in Henry County where she now teaches. Both of our daughters are enrolled in non-charter public schools.
Come to think of it, I probably fit the profile of a likely charter school opponent. But the recent approval of Scintilla Charter Academy in my hometown reminded me of why I signed up to work on the 2012 charter school constitutional amendment campaign.
You see, I support a “shotgun” model of education. While a rifle works great when you can see the target clearly and your sights are set correctly, sometimes a single bullet is just not enough.
Parents and students should have the opportunity to choose the educational option that works best for their family. Many families in Georgia can afford to choose a school district and a specific attendance zone for the school they prefer. But many others do not have the ability to choose, and are forced to attend whatever school their zip code assigns.
With the continued addition of high-quality charters, online and virtual schools, private institutions and traditional public schools, Georgia families now have more educational choices than ever. For my family, we have chosen traditional public schools and could not be happier.
In Valdosta, there have always been great private schools in addition to the public schools I grew up attending. Starting next year, there will be yet another option, giving south Georgia parents even more involvement in their child’s education.
Who can be against that?
Bert Brantley, a native son of Valdosta, GA, is Deputy Executive Director at the State Road & Tollway Authority