by Georgia Charter Schools Association
By Dr. Tony Roberts
The 2014 election results for Georgia’s Governor and School Superintendent were not a surprise for some of us who eat, drink and breathe school choice and charter schools.
Governor Nathan Deal supported Georgia’s charter schools from the beginning of his term in office, even rescuing many from closure that had been approved by the first Georgia Charter Schools Commission that was ruled to be unconstitutional.
As everyone knows by now, Governor Deal championed the passage of the Charter Amendment to restore the State Charter Schools Commission. That gave back the ability of the State to approve charter schools in addition to the approval by local school districts. The critics and the polls during that campaign all loudly complained that the people of Georgia did not want, nor would they support such a measure. Those critics and polls were all out-of-touch with the people of Georgia and their desire to address the need for improvement of Georgia’s public education.
The major candidates defeated last evening, ironically, were also major opponents of the Charter Schools Amendment. Gubernatorial candidate Senator Jason Carter not only voted against its passage in the Senate, but also spoke and advocated ardently against the measure. State School Superintendent candidate Valarie Wilson also crossed the State to speak in public forums and appeared in a negative television commercial against the amendment.
Both defeated candidates Carter and Wilson received strong endorsements and/or support from the traditional educational associations representing teachers, school boards and superintendents (the same groups who opposed the Charter Amendment).
By the way, neither Carter nor Wilson completed or returned a brief questionnaire posed to them by the Georgia Charter Schools Association which sought to get the candidates’ views on matters related to school choice and charter schools. Both Governor Deal and newly elected Superintendent Richard Woods completed and returned their surveys promptly-which we posted on our website.
Congratulations to Governor Deal, to Superintendent Woods, and to the parents and children of Georgia!
Dr. Tony Roberts is President & CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association.
The views and opinions expressed on CharterConfidential are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency