The Georgia School Boards Association and Georgia School Superintendents Association are asking school boards across the state to pass motions of support for an amicus brief that calls for the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to be declared unconstitutional
ATLANTA – The Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) has sent a letter to every school superintendent and school board in Georgia, urging them to reject an amicus brief that the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) and Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) plan to submit to the Georgia Supreme Court.
The brief from the GSBA and the GSSA will ask the Court to reverse a May ruling by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy L. Shoob, which emphatically declared HB881 – the law that led to the creation of the Commission, a seven-member body with the authority to authorize charter schools – to be in full compliance with the Georgia Constitution. HB881 was approved by the Georgia Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2008. The Georgia Supreme Court is expected to hear oral arguments in the case next month.
A handful of school districts have already approved resolutions supporting the GSBA/GSSA amicus brief, which has not been written as of yet. The letter from GCSA Chief Executive Officer Tony Roberts Ph. D., asks those boards to reconsider their votes, and asks other district superintendents and school boards to take no action on the brief. Portions of the letter read:
“Supporting this brief, this misguided lawsuit and this most unfortunate decision by the suing districts to appeal the earlier ruling would be tantamount to political malpractice on your part…”
“… the brief has not even been written as of yet, and so you would be signing off on a document that you have not even read. I would hope – and I’m sure your constituents would agree with me – that this is not a standard business practice for you and your peers when dealing with the various agreements and contracts that come before you…”
“Please take the proper and lawful stand on this issue. Make the decision to side with the laws of fairness and decency, as well as with the Georgia Constitution, and take no action on this ill-advised amicus brief…”
“We simply want the superintendents and the school board members to take a good look at the issue and read Judge Shoob’s decision,” Roberts said. “The Georgia Legislature spent countless hours making sure that HB881 was constitutionally sound, before both sides approved the bill overwhelmingly and before the governor signed it into law. HB881 is a sound piece of legislation that we hope will continue to improve the condition of public education in Georgia for generations to come.”
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ABOUT THE GCSA
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is the nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s charter school operators and petitioners, established in 2001. The mission of the GCSA is to be an effective advocate and service provider for all charter public schools in Georgia by:
- Advancing awareness of charter schools and their mission.
- Increasing awareness that charter schools are public schools.
- Communicating charter school needs to state and local officials.
- Supporting legislation to strengthen charter schools in Georgia.
- Facilitating opportunities for networking/collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and nationwide.
- Developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability and success in all of Georgia’s charter schools.