Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) welcomes a new stance toward public charter schools and the students they serve by the National Education Association (NEA). For the first time, the organization recognizes charter schools as public schools that offer parents and students alternative options to traditional public schools.
However, the NEA fails to acknowledge the reason charter schools exist is because a number of local boards of education have failed to provide a quality and meaningful education for their own students. Many of these same districts here in Georgia and elsewhere remain hostile to charter schools, even those they have approved. As a result, that has created the need for an alternative authorizer such as the State Charter Schools Commission. In 2012, 6 in 10 Georgians voted for an authorizing power for charter schools besides local boards of education.
“The member schools of the Georgia Charter Schools Association focus on what’s in the best interest of the child,” said GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts. “In Georgia, far too many children continue to remain trapped in a low performing school district with no access to a high achieving public school. We believe the NEA should focus more on students stuck in the most dire of educational settings and worry less about preserving the status quo for ineffective systems and employees.”
We believe the NEA’s policy on charter schools falls short of what’s necessary to meet the needs of today’s students. The NEA should instead mirror the recent policies adopted by the National PTA, which support charter schools and quality charter school authorization by local districts and alternate authorizers.
About Georgia Charter Schools Association
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is a nonprofit membership organization for Georgia’s public charter schools and petitioners. Our mission is to advocate for, foster and support autonomous, high-quality charter public schools throughout Georgia. We believe every child in Georgia should have equal access to a high-quality, transformative public education.
CONTACT: Michelle Wirth
Director of Communications
Georgia Charter Schools Association