FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 17, 2010
State’s leading advocate for business development submits an amicus brief to the Georgia Supreme Court on behalf of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission
ATLANTA – The Georgia Chamber of Commerce has filed an amicus brief to the Georgia Supreme Court, on behalf of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission and charter schools throughout the state.
The Court is considering a case brought before it last month, in which seven school districts in Georgia – including the state’s two largest districts, Gwinnett and DeKalb, as well as the Atlanta Public Schools – sued to have the Georgia Charter Schools Commission (an alternative charter school authorizing body) and the law that created it (HB881) declared unconstitutional.
In May, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Wendy L. Shoob sided definitively with the Georgia Department of Education and the Commission, thus the appeal to the Supreme Court by the suing districts. A reversal of Judge Shoob’s decision would essentially shutter the eight charter schools presently in operation that were approved by the Commission and deny the 2,400 students in those schools, and their parents, their right to public school choice. A final decision is expected from the Court in the next few weeks.
State Chamber of Commerce backs charter schools
The Chamber’s amicus brief argues that both the Commission and HB881 are fully Constitutional, and furthermore, that quality charter schools and school choice are “essential to developing and maintaining an educated workforce, which is key to attracting and sustaining corporations and industries in our state.”
In a statement responding to the Chamber’s brief, Georgia Charter Schools Association CEO Tony Roberts, Ph.D. said:
“We are grateful that the Georgia Chamber of Commerce has once again demonstrated its leadership of the business community in Georgia by offering an amicus brief to the Georgia
Supreme Court supporting the constitutionality of HB881, the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, and the Commission-authorized schools — including Ivy Preparatory Academy and Charter Academy of the Arts and Technology.
“The Chamber knows that attracting and maintaining a strong business and economic force in Georgia is heavily dependent upon having an excellent public educational system. How much stronger would be their message to businesses and industry considering locating in Georgia if they could tout that Georgia was in the top 10 in the nation for its public schools, instead of having to admit that we are near the bottom of the national list? This can’t be good for children, for business and industry, or for Georgia.
“We applaud the foresight and the courage of the Chamber in taking a bold stand for the children of Georgia who deserve the best education possible with independent charter schools available statewide alongside traditional public schools.”
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CONTACT: Seth Coleman | firstname.lastname@example.org | (Office) 404-835-8917 | (Cell) 404-406-5570