To the Editor,
This is Terrell Jackson, Chairman of the Thomaston-Upson County School Board and the elected representative of the 7th District. My purpose today is to inform you about a matter of great importance to the future of public education here in Upson County and in the entire State of Georgia. All comments are my own opinion.
On November 6, Georgians will vote on a proposed change to our state Constitution. Amendment 1, or the Charter School Amendment, would establish a state Charter School Commission which would have the authority to create and fund charter schools in Georgia that have not been approved by local boards of education or by the state board of education. Currently, Georgia law authorizes local school boards to review charter school applications, and allows for an appeal to be made to the state board of education if an application is denied at the local level. The Charter School Commission would operate independent of local and state boards of education.
Make no mistake. I am very much in favor of Charter Schools where they better serve the needs of their local community and where the decisions to create and fund these schools are made at the local level. However, Amendment 1 would allow a government-appointed committee to have total control over these decisions with no accountability to the local community.
My purpose is not to tell you how to vote, but to ask you, the citizens of Upson County, to research this issue and to get the facts necessary to make an informed decision and to protect the future of public education for generations to come. If you need further information about GA Constitutional Amendment 1, please contact me at home (706-647-3725) or by cell (706-476-2900).