May 16, 2011
Fellow parents, teachers and charter and online charter school supporters,
Early this morning in a 4-3 vote, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that state authorized charter schools are not special schools and the legislature did not have the authority to create them in the first place. This is a devastating blow to choice in education. It likely means that state authorized brick and mortar charter schools will be forced to close.
Georgia's state authorized online public schools, like Georgia Cyber Academy and Georgia Connections Academy were not a part of this case and our team is reading and analyzing the decision to understand if this judgment applies to our online public charter schools. Our attorneys will be working closely with the Attorney General and his staff and other interested parties to ensure that our children's high quality, online public school education is uninterrupted.
But, much is still uncertain and this ruling may very well affect your child's virtual school.
We need YOU to join others in support of all the state authorized charter schools.
Please join us tomorrow, on Tuesday May 17th at 10:30 am on the steps of the Georgia State Capitol for the Georgia Charter Schools Association's rally. We need you there - your attendance is vital to showing policymakers, legislators, the courts, and the media the faces of those students and families who are or could be affected by this decision.
We believe all children in every corner of this state deserve the right to attend the school that best suits their needs. As this process continues to move forward, everyone must keep in mind that these are our children's futures at stake.
When school districts say it is about the kids, they really mean it is about money and control. These school districts spent hundreds of thousands of tax dollars suing charter schools only after the state insisted that school funds follow the student from the public school they used to attend to the public school they are attending now. The districts were very happy to collect funds for students who never stepped foot inside their school.
The school districts would have been better off using that money trying to understand why students chose other public schools, and offering competitive programs and services that students and parents want and need.
The result is a loss for parent choice and innovation, and a win for education bureaucrats. Tens of thousands of charter school children may lose their schools-schools that help them succeed- because Georgia's school districts care more about money than they do about boys and girls.
We cannot and will not allow parent choice to be taken away from Georgia families.
Again, please attend the rally Tuesday at 10:30 am on the steps of the Georgia Capitol.
Stay strong, Renee Lord President, Georgia Families for Public Virtual Education