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Bartow Commissioner: No to Charter School Amendment

Commissioner Clarence Brown signed a resolution opposing a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to approve local charter schools and their funding.

Bartow County Commissioner Clarence Brown took an official stance against a constitutional amendment voters will decide Nov. 6.

Brown approved a resolution opposing Amendment #1, which would restore the state's power to approve charter schools and their funding.

Do you support or oppose the amendment? Tell us why in the comment area below.

For county and city of Cartersville schools, the commissioner supports school-board level decisions on education and "opposes the State’s establishment of a separate system of state-authorized public Charter Schools that are funded through a funding formula that unilaterally takes critically needed funds from local public schools and re-directs them to the state-controlled Charter Schools," according to the resolution.

Brown told The Daily Tribune News the Bartow County Board of Education requested his support.

"The board of education asked me [if] I would join in with them, and when I investigated what was going on I was glad to join in with them. I’m proud to stand by their side," he said, according to the newspaper.

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Katherine M October 04, 2012 at 11:49 PM
Really disappointed in Clarence! (1) This issue doesn't involve his office and he shouldn't have allowed himself to be dragged into it. (2) He based his decision on what the education establishment told him without doing any research. State Rep. Chris Coomer laid out a solid column in the Tribune today for why we should vote yes.
Paul Nally October 05, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Commissioner Brown, I call your attention to the Attorney General's letter of October 3, 2012, second paragraph from the bottom, which states in pertinent part: "In short, Georgia law provides that local government entities ...may not expend local funds or resources on electoral advocacy." I must take this opportunity to request that you rescind and officially withdraw your proclamation, and, in the future, which isn't long, refrain from expending any further resources belonging to the County on electoral advocacy, especially where the Board of Education is concerned. After all, they have already demonstrated ineptitude at being able to read with comprehension the English language or to maintain some semblance of the Socratic process. You may, of course, express your personal opinions on your own time. Oh, what the heck. I'm probably wasting both of our time. This is, after all, Bartow County where the Rule of Law really means the "Golden Rule" (He who has the gold makes the rules, or tells the DA,the Judges, and the grand juries what the rules are.") Since your administration has cleared timber and graded a 2 acre hill top and cut a driveway to it, then paved a quarter mile driveway in Gordon County, and had grand juries stopped from reviewing these and other illegal acts, why would you care?
MP October 07, 2012 at 09:04 PM
@ Katherine and Paul - we can all just hope that Mr. Brown and the others who decided to abuse their office and tax payer funds will be investigated and held accountable.
Paul Nally October 08, 2012 at 04:45 AM
Sorry, MP, just isn’t going to happen with all the corruption in the superior court and sheriff's office. And bless their hearts, the grand jurors are either intimidated into not hearing evidence, or are part of the corruption, or are just dumber than a box of rocks when it comes to understanding the kind of power they possess. I've already been incarcerated once and literally thrown out of the courthouse twice, both times on Shep Howell’s orders to keep me from being heard by the grand jury and Joe Campbell has committed embracery upon the grand jury to effect the same thing. About the only hope we've got is if I get elected and live long enough to take office. Then, a lot of offices will become vacant, and not just in this County. Could I interest you in joining a vigilante committee? ;>) Go rent the movie, "The Jack Bull" and pay attention to the barber shop scene and you'll understand what's going on in this County ... and what might happen ... with a better ending, I hope.
Paul Nally October 08, 2012 at 05:12 AM
MP- Don’t sweat the proofing. I miss a bunch all the time. At my age, fingers can’t keep up. In the Constitution of 1777 - Article LIV. “Schools shall be erected in each county and supported at the general expense of the State, as the legislature shall hereafter point out. The first State School Commissioner was not constitutionally created until the Constitution of 1868 – Article VI, paragraph II. The Constitution of 1877 - Article VIII, Sec. IV finally got around to authorizing cities and counties to establish and maintain schools, but the Constitution of 1945, Article VIII in addition to establishing County Boards of Education as constitutional entities, retained, in Section I, that education was the Primary Obligation of the State. So, as a purely technical matter, shared governance didn’t occur until 1877. The point I was trying to make relative to taxes did not concern the Charter Commission, though the cost of its operation would have to be addressed in some fashion; and where government is concerned, with the possible exception of the University System, those cost are eventually passed on to the ultimate consumer in either taxes or user fees.
Paul Nally October 08, 2012 at 05:12 AM
The point is that HB 1162 plainly states in Section 3 that the State shall expend “state funds”. Since the government doesn’t have any money other than what it takes from the people, then taxes will have to be increased to fund these schools … unless, that is, they want to cut a lot of pork or eliminate some other essential service. But the Constitution and Taxation are beside the critical point … moot as far as I’m concerned. The real problem with the concept of this separate and unequal scheme is its intentional deprivation being outright repugnant to the Supreme Law of this Republic. This piece of legislation is begging for a trip to Washington and receiving the same treatment as was dispensed in Brown v. Board of Ed. After years of observing local Boards of Education being populated with too many big ducks in little ponds, I’ve had enough with local BOEs and their propensity for corruption by educated fools aided by equally corrupt System Attorneys and a lack-a-daisical voter base. I, too, could support "Districts” administered by a Superintendent overseen by the State Dept. of Ed. In this day and age, the present system is a failure. It’s past time for a change, but this just isn’t it!
MP October 09, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Can you please expand a bit on your thoughts on "intentional deprivation..." Still not following WHY you think this.
Paul Nally October 09, 2012 at 04:06 PM
See MP - there I go. HB 1162 is supposed to be HR. The “intentional deprivation” is simply a reference to those things which would be included in these schools such as instructions in skills and techniques of reasoning in higher maths, exposure to lab equipment and training in its use, instructors with higher degrees and/or years of experience in their field instead of brand new teachers right out of college, and all those things which, of necessity, must accompany a “higher education” institution which would not be necessary in a learning environment devoted to raising a child to an acceptable level of ignorance (in which, of course, our present system has excelled) so they can be ready for menial work. I hope this helps explain the "deprivations" of those left behind and the inherant lack of an equal opportunity it would impose.
MP October 09, 2012 at 10:55 PM
Paul, I am REALLY trying to follow you. So are you basically saying that if every child can't attend a high performing charter, we should do nothing? That would be like saying if we can't feed every starving person in the world, we should just close down all of the food banks, soup kitchens, etc. You also need to consider that the traditional schools are a perfect fit for some kids. Every child in traditional schools isn't failing. And some have no desire to attend charter schools (hence chartering as a "choice.") We should provide a highly rigorous learning opportunity for those who choose the charters (which, by the way, serve about 50% economically disadvantaged and minority students) and DEMAND that the school districts fix the issues that are causing failure in schools (namely, poor teacher morale, lack of resources, lack of effective leadership, etc.)
Paul Nally October 10, 2012 at 04:34 AM
No, no, MP, I’m not saying do nothing. We already have more “schools” that Carter’s had Little Liver Pills (if you’re old enough to remember those) and some of those are Charter schools. Go look at my answer to your post at http://cartersville.patch.com/articles/letter-d234415b#comments about how Cartersville High did it in ’59-’63. They subdivided a “traditional school” (one building) and allowed parents to choose which course of study they wanted their kids to have. Believe me, that College Prep course was no picnic, especially with chorus, band, art, Latin, and that course in Logic! But by the same token, I don’t remember any of my classmates who stayed the 4 years not getting a diploma in whichever of the 3 courses of study thay followed. The best part of it, in hindsight, was that every kid there got a GREAT basic education. Every one of us could write, spell, and cipher along with the few other things consistent with a particular course of study, and nobody seemed to care what course of study anybody else was taking. We all socializes and had a great time. The point is that if our parents wanted us challenged, we got challenged in whatever direction was chosen by our parents. Plus there was a way to switch to a more challenging scholastic path by the 11th grade, if memory serves.
Paul Nally October 10, 2012 at 04:43 AM
I'm going to have to stop writing late at night ... that's supposed to be the rare form "cypher". My fingers make a lier out of me about spelliing. :>)

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