GA Schools Sued for Anti-Charter Campaign


This is the Choice Media #EdReformMinute for Wednesday, October 10th.

On November 6th, the same day voters across the United States will be weighing in on a Presidential election. voters in Georgia will also be deciding whether the state should be allowed to authorize charter schools.  

Question: Would you be surprised if the Georgia education establishment started using taxpayer-funded facilities, that were put there to serve children, to campaign against the charter initiative?  (We’ll put that down as a rhetorical question.)

The use of public facilities to influence a ballot campaign is the subject of a new class action lawsuit filed this last Monday on behalf of all taxpayers in Georgia.  [The group’s press release is here.]  It says that the state school boards association, which isn’t supposed to take sides on ballot measures, brazenly held a training meeting to teach attendees how to fight the charter referendum.  And Atlanta attorney Glenn Delk says they have a secret recording of that meeting.

Glenn Delk

Glenn Delk, Plaintiff Attorney for Class Action Lawsuit Against Georgia School Districts

“We obtained an audio tape made by a school board member who attended this training session, on how to defeat this amendment.  This school board member was offended, secretly recorded it.  And the audio tape shows that the Georgia School Boards Association which is funded in large part by taxpayer dollars, is orchestrating this campaign to defeat the amendment.”

The suit also says the Georgia state superintendent John Barge used public resources to distribute his personal, 50-page opposition paper to the charter school initiative.  He does have the right to his opinion.  He just doesn’t have the right to use public schools to blast it across the state.

“He had the same First Amendment rights that every other citizen does.  What he doesn’t have the right to do is use the state department of education website to post his opinion as the official opinion of him as the superintendent.  And then to also post a 50-page brief against the amendment.  And disseminate both of those using Department of Education emails to all 160 or 170 school districts in the state.”

There will be a hearing today, 2pm Wednesday, to see if the new lawsuit will secure an injunction to stop taxpayer resources from being used to campaign against the charter question.

All the day’s news in education reform available at ChoiceMedia.TV.

© 2012 Choice Media 

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