On Monday, August 14th, 2012, Georgia School Superintendent John Barge released a press statement claiming his opposition to the school choice amendment that voters will decide on in November. In doing so, he has alienated thousands of students who now rely on charter schools and are dependent upon the passage of this amendment to continue their successful education in this unique public school setting.
Dr. Barge is taking a direct stand against the slogan on his website: "Making Education Work For All Georgians". Not all students fit the cookie cutter mold of the traditional government-run public school system. Many of these students need a unique atmosphere to thrive in the learning process. Charter schools provide this unique learning environment that is free from much of the bureaucracy that limits the methods that teachers are able to use to reach each student. By speaking out against an amendment whose sole purpose is to offer an appeal process for these students that are sliding through the cracks of the traditional government education system Dr. Barge is putting a nail in the coffin of the hopes and dreams of a student whose education isn't working for him or her in Georgia.
For a man who is so concerned with the education of Georgians he did not once mention students in his press release. The focus of his statement was more money, not more adequate education. The purpose of the school choice amendment is to offer an appeals process for those students who have been denied an adequate learning environment at the local traditional public school level. Without this amendment these students are held hostage by a local bureaucracy that may or may not have their best interests in mind.