By Rev. Dr. R. L. White
President, Atlanta Branch of the NAACP
The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP, in concert with our National policy adopted by the National Convention and ratified by the Board of Directors, continues to stand firm and adamant in our support of the improvement of public schools.
This coming November 6, Election Day, there will be a referendum, Amendment 1, on the ballot statewide that speaks to charter schools and the way in which individual charters are granted. Voters will be asked to consider a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would establish a commission to consider charter applications. Passage of the amendment would also clarify the state’s power to authorize and fund charter schools. The Atlanta Branch of the NAACP continues to encourage all the citizens of Fulton County and Atlanta to vote “NO” on this particular referendum.
Charter schools are public schools that operate more autonomously than traditional public schools in the use of funds, adherence to state laws and school policies, selection and removal of students, and the selection and removal of staff. Moreover, Georgia already has over 140 charter schools and the state struggles to fund schools that are already operating. These schools draw funding away from already under funded traditional public schools. Georgia has already experienced over 5 billion in austerity cuts for public schools over the last decade.
The NAACP maintains that a State Commission for Charter Schools would dilute voter power and take away local school board control over schools within their jurisdiction. Local school boards should retain control as to when and if charter schools are created. Local boards are most accountable to the people who elect them. Support for Amendment 1 says that elected school board members cannot lead their school districts.
The Atlanta Branch in unison with our national policy is committed to finding broad based, effective solutions for improving the quality of public education for ALL children. Please vote “NO” for Amendment 1 on Election Day, November 6.
Founded in 1909, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization. Its half-million adult and youth members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities and monitor equal opportunity in the public and private sectors. Officers for the Atlanta Branch of the NAACP include: R. L. White, President; Marie Metze, First Vice President; Lindral Rouse, 2nd Vice President; Robert Johnson, 3rd Vice President; Helen Threat, Secretary; and James Stanley, Treasurer.