Vote to approve Ga. charter school amendment may not be final

News 12 First at Five / Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The state of Georgia now has more power when it comes to the creation of charter schools in your community.

Voters approved a constitutional amendment with 59 percent of the vote on Election Day, but this may not be the end of the road.

A lawsuit has been filed against the amendment.

"There is a lawsuit pending and that work will continue because people are still concerned," said Sen. Hardie Davis.

Davis fought in favor of the amendment and took a lot of heat for it.

"I don't think it's appropriate for anyone to try to disparage or demonize the position that I took as it relates to charter schools," he said.

Monique Braswell, president of the Richmond County PTA, said, "It's giving the board less power, it makes you think the parents have more power, we have no power with the changing of this constitutional amendment."

Many parents and school leaders opposed to the amendment aren't even sure voters realized what they were voting for.

"The wording was definitely misleading," Braswell said.

The official ballot said the amendment: "Provides for improving student achievement and parental involvement through more public charter school options."

Many argue the wording makes the voter feel guilty for voting "no."

Rep. Wayne Howard voted no to the amendment saying, "The people spoke and they voted, but there was a lot of money spent by out-of-state profit companies to promote this."

But, despite the decision, leaders agree it's time to come together and make this thing work.

"Now, we as parents along with the Board of Education, have to find a way to improve our Board of Education system," Braswell said.

A majority of voters in both Richmond and Columbia counties voted "yes" on the amendment, while the majority in our outlying counties voted "no."

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