The Effingham County school board has joined a statewide suit against the Georgia Charter School Commission.
Nine school districts filed the lawsuit against a law giving the Georgia Charter School Commission control over charter school petitions. They are now appealing a decision from the Superior Court of Fulton County that ruled in favor of the Georgia Charter School Commission to the Georgia Supreme Court.
And the Georgia School Boards Association and the Georgia School Superintendents Association are corralling as many districts as possible to join in filing the amicus brief stating the position of the school systems. The Effingham County School system is not joining the lawsuit; it is just lending its support by joining this brief.
Effingham School Superintendent Randy Shearouse pointed out that joining the brief does not cost the Effingham school system anything and clarified that “the lawsuit is not directed against charter schools, and it’s certainly not against a charter concept. Instead, they’re only directed to the specific statutory scheme that allows state schools to be created without local control but yet funded by local dollars.”
Under the current law, if a local board denies a charter school petition, it can bypass the board and be approved by the Georgia Charter School Commission, which is then allotted a share of local tax dollars per student in the district attending the charter school.
Shearouse said that charter schools don’t usually have the same standards and requirements of their students as public schools.
“We can’t give out money, if we’ve got no control over it,” said school board Chairman Lamar Allen.