GA PTA Back to School Advocacy
by Karen Hallacy on 8/20/2012





Advocating for every child

August 20, 2012


Advocacy is a year round activity for everyone
Some of you are busy with the start of school in your local school district, getting back into the routine of putting your children on school buses every day, some are busy launching children at college and some are focused elsewhere with children successfully employed after college. Regardless of where your children are, advocacy for children doesn’t end. Like Dr. Seuss's Lorax who speaks for the trees because the trees have no voice, adults, regardless of the age of their children, must speak up and stay engaged on issues affecting our youth.
2012 Advocacy Conference
This fall, GA PTA will again provide an opportunity for members to become educated about legislative issues at its annual Advocacy Conference on Sept. 28. Mark your calendars and plan to spend a day downtown becoming knowledgeable advocates. More details will soon be available on the GA PTA website.
GA PTA strongly opposes the constitutional amendment to authorize state controlled charter schools
Now that the primary election is out of the way and school is in session, attention is turning to the vote on the constitutional amendment in November regarding charter schools. This is not a vote about existing locally authorized charter schools. This is not a vote about conversion charter schools or charter systems. Those schools can already be authorized by local school boards. This is a state power grab to allow a commission of unelected individuals who are accountable to no one the power to approve charter schools at the expense of local school systems. Those state authorized charter schools will siphon money from your local schools. As Superintendent Barge so eloquently stated “this constitutional amendment would direct taxpayer dollars into the pockets of out-of-state, for-profit charter school companies whose schools perform no better than traditional public schools and locally approved charter schools (and worse, in some cases). Until all of our public school students are in school for a full 180-day school year, until essential services like student transportation and student support can return to effective levels, and until teachers regain jobs with full pay for a full school year, we should not redirect one more dollar away from Georgia’s local school districts.”  GA PTA supports locally authorized charter schools but opposes this constitutional amendment. We urge you to vote NO in November and to get the word out on the damage this amendment would do to public education. More information is available at 
Suggested Fall Activity: Invite your local politician to school
This fall is an excellent time to invite your elected officials to spend a day in your school as a guest principal or teacher. The more they experience daily life at school, the more sensitive they will be when making decisions involving education. Our goal is for every elected state official to spend a day at school before the legislative session starts in January. Please be mindful of election year politics and only invite unopposed officials or wait until after the November election to invite officials with election opposition. Work with your school’s principal to start the process now!