Georgia Charter School Referendum Ballot Committee
 September 2012   


On the November ballot, voters across Georgia will vote on a referendum concerning charter school authorization.
 The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement reports for 2011:

  • State charter schools outperform their attendance district system schools in 4 of 5 subject areas.
  • The one high school that is a state approved charter had a 26 1/2%  higher graduation rate than the county high school in the same attendance zone and 30% higher than GA average graduation rate.

Why do we need another authorizer of charter schools?
When only local boards could approve charters, they didn’t. Most states (39) have an alternate authorizer.
On the bright side, the Governor and most of the legislators are behind passage. The GA Chamber is in favor. As of July, the polls looked good.
How could it possibly lose? Misinformation, scare tactics, and voter tendencies.

  • The July poll was taken while school was not in session, and before the defenders of the status quo got organized to fight it. 
  • Now that school is in session, parents and teachers are being subjected to scare tactics in regards to this amendment. 
  • Voter tendency, when faced with an unsure situation, is usually to vote No. 

Besides the fact that charter schools can help Georgia students now stuck in failing schools have options, this vote has national implications for the charter school movement specifically and the school choice movement generally. A win here would send a great message to parents and legislators everywhere.
Our job is to use the tools at our disposal to shore up the Yes votes. We have a modest budget prepared for our ballot committee and are working in cooperation with another “Yes” ballot committee to make sure we don’t duplicate efforts. AFPGA will have a strong ground game, utilizing volunteers, many of whom are AFP members, some who are charter school parents. We plan media buys in conservative radio markets in metro Atlanta, and possibly some in smaller markets. We also plan targeted mailing to undecided conservative voters in areas where AFP is strongest, which includes metro Atlanta and north. Another portion is allocated for pushcards to be taken door to door and distributed at various fairs and festivals, and contingencies – like newspaper ads to counter negative messaging.
To help with this effort, please contact Americans For Prosperity GA Director, Virginia Galloway