Commenters on the AJC Get Schooled blog were largely incensed at Atlanta school chief Erroll Davis’ position that APS should not approve any new charter schools while the Georgia Supreme Court considers whether charters should have to contribute to paying off an old pension liability of more than $500 million. The school board disagreed with Davis — most readers did, too — and approved a charter last week. Here’s a sampling of reader comments:
TryReason: Too often, people automatically line up on one side or the other on the issue of charter schools because they have the impression they are either universally better or universally worse than traditional public schools. Those people should actually be looking much closer, past the label of “charter school,” to see whether the particular instructional model a specific charter school employs is effective, because each charter school is unique in that respect.
Living: APS is being grossly mismanaged. They are in violation of statutes by not approving charter schools if they meet legal requirements and are in the public interest.
Redherring: APS is funded with taxpayer dollars and should not be able to block approved charter schools based on not being able to pay pension liabilities. If we get back to staffing school administrations at normal levels and get the cost per student more in line with charter school costs, then perhaps we can fund teacher pensions more fully. This is not a problem strictly for Georgia, as it’s happening all across the country. The cow (taxpayers) has about run out of milk (money), so just raising taxes again and again will not work. See Detroit.
Lil: Our children’s education is too important to allow this phony controversy to delay opening more charter schools.
ACN: Ideally, charter schools should be undocked from the APS system and run as an independent system without sucking the lifeblood of APS, which is just emerging from its own struggles. Recently, APS bus drivers voiced concerns on behalf of themselves and other front-line employees about their thankless service rendered without appreciation, recognition or living-cost increases for over the previous seven years. In fact, furlough days have left individual wages lowered by as much as 10 percent. Well done, Errol Davis. No more irresponsible, financially burdening proposals, charter schools or traditional. Or any other, for that matter. Keep up the good work, superintendent.
Broch: Superintendent Davis is doing everything to keep the lid on the kettle; it doesn’t have to be true or logical for him to try it. He’s waiting to get off the merry-go-round at a point where he can get his pension and run. It’s similar to what the Detroit emergency manager said about city workers and their pensions. They want everything they can get and don’t care as long as someone else has to pay for it.
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