Olens was pressed on those questions Thursday.
“Some questions, like whether certain groups have broken the law, I can’t answer because they are fact-intensive questions, and I don’t have the facts,” Olens said. “I’m not going to get into answering hypothetical questions about what does and doesn’t violate the law when I have an active matter on the issue.”
Olens said he will send another letter to Barge in the next week or two that should offer some clarity about the actions of the school boards.
School board members say they were elected to express their views on matters of public importance. Phil Hartley, an attorney whose firm represents many school boards, said several of their anti-amendment resolutions stop short of urging voters to take a position.
Indeed, the chairwoman of one of Hartley’s clients, the Douglas County School Board, recently reminded a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her board’s resolution, passed by a 4-1 vote Monday night, did not ask voters to take a position.
The charter schools amendment, if ratified by voters in November, would clarify the state’s power to authorize charter schools and would create a state commission to consider applications for them.
Many traditional public school officials vehemently oppose it, arguing that more charter schools would mean less funding for traditional public schools. Supporters counter that the state needs more charter schools to provide choices to parents whose children attend failing traditional public schools.