Teacher, Pastor, File Suit Over Language in Charter Schools Amendment

Filed in Atlanta, the lawsuit claims the language is misleading.

Opponents of Amendment 1, which provides for a Charter Schools Commission, have long criticized the language of the ballot itself as misleading.

Senate Democrats criticized the latest move by proponents of a November charter schools ballot amendment today, calling a new ballot preamble "biased, inaccurate and electioneering at its worst."

"As it was written in March, the charter schools question on the November ballot was misleading. The addition of a preamble to the ballot question heightens the inaccuracy," said Senate Democratic Leader Steve Henson of Tucker. "The preamble language adds to the bias and subjectivity of what citizens will be voting on. The language intends to mislead voters in an effort to ensure a specific outcome. This is not democracy."

Now, a Dalton teacher and an Atlanta pastor have filed a lawsuit against Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp, requesting the amendment not to be enforced, even if voters approve it. The suit was filed in Fulton County Superior Court, according to a story in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

The ballot language and a preamble that describes it are “affirmatively and purposely misleading,” says a lawsuit filed by Rev. Timothy McDonald, senior pastor at Atlanta's First Iconium Baptist Church, and teacher Beverly Hedges, who has been teaching for 22 years, according to the story.

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Athens Mama October 30, 2012 at 03:52 PM
I'm for the amendment, as I am for anything that opens the way for more charter schools in Georgia. However, I think that these people are correct in what they are doing. The amendment could not have been worded in any more of a biased way.
MP October 31, 2012 at 01:56 PM
Does anyone find it very odd indeed the opponents WANT the public to just blindly trust the decision making of locally elected board members ("local control"), but then when our locally elected state house officials make decisions, suddenly they want to challenge those decisions AND TAKE AWAY THE VOICE OF THE VOTER AT THE BALLOT BOX? If anyone has the right to a claim, it's the charter sector. The teachers in this state (and parents, too) have been fed more lies than sands on the beach. They've been influenced over and over through avenues that are possibly illegal, but undoubtedly unethical. The onus is on the voter to sift through the information and discern what they believe to be the truth. Personally, I trust that the voter can do this... and I think the other side is afraid this is the case as well.
Margaret Landers November 07, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I am a writer and journalist, well-trained in the interpretation and creation of words and written thoughts, especially those meant to be unbiased. When I read the preamble and the amendment, because of its wording, I was inclined absolutely to approve of the amendment and vote Yes, because I was in favor of education. Luckily, I attended the Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year banquet last week and heard the reality of what some of the the best teachers and the board members of some of best schools in Georgia really think about the amendment: they said vote No. So, I voted contrary to my interpretation of the written preamble.


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