"The provision of an adequate education for the citizens shall be a primary obligation of the State of Georgia, the expense of which shall be provided for by taxation."We're not here to quibble over "adequate" nor will we remark on how one might parse "citizens" to exclude non-citizens. This is about an upcoming opportunity for the Georgians to amend the constitution to allow the State a new mechanism by which State taxation can be used to provide an adequate education.
This can be viewed as a supplement to the well-entrenched system now in place that uses State funding along with local and Federal monies to take their bite at the education apple. Many, some say far too many, make a living on this system and they vehemently disagree as they are not willingly to relinquish any money nor the power it provides. The State, which carries the constitutional mandate, is offering taxpayers the opportunity to tell their local school system "it ain't adequate", and if they so choose to petition the State to establish a school a bit more "local" than the current district provides.
While it is true that the State could, even without the amendment, authorize charter schools "independent" of the local districts, the authorizing office represents the superintendents more than the citizens and some have questioned just how "independent" that office really is. Recent statements from that office only fan the flames.
For decades the entrenched education establishment has struggled to create a positive impression but has been unable to evade ingrained corruption, scandals and indictments. The character, capabilities and philosophies permeating this industry, from the preparatory colleges, to post employment training, to textbook industry, to ancillary services (building, busing, etc.), to the very classroom itself have created a system that is all, and now only, about the money. While this is foundational, the duration of the status quo combined with the procession of incestuous generations of "educators" has created a culture of entitlement so powerful that corruption is pervasive: cheating in the classroom, textbook kickbacks, inexplicable IT operations, and unseemly diversion of contract funds. It goes on and on.
Ironically, in the one part of our society that seems to flit from experiment to experiment as if after hundreds of years they've not quite figured out how to teach children arithmetic, we have the one proposal that would otherwise fit the "we must try SOMETHING" paradigm except for one thing--money. Simply because of ego clashes over which appointed bureaucrat or out of touch politician gets to control OUR money this becomes the educational beach to die on. It is an undignified squabble that should be, but is not, beneath both parties.
Woodrow Wilson, Paul Sayre and Henry Kissinger have at one time or another observed "that one of the reasons academic infighting is so vicious is that the stakes are so small." The argument over which corruptible entity is most accountable and to whom seems to be a rather small issue in the context of our society's growing ignorance, illiteracy and innumeracy.