Georgia Charter Law Faces Legal Fight

Last Updated: November 27, 2012

This article appeared in the November 2012 Rural Policy Matters.

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Fifty-nine percent of Georgia voters approved a constitutional amendment that will create a new statewide chartering entity in the state. However, a lawsuit is underway challenging the language used to describe the amendment on the ballot as “misleading.”

Campaigning around the issue was fierce, with public officials being sharply criticized for taking positions and millions of dollars of out-of-state donations being made to support the amendment. (See previous RSFN coverage here.)

Just before the election, teacher Beverly Hedges of Dalton and Atlanta minister Timothy McDonald filed a lawsuit against Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Governor Casey Cagel, and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp claiming that they mislead voters with the language used on the ballot. The question read: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?” However, both the state and local districts already had the authority to approve charter schools.

The Georgia Legislative Black Caucus has also joined the suit. The lawsuit asks a Fulton County court to declare the language constitutionally improper and stop enforcement of the amendment.

Read more:

Coverage of the amendment ballot results:

Coverage of the lawsuit:


Read more from the November 2012 Rural Policy Matters.