Thursday, September 6, 2012

National PTA Embraces More Educational Options; At Odds with Georgia Chapter

The national Parent Teacher Association (PTA) took a significant step forward in embracing additional educational options when the group recently amended its policy to support all entities to have the ability to approve high-quality charter schools.  A change from just supporting charter schools approved by local school boards, the PTA recognizes that nearly half of all charter schools across the country are approved by non-school board entities.

The board of directors of the National PTA adopted the measures—the first change in policy since 1995—last month.  The new policy wants its support to “extend to all authorizing bodies and public charter schools,” as long as they meet high standards.  With more than five million members, this pledge to ensure that children have access to more educational options is a step that should be applauded by parents, teachers, and educational reforms.

But not everyone in the PTA is happy.

The Georgia chapter of the PTA does not agree with this new policy—and in fact, is actively working to ensure that Georgia does not reinstate a critical state authorizing board of charter schools.

More focused on keeping education at the local level, than on ensuring that children attend the school that best fits their individual needs, the Georgia PTA is opposing an amendment to the state constitution that voters will decide the fate of this November.

Reestablishing the Commission would significantly strengthen the educational options in Georgia, a state that currently educates more than 48,000 children in charter schools and more than 11,000 children in two publicly funded private school choice programs.

School Choice Now! applauds the work of the National Parent Teacher Association on promoting more educational options for children.  Let’s hope the Georgia chapter can get on board because high-quality options are a benefit to both parents and teachers—which is what the Parent Teacher Association should be all about.

To check out some organizations that support the ballot initiative, visit Brighter Georgia Education Coalition and Families for Better Public Schools.

- American Federation for Children | Alliance for School Choice, MSG

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