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4. Screw the Teachers, Let’s Start Our Own School
Washington is yet again a state to watch—marijuana, gay marriage, and charter schools. Initiative 1240 would allow 40 charter schools to be opened in the state over the next five years. Washington is one of eight states that currently don’t have any charter schools. A mid-October poll has the charter school initiative ahead 47.5 percent to 39.2 percent among voters.
In Georgia, a charter school initiative would amend the state’s constitution to give the state the authority to establish special schools and charter schools. Unlike Washington, Georgia does permit charter schools, but local school boards have the authority to reject charter petitions. Amendment 1 would create a commission that could essentially overrule the objections, but would not interfere with local school boards approving charter schools on their own.
Georgia’s charter school initiative is currently leading in polls 47 percent to 37 percent. Interestingly, as Mark Rountree of Peach Pundit notes, the younger the voter is, the more likely he or she supports the initiative, and political party affiliation is not a factor.
Given how little difference in policy positions separate President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney, the ballot initiatives are where many of the real political issues will be hammered out in this election. Isn’t it notable how little these issues bubbled up into the presidential campaigns?