Category: A - Newsbreaks
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May 16--  The Georgia Supreme Court decision abolishing the state's Charter School Commission is a step backward according to the President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate, Senator Tommie Williams of Lyons.

The court's decision prohibits the state from funding charter schools created without the approval of local and state school boards.

"Charter schools are 20 percent cheaper to operate and have 20 percent better results overall.  Why we would want to go backward to the status quo is beyond me.  What we need are fairly drastic reforms and the status quo is 'send us more money and we'll do a better job," the senator says.

Senator Williams says the decision will close from 15 to 20 charter schools and "is a step backwards."

He believes the legislature may be willing to put a constitutional amendment to a vote by the people to overcome the court ruling and says some Democrats will be willing to join Republicans to make it happen.

"We do have Democrats who now realize that the public schools in certain districts have failed them.  They're looking for vouchers or some other hope to help educate their kids.  Some of these charter schools are actually in economically-disadvantaged districts and I think we can get the votes to pass a constitutional amendment," Senator Williams says.