Gov. Deal Submits Nominations for State Charter Schools Commission
Georgia’s top leaders have selected the names of those who could potentially serve on the State Charter Schools Commission. The commission will ultimately be approved by the Georgia Board of Education and is being reestablished after a constitutional amendment that was approved by voters in November.
The commission, along with the Georgia Board of Education, can create and authorize charter schools after they’ve been turned down by local boards of education. 14 nominees have been submitted to the State Board by Gov. Deal, Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle and the House Speaker David Ralston.
Those on the governor’s list include: former Georgia Charter Schools Commission member and former University of Georgia President Charles Knapp; attorney Jennifer Rippner, a former educational advisor to Governor Sonny Perdue; and Tony Lowden, the executive director of an afterschool enrichment program for at-risk kids in Macon.
Gov. Deal says he carefully selected the nominees.
“I wanted people who were familiar with the issue, folks who were familiar with the importance of quality education in our state, and the individuals whose names I’ve submitted fit that criteria.”
Lieutenant Gov. Casey Cagle’s list includes: Sandy Springs Mayor and charter school supporter Eva Galambos and former charter schools commission member BJ Van Gundy.
House Speaker David Ralston still needs to submit two more names, but so far he’s tapped former state board of education member Jose Perez and former Georgia Department of Education employee and interim director for charter school James E. Hogg.
Democratic State Representative and charter school amendment supporter Alisha Thomas Morgan is pleased with the list.
“They are very much aligned with the conversations that I’ve been a part of, which is to ensure that the nominees represent a cross section of the state, in terms of racial diversity, geographic diversity, political diversity. ... What was pleasing to see is that there were not political appointees, but people who are serious in education.”
Charter school opponents declined to comment or did not respond by airtime. The state board of education is expected to vote on the nominees next Thursday. The Board will select seven members: three from the governor, two from the lieutenant governor and two from House speaker David Ralston’s list.