By Joel Williams
Atlanta, Georgia: The 2012 Georgia Charter Schools Amendment passed this November 58% to 41%. The controversial ballot measure lets the state board of education establish charter schools independently of local school boards, while still allowing the local boards to establish their own charter schools. The constitutional amendment is the culmination of many years of intense political discussion and fighting over whether a state board can approve charter schools against the wishes of a local school board. Although the Georgia legislature initially created the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to create charter schools throughout the state, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled the commission unconstitutional in 2011. Those who supported the commission and the state's ability to create charter schools devised this amendment to change the constitution and thus make the Georgia Charter Schools Commission constitutional.