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Here are excerpts from recent editorials in Georgia newspapers:



The Macon Telegraph on fair treatment for charter schools

Making charter schools a readily available choice rather than a novelty across Georgia is taking all the persuasion and pressure Gov. Roy Barnes can exert. To say most local school boards are cool to them is an understatement.

What's not to like about a school established by a local group to fill an instructional niche the public school system has left open? What's wrong with a school's using curriculum items and teaching techniques that aren't considered feasible for mainstream schools? What's the problem with its freedom from bureaucratic state requirements that constrain the average public school? ...

The positive possibilities of charter schools, providing constructive competition within the system arising from grass-roots demand, should far outweigh the fears and jealousies they arouse. Barnes' 2000 reform bill allowed the state board of education to approve schools rejected by local boards, and this year's bill should establish machinery to ensure reasonable financing as well.

Whether local government would be required to fund them to a certain level or to abide by the results of a local referendum on giving them the same funding as regular schools, assuring adequate financial support for these public schools is an essential step towards stronger public education in Georgia.



The Statesboro Herald on redistricting dispute

Something stinks about the Democratic Legislature's argument in federal court to try and keep the 2002 redistricting maps intact.

In fact, it stinks so bad it reminds us of the days when Jim Crow laws ruled the Southern landscape and when oppression of those whose skin was any other color than "white" was king.

We take great exception to attorney David Walbert's words to U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan and his two colleagues that to the black community "obtaining a Democratic majority in the General Assembly is of critical importance."

Says who, Mr. Walbert? The Democrats who drew up the gerrymandering maps with the sole purpose of diluting the Republican vote in the state House and Senate?

We are supposed to believe that these individuals know that most black voters care more about the issues advocated in the Legislature than the color of their own lawmaker's skin? How do you know that, Mr. Walbert?

How do you and all of those state lawmakers you represent know -- for a fact -- that those in any minority group in Georgia would not like to have the opportunity elect someone whose racial background is similar to theirs if given the chance?

The real problem, as we see it, Mr. Walbert, is that the districts that your clients drew denies everyone -- regardless of race, creed, or color -- a fair shake at electing anyone who doesn't have a donkey embroidered on his or her shirt.



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