Charter school supporters claimed a first-round victory late in their fight to override last year's Georgia Supreme Court ruling, declaring that the state cannot approve and fund charter schools over local school board objections.
"We're very pleased. It's been in the works since the court decision," Tony Roberts, president of the Georgia Charter School Association, said after House Education Committee members voted 15-6 in favor of the constitutional amendment.
The amendment, House Resolution 1162, would give the state the power to approve charter schools, just as the Georgia Charter School Commission did before it was declared unconstitutional by the court last May. It is on the fast-track to the full House, having been introduced only last week. But, it still faces several hurdles.
The amendment must pass by a two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate before it can go before voters, most likely in November.
School superintendents and school boards have been lobbying against the measure and seemed unswayed by some last-minute changes to the amendment, which Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton said, temporarily took off the table the issue of funding.
Jones, the amendment's chief sponsor, also is a member of the education committee.