Your Say

On Amendment One to the Georgia Constitution

On Nov. 8 the citizens of Georgia will go to the polls to vote for the next president of the United States. We will also be asked to vote on an amendment to the constitution of Georgia. I have not seen much publicity or pros and cons about this.

I hope that every voter will study the issue, it does apply to you. What happens when the government takes things over? An old saying is that if the government took over deserts there would be a shortage of sand. Maybe that’s so, but then again, there would be no shortage of new taxes to support the bureaucracy that would come along with this amendment.

I go so far as to eliminate all government mandated education requirements, from Washington, D.C. down through county levels. Don’t we have PTA anymore? Where are the parents? Why should some suit in D.C. tell a school in Houston County to teach the same as a school in Allegheny County, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania what and how to teach? The school districts and family programs are more in touch.

If the government wants to improve school problems maybe it should concentrate on the sources of these problems. Many can be called to mind — low pay for teachers, irresponsible parenting, drug culture, heads buried in smart phones, failure of parents and local authorities to improve.

All of these can be improved and can be steps to a better education system in our state. The local people should decide the curriculum. I have been in education a good part of my life and have seen how this idea works. But it has to have support of parents.

If the government is serious about providing a real opportunity for Georgia students, it should be focused on ways to address the out-of-school factors that cause our children to have difficulties learning.

The smaller governments would benefit greatly from this. Rather than mandates from someone who has no idea what it is to live here, or in Chicago or Dallas. The small governments should dictate and ordain what should be taught and how.

The schools belong to each community. They do not belong to outside entities that want to come in and make a profit off of them. I see this as a power grab by bureaucrats and out-of-state special interests. Look at it closely, don’t be swayed by a slick commercial on TV.

I also think it represents an unwarranted, dangerous power grab that deserves overwhelming defeat by the voters of Georgia. If we allow it to be accepted we could be faced with losing our teachers and contracting with opportunistic, for-profit charter companies anxious to gorge on our taxpayer dollars. See how well that works out.

I have no children in the local school system. I do have grandsons in other districts. To reiterate, I do not want a one size fits all school system. It is ungainly, unaffordable and I believe it to be unconstitutional under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.

“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Going back through the Constitution I see no power to regulate or even establish education.

Of course there are opposing views to what I have said and I hope to hear them from well thought out arguments in favor. I hope to keep this on a level and square topic of conversation.

James Huber is a resident of Centerville.