Statement from J. Alvin Wilbanks, CEO/Superintendent of Gwinnett County Public Schools Regarding Approval of Amendment 1
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 6, 2012 |
Even though tonight’s outcome is not what we had hoped for regarding Amendment 1, the focus on education has been extraordinary. We now hope that the energy and effort this campaign generated will be applied where it matters most – to advocating for restoring full funding for Georgia’s public schools so all our children can have a quality education.
The intentionally misleading ballot language, the massive amounts of money that poured in from out of state companies to promote the amendment, and the brazen attempts to silence the opposing voices were too much for our significantly less-well-funded grassroots campaign to overcome. In the end, the voters have spoken and we respect their decision. We congratulate those who supported the passage of Amendment 1, but at the same time continue to believe that their agenda is not in the best interest of students and public education in this state.
It had been our hope that we would defeat Amendment 1 and then work with the state on developing more effective ways to address the challenges Georgia’s schools face… challenges such as the severe lack of state funding that has financially crippled many of our schools. We are disappointed that with the passage of Amendment 1 the state, rather than being our partner, has become our opponent in the all-important work of educating the state’s children.
I do need to thank those many Georgians who with their “no” votes rejected the efforts by some to privatize, defund, and dismantle public education. We appreciate your support.
Tomorrow we will begin again to focus on securing the funding our schools need to provide an educational program that will serve Georgia’s students well and prepare them to be competitive on the world stage. We will continue to establish and support high-quality charter schools approved by our local board of education. And we will continue to be optimistic that the state’s leaders will once again value the public schools that educate the vast majority of the state’s children.