Charter school amendment supporters ask judge for injunction - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Charter school amendment supporters ask judge for injunction

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GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. -

Another courtroom battle centering on the hotly debated charter schools amendment in Georgia took place on Wednesday. Supporters of the proposed constitutional amendment asked a judge to take action against the Gwinnett County school district and the Georgia School Board Association.

The plaintiffs charge that public school officials have improperly used taxpayer resources to oppose it.

"If public employees want to campaign, they need to do so on their personal time. The statutes and constitutional provisions that applies to school districts makes that even clearer because the use of school funds can only be used for education purposes," said Josh Belinfante, the plaintiff's attorney.

The school system and the association contend that they did nothing wrong with tax dollars. They argue that they have a right and a duty to express their opinion.

"We certainly that an injunction entered by the court with no evidence to support it would be an infringement on the First Amendment rights of the School Board Association, of the Gwinnett County school district, all the employees of the Gwinnett County school district and frankly, the citizens of the state in that it would shut down the debate of one side on this important issue," said Phillip Hartley, the School Board Association's attorney.

The judge said he would issue a ruling at a later date.

The proposed amendment would give the state more authority to create charter schools. Opponents say remaining public schools would be damaged as a result.

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