Gilmer County joined the state in approving the charter amendment referendum in last night’s election.
Voters in Gilmer County approved the amendment with 54.10 percent, while 45.90 percent voted against the measure. Similarly, the state voted 58.54 percent for the amendment, while 41.46 percent voted against. The passage of the referendum seems to clear the path for Oakland Academy Charter School (OACS).
Previously, OACS was denied several times by the BOE. Now, though, the new amendment to the state constitution will allow an appointed state charter commission in Atlanta to approve charter school applications otherwise denied by local school boards, which bodes well for OACS. Further, though, three school board members were voted-out in the July election, all of whom were part of the board that denied OACS’ application. James Waters replaced Michael Parks for the post one position; James Parmer replaced Chairperson Kathy W. Jones for post two, and Angie Thomas replaced Foster MacArthur for post three. The new board seems to be more charter-school friendly--post one elect, James Parmer is a former principal of Oakland Elementary School, which was the school that closed and was reformed as OACS. So, either way it seems that OACS chances of approval have increased over the last four months.
A majority of Gilmer County also voted for Republican Candidate Doug Collins for the ninth district congressional seat, giving him 78.94 percent of the vote and his opponent, Democrat Jody Cooley. 21.06.
And, despite his national defeat, Mitt Romney won 81.03 in Gilmer County, while Obama won 17.76 percent and Libertarian Candidate Gary Johnson won 1.21.