5 taxpayers file lawsuit against Ga. school districts - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

5 taxpayers file lawsuit against Ga. school districts

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Five Georgia taxpayers have sued 180 school districts in the state, accusing them of working to defeat the November 6 charter school ballot amendment on the public's dime. The amendment would allow the state to create a new board that could then pick private organizations to run charter schools, paid for by taxpayers.

The five plaintiffs simply refer to themselves as concerned Georgia taxpayers.  Their attorney says they haven't all said if they support or oppose the charter school amendment, but they filed a lawsuit against what they call the "education empire" in Georgia.  

Charter schools have become a hot-button issue in the state since lawmakers scheduled a charter school amendment on the November ballot.  The schools are popular with their students and parents, but educators fear they will take public funding away from traditional public schools.  

Now, the group of five Georgia taxpayers claims school officials have used public dollars to campaign against the amendment.      

Attorney Glenn Delk represents the group who filed suit on Monday.  He says his clients don't have a problem with school officials expressing their 1st Amendment rights.  They just have a problem with the way they're doing it.  

"What they're not entitled to do, as the state attorney general said last week, is they're not entitled to use taxpayer resources to oppose the amendment or oppose the amendment," Delk told FOX 5.

Attorney General Sam Olens wrote an opinion letter last week, saying school districts could not use tax dollars to campaign against the amendment.  Delk says his clients didn't sue the state superintendent and board because they followed Olens' ruling and stopped their activities.

"But the local districts haven't taken corrective action, and so we've asked a superior court judge in Fulton County to issue an injunction against them," Delk said.

The first hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon in Fulton County Superior Court.

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