You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks


Welcome to

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on

The list of “chronically failing” schools grows as lawmakers await governor’s plan for the problem

The number of Georgia schools deemed "chronically failing” has grown by 20 percent, according to a new state count.

It comes amid speculation about Gov. Nathan Deal’s plans to confront the problem after his proposed solution, a statewide Opportunity School District that required a constitutional amendment, lost at the polls in November.

There’s been talk of a “plan B” that would require legislative support. Leaders of the state House and Senate offered no details Thursday though they said they supported some kind of action. The legislative session begins Monday. 

"Putting aside all the rhetoric and the debate over the constitutional amendment that we just came through, the fact remains we still have almost 70,000 children in failing schools in Georgia,” Rep. David Ralston, the House speaker, said. “And so what we do about that is going to be important to me, it's going to be important to the House.”

Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, said he’s uncertain what Deal has in mind but said Rep. Kevin Tanner has been working on a bill for a few months. Tanner could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he hadn’t talked with the governor about his plans but said he and the Senate would not ignore the plight of children in failing schools.

“That is not something that is acceptable to me and I don't believe it's acceptable to the members of the Senate,” he said.

Cagle said he supports local control of schools -- a contentious point in November’s referendum that likely played a role in the measure’s defeat since the state would have taken control of failing schools -- but he also believes local school leaders must be held accountable for “a performance level that is satisfactory for every student.”

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement released the new list of schools deemed to have achieved a failing score three years in a row on the Georgia Department of Education’s College and Career Ready Performance Index, a kind of school report card.

The list grew to 153 schools from 127 in 2015, with 13 dropping from the list but 48 performing poorly enough to get added to it.

The schools are in 35 school districts. Three districts have fewer schools on the new list: DeKalb County (two fewer), Bibb County (two fewer) and Muscogee County (one fewer).

Fulton and Chatham counties have the largest increases, with four Fulton schools added to the list and six in Chatham.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Education

Kennesaw State’s African studies major in danger of being cut
Kennesaw State’s African studies major in danger of being cut

Kennesaw State University’s African and African Diaspora Studies degree program could be cut due to lack of graduates, the school confirmed Friday. African studies faculty met Thursday with university officials to discuss the program’s dire situation. In a statement, KSU said all at the meeting agreed to increase efforts to recruit...
Kennesaw State hiring more faculty to meet increasing enrollment
Kennesaw State hiring more faculty to meet increasing enrollment

Kennesaw State University president Sam Olens said Friday his deans are trying to hire more faculty members as the school grapples with its increasing enrollment. The university has hired additional faculty members this school year, he said, in areas such as engineering. Olens said he’s directed his team to hire at least 25 professors...
South Fulton crash victim’s mom: ‘The tears are the ambitions that he had’
South Fulton crash victim’s mom: ‘The tears are the ambitions that he had’

Photos splayed across the dining room table at Elke Velez’s South Fulton County home showed her youngest son, Isaiah Gregory, at various stages of his young life. In many, he wore a football uniform. “Anybody who knows Isaiah knows he loved baseball and basketball,” Velez said, smiling. “He wanted to be in the NFL, wanted...
Deal signs law for charter schools
Deal signs law for charter schools

Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday that helps charter schools by making it easier for them to acquire unused school buildings and improving their access to funding.  House Bill 430 mandates hearings for charter schools that are trying to obtain unused school buildings and ensures they get a proportional share of certain federal...
Deal signs school turnaround legislation, calls it a ‘dramatic step’
Deal signs school turnaround legislation, calls it a ‘dramatic step’

With the stroke of a pen Thursday, Gov. Nathan Deal initiated an experiment that could yield innovative strategies for improving Georgia’s lowest-performing schools or saddle him and future governors with an intractable problem. House Bill 338 was not Deal’s first choice of tools to fix schools. Last year, voters rejected a referendum on...
More Stories