Georgia PTA: State takeover of schools would silence parents

The governor is at odds with Georgia PTA over his proposal to take over failing schools. In a strong statement this week, the president of the statewide PTA condemned Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District, which will be decided by voters in November. The OSD question will be Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The PTA contends other school takeover districts have not been successful. And the design of the plan - the schools taken over by the state are put under the control of a superintendent appointed by the governor — cuts out parents and the locally elected boards of education.

“PTA engages parents and the larger community to support children. Amendment 1 circumvents the parents, community, and local school board to implement the appointed superintendent’s plan. This does not increase community involvement; it diminishes it. We want parents to be an active, respected voice in their schools. Amendment 1 could effectively silence parents,” said Georgia PTA president Lisa-Marie Haygood, a Cherokee County parent.

Deal has been pushing the OSD, mostly recently in a speech where he criticized the opposition for supporting failure and the status quo, which did not sit well with Georgia PTA.

“At a recent education conference, the governor stated that if opponents of his takeover plan really cared about our children, we would be fixing our schools instead of fighting his constitutional amendment. This sentiment is incredibly insulting to the hundreds of thousands of hardworking parents who strive every day to ensure their children receive the best possible education: parents who work multiple jobs so their children will be able to eat; parents who take precious time off from work to attend parent-teacher conferences or to read to their child’s class; parents who will lose their voice because the appointed OSD Superintendent is not accountable to them and therefore does not have to listen,” says Haygood.

To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.

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