State board of education supports school takeover amendment


Local school boards have been adopting resolutions against a constitutional amendment to allow the state to take over “failing” schools, but now the state board of education has taken its own stand — in favor of it.

When the dozen members of Georgia Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday for a resolution that supports the Opportunity School District, they created a media moment for those for and against the measure.

The new resolution says the amendment backed by Gov. Nathan Deal will establish state authority to help students “trapped in failing schools.”

The main group supporting the amendment quickly hailed the vote. Opportunity for all Georgia Students, Inc. is linked to Deal through former staffer Tom Willis, and the group sent a message quoting the governor as saying the state board of education “is taking a stand against the failing status quo.”

By then, opponents of the measure were declaiming the state board’s vote, with the coalition group Keep Georgia Schools Local saying the state board members were telling parents they “support gutting local control of our schools.”

One liberal foil to the Deal administration, Better Georgia, noted that the state board members are appointed by Deal, and said it’s no surprise they decided to publicly back his Amendment 1, which voters will see on their ballots Nov. 8. “Today’s resolution is nothing more than political appointees beholden to the governor doing his bidding,” the group said.


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