You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myAJC.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

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

X

Welcome to myAJC.com

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 myAJC.com.

OPINION: Latest school takeover plan should be rejected too


A vote by legislators in the state House of Representatives demonstrated contempt and a lack of regard for the will of Georgia’s citizens.

Last November, nearly 60 percent of voters around the state shot down Amendment 1 — a ballot initiative that would have given the governor unprecedented authority to take over local school districts and created the state-run Opportunity School District.

That hasn’t stopped lawmakers in the House from trying to make an end-run around voters by passing another bill — House Bill 338 — that is, in essence, identical to Amendment 1.

Equally disturbing is the fact that Gov. Nathan Deal, who has said publicly that he is undeterred by the vote last November, is discounting the desires of the people he is sworn to represent.

Like Amendment 1, HB 338 would take away local control of local school districts that subjectively are labeled as failing and hand them over to the state. And like the amendment rejected by voters last fall, the new proposal likely is just another power grab to take over public schools and hand them over to privately operated, but publicly funded, charter schools.

This is yet another attempt by out-of-touch politicians aligned with corporate education interests to take another bite at the reform-by-privatization-scheme apple.

Georgia’s citizens, especially our students, deserve the promise of a great public education. Ensuring real opportunity for all of our children means giving schools the resources and supports students need to succeed.

That is why the Georgia Federation of Teachers supports the the Community Schools Bill, Senate Bill 30, which passed unanimously in the Senate Education Committee. This bill recognizes that children and their families must be supported — with services that meet their academic, social, emotional and health needs — in order for students to become successful learners.

The issues raised in HB 338 already have been litigated and decided by Georgia’s voters, who chose in November to protect and support our neighborhood public schools by killing Amendment 1.

But Georgia’s voters must, again, let lawmakers know that we demand that they keep the “public” in public education. It’s up to us to contact our senators and urge them to vote “No” on HB 338.

Gov. Deal and lawmakers need to honor the will of citizens and show Georgia voters some respect.

Verdaillia Turner is the president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers and Atlanta Federation of Teachers.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

Opinion: A bully to the weak, a courtier to the strong
Opinion: A bully to the weak, a courtier to the strong

[youtube=] Watch the bullying, both physical and rhetorical, committed by Donald Trump at the NATO summit, publicly insulting nations and people who have long been our allies.
Opinion: Why rural Georgia’s plight matters to those living in the big city
Opinion: Why rural Georgia’s plight matters to those living in the big city

A farmer in Sylvania, Georgia, applies weed control to his corn field. (AJC Photo / Hyosub Shin) TIFTON — The latest bid to shore up rural Georgia is under way, and some urban-dwellers might be asking: Why?
Opinion: Help rural Georgia? What’s in it for the rest of us?

TIFTON — The latest bid to shore up rural Georgia is under way, and some urban-dwellers might be asking: Why? Not only because previous efforts have failed, or because the skeptics are more than a generation or two removed from the farm. No, they may be genuinely, benignly curious why state lawmakers should step forward like modern-day King Canutes...
Opinion: Biggest scam in U.S. history

This may shock you, but politicians of both parties sometimes … well, they exaggerate. They make campaign promises that they suspect or even know that they won’t be able to keep. The more cynical of the breed have no intention of even trying. But never in the course of American history have we seen something on this scale. Donald Trump...
Collins: Trump Can’t Add Things

We’re now getting a feel for what it was like to work in a business run by Donald Trump. His budget is out, and it predicts we will have super-duper, excellent, great — no, huge — economic growth based on monster tax cuts for the rich and cuts in spending that will leave the poor with no money to buy anything. It was produced in concert...
More Stories