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.

Disagreement over who should control Georgia’s school turnaround work


Georgia’s elected school superintendent argues that he should be in the middle of any major school turnaround effort as lawmakers consider a bill that focuses on struggling schools.

House Bill 338 by Rep. Kevin Tanner, R-Dawsonville, passed the House last week and is now up for debate in the Senate. It creates the position of “Chief Turnaround Officer,” overseeing state intervention in the lowest-performing schools.

Tanner chose to have the officer report to the state Board of Education, which is appointed by the governor, rather than to the state superintendent, who is elected. Asked why at a hearing of the Senate Education and Youth Committee Monday, Tanner said it’s because the board sets policy for the state Department of Education.

“So the real power base is with that state board,” he said.

But the superintendent is in charge of the education department and its staff of roughly 600. They have deep experience and direct access to funding. Richard Woods, the superintendent, said the turnaround chief would be better off reporting to him.

“Having this individual fully incorporated with the structure of DOE is very imperative,” Woods said.

The hearing was cut short and will resume Friday, with Woods and nearly a dozen others scheduled to testify.

HB 338 is what some have referred to as “Plan B” for the Opportunity School District proposal, which was struck down by voters in a referendum in November.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Education

Proposed $2.1 billion Gwinnett school budget to spending on teachers
Proposed $2.1 billion Gwinnett school budget to spending on teachers

Gwinnett County school officials on Saturday unveiled its proposed budget for the next school year, a $2.1 billion plan that would increase pay for all employees, add help for its special education programs and fund rising employee health insurance costs. The budget would increase spending by about 1.8 percent from the current spending plan. Much of...
‘Chronically failing’ schools now Georgia’s ‘first priority’
‘Chronically failing’ schools now Georgia’s ‘first priority’

Georgia lawmakers, conscious of voters’ overwhelming rejection last year of Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed state takeover of “chronically failing” schools, are seeking a kinder and gentler way for the state to intervene. The term of art now, “turnaround,” appears 84 times in House Bill 338, approved by a 2-1 margin...
Bill aims to add Gwinnett school board members to add racial diversity
Bill aims to add Gwinnett school board members to add racial diversity

A Gwinnett County state lawmaker introduced legislation that would expand its school board from five to seven members, an effort to create racial diversity on a governing body which is entirely white. Rep. Pedro Marin, a Democrat from Duluth, introduced the legislation, House Bill 622, Wednesday. Marin proposed similar legislation earlier this month...
Georgia Senate approves amended school turnaround bill
Georgia Senate approves amended school turnaround bill

The Georgia Senate on Friday approved legislation that empowers the state to intervene in the lowest-performing schools. House Bill 338 requires that school districts authorize intervention or face financial consequences associated with the “flexibility” contracts they’ve signed with the Georgia Department of Education. Intervention...
Senate maneuver tries to get HOPE priority into law
Senate maneuver tries to get HOPE priority into law

The Georgia Senate tried a legislative maneuver Friday to get one of their priorities into law. Senate Bill 5 squeezes the Georgia Lottery to produce more proceeds for education programs like the HOPE Scholarship. The bill wasn’t moving in the House of Representatives, so senators attached the legislation as an amendment to House Bill...
More Stories