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Proponents of Opportunity School District and state takeover unveil their TV ad


Opponents of the Opportunity School District rolled out their first TV ad Tuesday. Today, proponents responded in kind, delivering a new TV plea to voters to approve the OSD.

Both sides are escalating the battle over the OSD, which will be decided by voters in November. Championed by Gov. Nathan Deal, the OSD is patterned after state takeover models in New Orleans and Tennessee. The amendment on the ballot would give the state broad new powers to take a school away from a local district if that school has underperformed by Department of Education measures for at least three years. The school could face several options, including being closed, reconstituted or turned over to charter school management.

The model has seen more success in New Orleans, where the school system essentially was reborn after Hurricane Katrina than in Tennessee where there has been more community resistance to takeover and staffing changes.

In this new ad, Georgia's GOP governor lets a Democrat do a lot of the talking. The ad features state Sen. Freddie Powell Sims of Albany, a former educator who backs state takeover.


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Maureen Downey has written editorials and opinion pieces about local, state and federal education policy since the 1990s.