Georgia Voters Say No to State Takeover of Schools
On November 08, 2016, 60 percent of Georgia voters who voted on Amendment 1, “Georgia Authorization of the State Government to Intervene in Failing Local Schools,” said no thanks.
As the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
The amendment would have established a statewide Opportunity School District to be run by a new state agency with authority to take schools deemed to be “chronically failing” from the control of local school boards.
Polling before the election showed strong opposition by Republicans and Democrats, as likely voters said they didn’t want to surrender local control of schools.
Gov. Nathan Deal pushed the referendum through the General Assembly last year, passing it with strong Republican support. He then campaigned for it….
The Opportunity district was designed to take not only schools but also the federal, state and local tax dollars supporting them. Opponents complained that the proposal was almost exclusively about changing management structures….
Deal had backing from out-of-state charter school advocates. Members of the the Walton family of Wal-Mart fame gave $400,000 to Amendment 1 supporters. The committee working to pass it had raised $2.6 million as of late October, including $1.4 million from Georgia Leads, a fund pushing Deal’s agenda that doesn’t disclose its donors.
Passage would have empowered Deal to pick a new superintendent with broad authority to select schools for takeover and to decide what to do with them …
The governor’s new superintendent could have handed local operations to for-profit charter school companies. That galvanized opposition.
And so it should.