Note to governor: Opposing state takeover doesn’t mean you support failing schools

The 2 percent raise was calculated on a lower pay scale than some metro districts use for their teachers. (AJC File)

Georgia educator Bryan Stephens sent me a note about the governor’s comments Thursday about teacher raises and the Opportunity School District; Nathan Deal’s comments sparked a lot of controversy.

I appreciated Stephens’ viewpoint  because he’s in the trenches as a director of finance in a rural district and knows what’s happening and presented a fact-based analysis of what Gov. Deal got wrong.

I also like his belief – one I share – that opposing Deal’s Opportunity School District does not mean you support failing schools, as the governor alleges. It means you doubt the OSD is the right fix and there is evidence to support that stance.

Here’s the reality: Failing schools are typically located in impoverished communities dealing with high crime, low employment and families in crisis. In some parts of Georgia, meth and heroin have ravaged communities.

Those communities lack the safety nets and comprehensive social services needed to address all of these problems, so we turn to the schools and ask them to change the trajectories of the children. And schools do, for some of the kids. But the schools alone cannot revive economically desolate  Main Streets, conquer crime, get parents good-paying jobs and help them to guide their children to better choices than they made.

That said, I believe the OSD will pass in the November election. I also believe the results from existing state programs closest in design to the OSD — Tennessee and Michigan — suggest plucking schools from districts and putting them under control of an appointed superintendent out of Atlanta will make little to no real improvement. (I also predict the zeal for the OSD will wane once Deal leaves office and it becomes one of those costly state initiatives that eventually dribbles away due to legislative indifference.)

I asked Bryan Stephens to expand on his email to me and here is his longer response to the governor:

Recently, there has been much conversation about the how local school districts spend the funds they receive from the state of Georgia, the Opportunity School District and a new education funding formula on the horizon.

Each of these three issues can affect every child in Georgia.

I will start by stating I do not feel the concerns of politicians always mesh with the concerns of educators and those working in local school districts when it comes to education. This will not be a political push piece for the right or left, just an honest observation from a parent, citizen and employee who spent about seven years in two of the five largest districts in Georgia, and the last year in the a district in one of the smaller rural school districts in Georgia.

The Opportunity School District will be met with skepticism from many based on the success, or lack thereof, of these same models in Louisiana and Tennessee. The results are mixed at best, while most education policy experts say they have blatantly failed.

The OSD will be viewed by some as a way to funnel public funds away from public schools, and framing it as school choice or a plan to save inner city and poor, disadvantaged youth from their failing schools. It is not a bad thing for citizens to be leery about their public tax dollars possibly being given to private companies to run their schools, which is how most feel the state will operate the OSD. This can lead to a number of ethical questions with regards to relationships of those companies with public officials. It may be well intended, but it could also open a Pandora’s Box that may not be able to be shut. It’s not an easy choice.

I do not think those against the OSD are for failing schools and failing children. For years, the argument has been made to give more control to communities and school districts at the local level, and to some approving the OSD seems counterintuitive to that theory. While it is time for the local school districts to produce results, those results require resources. It is extremely challenging for educators to bring all children to the same level of achievement without an equal playing field.  It seems that we can all agree the playing field is not equal for all children in the state of Georgia. It now appears, however, that healthy conversation and debate are only met with warnings, ominous videos, and thinly veiled threats.

Revising the education funding formula has been a goal of many of our leaders, both politicians and educators alike. The current formula is convoluted and difficult to understand for many of us who work in finance departments of local school districts across the state. To simplify it could qualify as a WIN for many people who have to plan budgets annually with the current formula. However, when deciding on a new formula, it cannot be a scenario where funding education is simply a caveat used to the balance the budget during tough economic times.

Furthermore, the total funding amount shouldn’t be lowered whenever the state budget needs tightening. Everyone should be represented in the discussions because the needs of 180 Georgia school districts are very different. What works for metro school districts usually does not work for school districts in middle and south Georgia.

An Education Reform Commission has been formed to work on the formula but the make-up that committee leaves many scratching their heads. Since it is discussing funding, shouldn’t there be actual finance directors, CFOs from school districts across the state on the education reform commission?

The commission lacks educators from across the state. (Note: A few members may have changed since the original commission was formed). At last check, there were possibly two educators on the commission that work south of Macon. TWO… out of more than 30 plus members on the commission. That’s for all of middle and south Georgia. Perception would lead many to conclude those with the most lobbyists will get to determine what is best for all.

Lastly, to address the 3 percent additional funding that was given to local school districts for the current school year. Our teachers, administrators, and employees are asking us, “Where is my 3 percent?”

We need all the facts on the table to have an honest discussion. Some school districts still have furloughs in place to balance their budgets, so there is no way they could afford to give employees a 3 percent raise, which would have been in place for future years. Giving a 3 percent across-the-board raise would have significant implications on other areas such as the Teacher Retirement System contributions for local school districts.

The state did not change the teacher salary scale to ensure this would be fully funded. A neighboring school district actually had 10 furlough days as recently as the 2015-2016 school year. Last school year (2015-2016), the district where I am now employed was finally able to give back the final five furlough days.

Decreased funding from the state for student transportation and the school districts’ ever rising burden for health care cost for classified employees ($164/employee monthly in 2010 to $846/classified employee month in 2016) quickly wipes out any increases in local tax digests and state funding.

My children are in 5th and 7th grade in the school district where I reside. Their district has a 1:1 district initiative for technology. Therefore, my 10-year-old and 12-year-old both have laptops and/or tablets to bring home daily. I work in a district, however, where many of our teachers and administrators do not even have laptops and/or tablets. Again, an example of the one-size-fits-all approach that just does not work.

I wish our discussion about how to fund education was not so political, and where everything was done with the children in mind. I am convinced of one thing: It is impossible for everyone to be happy with whatever is decided between the OSD and new education state funding formula.

With that being said, we still should not muzzle voices and push for votes based on personal agendas. We have to keep in mind that the children all over the state of Georgia should be our ONLY priority.

 

 

 

Reader Comments 0

64 comments
GraceD
GraceD

I am opposed to the takeover of schools by the state. First off, not much that the state runs is doing well & most are in the bottom or close to it, by measuring against the other 50.

Additional, taking fund from a failing school & giving it to "for profit" co., simply adds the fact that they have to pay their shareholders & money becomes the bight  goal! It also shelters accountability .

I do not hear anybody talking about how parents get their kids to special schools, charter, etc, when they may be working , have no transportation, etc. 

Where are the heads of the folks working on education issues>

Say NO to Deal's proposal!

Ga can do better!

Astropig
Astropig

Reality Check:


1)There will be one plan on the ballot in November to deal with these awful schools.The eduacracy in Georgia,whether they are union,non-union or a tea and coffee club has no plan at all to deal with the harm to these students lives from a substandard education.While imperfect,the OSD at least promises that these kids will get some attention from the state that they currently lack.Incremental improvement will be better than what they have now.The status quo wants the money and power to stay with them and the governor wants to ask the voters to take it away.It really is that simple.


2) Governor Deal did something the other day that needed to be done: He called out the real culprits here:The local school boards that answer to no one except their teacher association cronies that rig local elections to ensure that one of their own is always sitting on these worthless school boards.It got so bad a few years back that DeKalb almost lost accreditation because its board was so dysfunctional and corrupt.I'd just guess that that is when he realized that the problem is not the teachers,but the cronies that run things in these districts.


3) There is simply no fair way to fund these failing schools at the level that educrats want without shortchanging other local schools and creating a worse problem than the problem we're trying to solve.Directing massive flows of funds to any one or two schools in a district is just as unfair as depriving them of any funds to operate.That approach would be dangerous and lead to massive waste and fraud.When educrats see a pile of money being dumped,they are drawn like flies to dung.


4) The governor has already done something that directly addresses one of the biggest gripes that the educrat spin machine keeps demanding: He spearheaded criminal justice reform to give convicted felons another shot at a normal life in Georgia,including employment with the state.He "banned the box" that is an automatic disqualifier for state work and will be followed by many businesses that do business with Georgia.This could be the most effective anti-poverty program in state history if the people eligible will take advantage of it.Short of driving to poor neighborhoods and handing out Fifties,I don't know what more he could do to alleviate poverty and provide a real second chance for some of these parents.



The status quo has not put forward any approach at all in this campaign that does not invoke fear,division or racial hatred as its nexus.The governors plan is not perfect,but it's the only one out there that empowers parents to change their kids futures for the better.









ErnestB
ErnestB

@Astropig


I must take an issue with a comment you made in #2.  While the school Board members in DeKalb at that time did not get along (can you point to many Boards that are in full agreement all the time?), they were not corrupt.  They had the same challenges dealing with the recession that every school district in the country did.  They made decisions with respect to the shrinking budget that were unpopular however they did not have much choice.  There were several entities that used those decisions to make a scapegoat out of them.


As history looks back at the decision to remove them, I know the facts will show that they were railroaded.

dg417s
dg417s

@Astropig Actually, you saying there is no alternative doesn't make it so. GAE has an alternative for community schools on its website along with a rather interesting paper about how this model has failed and how community schools can help children succeed. It was completed by an Ivy League institution, so it's not just "union educracy thugs" making stuff up.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@dg417s @Astropig

It is sometimes amusing to confront Astro with facts, but it never makes an impact. Speculation is that Astro is a paid, albeit ineffective, shill for OSD, charters, and other school privatization businesses. You would think that the bidness lobbyists would pay more to get a better product.

gailwilliams1959
gailwilliams1959

I wonder if the OSD will have more luck getting students to learn basic math facts, practice reading, show up on time every day.  I absolutely agree with the letter to the editor writer who said that there is no such thing as a failing school, but there are students who fail to learn because they will not put forth any effort to do so. Their parents often support them in their lack of effort, always, of course, blaming "the school" when their child cannot pass even the low scores required on standardized tests.

And no, there are no teacher unions in Georgia.

Starik
Starik

@gailwilliams1959 No? There is effective lobbying in the General Assembly, which sure looks like a union.  There are failing schools because the teachers in the school are substandard; many are tolerated because they're segregated schools where neither the kids or the parents value education.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Starik @gailwilliams1959

So you think every organization that lobbies the General Assembly is a union?


Do you also think everyone on this blog is a professional writer?


Do you think you are really going to get that money from the Nigerian Prince?


Do you think the failing State Charter School Commission schools are going to post their financial data like real public schools?

gailwilliams1959
gailwilliams1959

@Starik @gailwilliams1959 PAGE and GAE are professional associations that lobby for the profession and good education.  They have no collective bargaining power, which is the hallmark of a union.  

jaggar1
jaggar1

The United States in a huge mess due to entitlements. We will continue to spiral downhill in education the more children whom are born to people who can not afford to have children. Medicaid paid for 49% of the births in the US last year. 49% of the children born last year will live in poverty and repeat the cycle.  I watch parents having babies year after year, and those children are all on free and reduced breakfast and lunch. It should be required that women who receive Medicaid to birth a baby have the Deprovera shot and then follow up with a 12 year IUD until you can prove you are financially stable to have the IUD removed. The US will never ever get past the failing school issue as long as we encourage women to have babies they can not afford. The black and Hispanic communities don't care to lift themselves out of poverty. You can blame the teachers, the administrators, the superintendents, but the problem is parental failure. No other person than the parents. 

Starik
Starik

@jaggar1 The problem is that some of the kids are taught by incompetent teachers. It's an impossibility to keep people from having babies. Can you imagine the screams of "racism?"

GraceD
GraceD

@jaggar1 Birth control is certainly a real issue. Ga. legislators have blocked that by refusing Medicaid Expansion & efforts against Planned Parenthood. (and  before you mention abortion- remember the Hyde amendment) 

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

@Starik @jaggar1 You are right.  There are some incompetent teachers in some schools - some  in wealthy, high-performing schools and some in poor, "failing" schools. You cannot judge a teacher on a standardized test score any more than you can use that one test to draw conclusions about what a child has learned.  


As long as we expect every child to reach the same finish line in the same amount of time, we will have "failing" schools.  It is like expecting all children to run the same speed, throw a ball the same distance, play the piano at the same level, etc.  


These are children, not widgets and one size does not fit all!  Allow us to have a longer school day, a longer school year, more teachers, and yes, additional funding for staff and we can achieve even more than we are now.  You see, when you see "failing" we see growth, because we know where our kiddos started.  And then allow us to keep these things in place when we show growth instead of pulling the support.  


If our Governor has a plan for turning these schools around, why not share it now?  If his chosen superintendent is a master of school improvement, encourage the DOE to hire him/her in the School Improvement Division where his/her expertise can be shared across the state.  


As the principal of a school with a 96% poverty rate, I can tell the Governor it is not easy to find teachers who want to teach in these schools.  We are blessed with an excellent faculty, but each year we lose some who would prefer to teach children who come to school knowing how to spell and write their names and have full bellies each morning, and have someone to help them wash behind their ears.  The ones who stay are the ones who feel called to work in a school like this one.  Our teachers know they have to teach differently.  


I dare you to come in our building and find a teacher who is not teaching children with excellence and great enthusiasm. 


Vote NO!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@GraceD @jaggar1 The republican party seems to be pro birth but anti children(after they are born". 


I see lot's of fancy church buildings and gyms but not seeing many church orphanages, shelters, etc. Maybe Jesus said take care of the poor after you finish your church country club, and I missed that part.

methuselahschild
methuselahschild

how about removing tenure, killing the union , paying an honest salary and rewarding/firing based on how well the kids are educated..we can do that and more.. reward teachers for creating a good product and remove those who cant perform..

jaggar1
jaggar1

@methuselahschild Georgia is a right to work state and we don't have a teacher's union. Tenure isn't a problem anymore because 75% of the new teachers are leaving by their 7th year and another 10% by the tenth year. Teachers are with students for 4 1/2 hours a day for academics. If the child's parents refuse to have the child complete homework, study for tests, or read at night for 20 minutes, how do you fault the teacher? In addition, the failing schools are all in rural areas, the inner city schools, or mostly black and Hispanic schools with low socioeconomic communities. Obviously, you have no clue hat you are talking about, so please refrain from making stupid comments. 

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@methuselahschild


Try this for your job.


1. You are responsible for the training and productivity of 32 twenty one year old adults. these 32 are the 32 that live closest to your workplace - you don't get to interview, screen, etc.

2. You have 9,000 dollars to spend on each worker. That has to cover all expenses for your company - building, utilities, machinery, supplies, insurance, pay for workers, etc.

3. You cannot force your workers to attend work or actually work when on the job. You cannot fire your workers. Their productivity also depends a great deal on your workers voluntarily practicing their job at home.


Are you willing to be paid, rewarded, fired for creating a "good product" under these rules?


Starik
Starik

@jaggar1 @methuselahschild What about the teachers that don't know the subject they're teaching?  They tend to teach in segregated schools with high poverty levels, where the greatest need for good teachers exists.

elementary-pal
elementary-pal

@Starik @AvgGeorgian @methuselahschild Then try this one:  Imagine that you are given recreational walkers to train for the Peachtree Road Race.  You will only get paid if they beat the elite professional runners.  


Oh, and your "runners" will have to start down at Wieuca Rd. while the elite runners  will start up at Lenox.  


And, your "runners" don't run at all when they are not in your training camp, but the elite runners train constantly.


Don't forget, your "runners" only eat well when they are in camp, while the elite runners have a nutrition expert preparing their meals every day.  


The elite runners have a contract that gives them new shoes after each race, but your "runners" will have to make do with the shoes that were on sale at Wal-Mart.  


Now, do you want to take on that challenge?

Randy Jack Hardwood
Randy Jack Hardwood

I sure wish we would have elected someone who knew a little something about education. Like someone married to a school teacher. If there were only a candidate like that. Anyone know what Jason Carter is up to?

ttrimaldi
ttrimaldi

Deal is married to a teacher.

Pamela Russman-Chambers
Pamela Russman-Chambers

Maybe also having real educators as the drivers behind educational decisions...not bureaucrats.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Here is a question I have:  Let's say the OSD becomes a reality.  It has the ability to take money from the school system to support a school, but the OSD determines that the system's tax levy isn't high enough.  Instead of the maximum (20 mils?) the system taxes 15 mils.  Can the OSD force the system to raise the taxes or appropriate additional system funds to support the OSD school or get additional state tax money to pay for the school?




The knee-jerk says "no", but really is there any protection for taxpayers from this happening?




I can see this happening quite easily, if the operator of the school does not believe it is getting enough profit (i.e., the OSD finds the students need "additional expenditures".) (Meaning, additional profits are wanted.)

newsphile
newsphile

This article states the situation well, based on facts and without bias and hatred.  How refreshing!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Is it possible that the only purpose of the OSD is to take power and money away from mostly black people/school districts and to give the money to mostly white political cronies/contributors?


There is no plan for what the OSD will do differently.


Most state run charter schools are failing or close to it and there is no plan for them to improve(there also is no way to find out to whom taxpayer money goes for those schools. Public schools post this info, but the state run charter schools hide it and keep it secret.


If the state can't turn around its own failing charter schools, why do they want to take over public schools?


trifecta_
trifecta_

@AvgGeorgian 

Charter schools are public schools. Unlike traditional public schools, charter schools which fail to perform are closed.

More to the point, charter schools which lose parents' confidence lose their students.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@trifecta_ @AvgGeorgian

Charter schools are not public as long as their financials are kept private.


Charter schools are not closed when they don't perform according to their charter. The State Charter Schools Commission is replacing their failing schools' charter goals with a "new framework" instead of closing them. 


You may have good intentions but you believe in something that is false. It is only a secretive money/power grab that hides the info from the public.

FlaTony
FlaTony

@trifecta_ @AvgGeorgian Courts and the National Labor Relations Board have determined that charter are, in fact, not charter schools. Please do your homework.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

Opposition to reform suggests to me support for a failing status quo. So why opponents may not WANT failing schools, they do not seem terribly distressed by their existence.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@RoyalDawg

Schools do not fail-students do. Please show me any school in the state where not one single student fails. Is it the schools fault?

newsphile
newsphile

@RoyalDawg There is never only one solution to a problem. The state has had a long-standing option of stepping in to address "failing" schools.  That already-in-place step should be sufficient for state intervention.  The state has "failed" to do so.  I smell a big, costly rat in OSD.  For-profit charter school management companies from other states were big donors to Deal's last campaign.  I see big paybacks in our future.  Based on available facts, not opinions, that is not in the students' best interests. 

bev1972
bev1972

@RoyalDawg Aren't there schools on the failing list that are making progress already? The question for me is what is the best reform effort? I looked into results from some other states' takeover efforts. The best results were from district level reforms - some of which included charter schools but initiated by the district. The OSD relies on the governor to appoint a superintendent for the takeover. We cannot predict whether future governors will have the expertise to manage progress in failing schools. To be quite honest, they haven't been able to shore up the communities in which the students live. I do not trust political appointees to accomplish what other states have not been able to do in these mostly black and poverty challenged schools. Children in failing schools deserve better than what OSD offers. They need a comprehensive plan to provide nutrition and health support so they come to school ready to learn. They need mentors from the business community. What about the governor and legislators stepping up to mentor children from these districts? To walk the streets these children walk daily? To talk with their families? Maybe even visit their families to see where the need lies? Opposition to OSD does not equal opposition to reform.

Astropig
Astropig

@bev1972 @RoyalDawg


"Aren't there schools on the failing list that are making progress already?"


Yes, some are making progress already-because the governor proposed his plan and it stands a good chance of passage.In that sense,it's already getting results.The superintendents of some of these schools read the tea leaves and decided that this was going to happen and got out ahead of it,which was part of its intent.

worriedaboutthenumbers
worriedaboutthenumbers

Of course people who oppose the amendment don't want failing schools.
We just don't believe that when someone is sick, the best thing to do is to turn the patient over to people with questionable interest in the patient's survival, using treatment that hasn't been shown to work and may well make things worse. 


The amendment has no mechanism for accountability or oversight. There is nothing stopping the governor from handing local funds to for-profit charters. And we all know just how that works out in so many cases. 
Where is the accountability? Where is the part in the amendment that says what will happen if the so-called Opportunity District doesn't result in clear improvement? How long does the governor get before he has to show any level of success? 
Nope, we have no reason to think that governor knows best, that much is clear from the track record of education policy in this state. So Nope to the amendment. 

Astropig
Astropig

@worriedaboutthenumbers


There is no such thing as a "for profit" charter school. That is illegal in Georgia and every other state.You fail the basic test of even know what a charter school is,so how can anyone credit anything else you write?

Lunaville
Lunaville

@Astropig @worriedaboutthenumbers Guess how I know you have not read the actual bill as passed? If approved the OSD will 

ABSOLUTELY allow management of OSD designated schools to be delegated to for- profit corporations. 


Passion is great. It's wonderful that you so adamantly support what you believe in, but, please, find out what you are really supporting before posting a gazillion messages advocating a particular position. Verify that you are not, in fact, stabbing yourself in the back before you decide to vote a certain way and urge 

others to do the same.

trifecta_
trifecta_

Here's the reality: relative poverty and academic failure do not go hand in hand, though quite clearly the anti-reform crowd will use that as an excuse. To cover for their unwillingness to try new ideas.

And they're being bankrolled by teachers' unions that see any reform in any state as a potential threat to union revenues.

But they're up against parents in this struggle.

bev1972
bev1972

It's easy to look at the list of failing schools, then check the number of students on free and reduced lunch. There absolutely is a correlation. It is also easy to check demographics. The correlation for many is black and generational poverty. When we finally decide to focus on generational poverty, then we will see improvement in so many areas - including school performance. We turn a blind eye to the conditions in which many of our children live. The truth is that we care about how our scores look in comparison to other states more than we care about the children themselves. It doesn't take too much digging to see who is bankrolling the OSD initiatives in Georgia. The anti-reform crowd you are referring to includes Georgia's PTA, all teacher groups (not unions) in Georgia, many school boards, education leadership groups, etc. It sounds to me as thought the anti-reform crowd is composed of the stakeholders. Surely the parents should have rights to express their opinion? You seem to feel strongly about this so you will be happy to know that no matter how strongly key stakeholders feel about the OSD, it will probably pass because the wording is misleading enough that most will simply read it, then vote yes.

trifecta_
trifecta_

@bev1972 

Allowing parents to choose the schools which best meet their own children's needs would quickly establish which schools are successful at educating. 

And it would equally quickly isolate those, such as the National Education Association (which by the way is quite insistent it's a union) with a vested interest in shamelessly maintaining the failed status quo.

bev1972
bev1972

@trifecta_ @bev1972 The charter success stories that I'm looking at now require applications and have lotteries. Where does that leave the kid who does not make the lottery? Are they then sent to another school not in their community? OSD takeover as stated in the Georgia proposal would turn over the failing school building, teacher, adm, etc. including all materials to a possible charter. What if the politically appointed superintendent allows a charter that uses the lottery system? The door is then open to bus students who are selected to another school.  To be on equal footing, the same students have to be served. Here's a local success story that might give you some hope. http://www.myajc.com/news/news/local-education/atlanta-principal-a-finalist-for-national-principa/nrnqG/


sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@trifecta_ @bev1972 Voucher programs have been tried in many states and cities. Please show me the research that proves overwhelmingly that this is better for ALL students in our current population.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@trifecta_

You want someone else to pay for a better school for your child because you are not smart enough or hardworking enough to afford to live in a better zip code. Sounds like you want a "liberal' handout. 


hnbc
hnbc

@AvgGeorgian @trifecta_ Liberal handout is such an easy answer for so many, isn't it? You paint so many folks with just one broad paintbrush.


I support public education even though I have not directly benefited from it in Georgia. I grow up in another state and also at another era. I gladly pay my portion of taxes for public education.


However, I want to stop paying any portion of educational tax when money is used for vouchers for private schools or any other purpose that is not a direct benefit to public education. 


If parents want to have school choice and use their so-call portion of their taxes for that choice, great. Just don't take my portion of those taxes. 


That's where I draw a line.


And I do not support Deal's OSD - he is not trustworthy and really has no interest in benefiting certain segments of society. This is for the sole purpose of getting votes for Republicans. Vote Blue.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@trifecta_ @bev1972

What if all 700 hundred kids from a "failing school" wanted to come to your kid's school? Still support school choice?

Or do you like YOUR status-quo?

Lunaville
Lunaville

@trifecta_ @bev1972 For-profit charters in other states have already shown that they will cherry-pick students while turning others away. Disabled students have suffered particular discrimination. Without transportation options, most children will end up attending the school closest to their homes regardless of its rating or standing. The OSD is not about parental choice. It is about corporate profit. I suspect that by now you know that which leaves me to speculate about your motives.

bev1972
bev1972

@trifecta_ We already have districts in Georgia that offer choice with magnet schools and charters. Students apply and if needed a lottery is held. The option of choice is already operational and the model can be replicated without a state takeover. It's too bad there isn't more attention given to those who are successfully and creatively working with all student populations. As I watched the Education Committee talk about the takeover efforts in Louisiana and Tennessee, I wondered why no one bothered to talk about success stories here in Georgia. ???


Lunaville
Lunaville

@sneakpeakintoeducation @trifecta_ @bev1972 As a former substitute teacher, I am aware that many private schools quietly oppose vouchers. They feel government meddles too much in the operation of their schools already. They fear the regulatory demands that will come with vouchers. For instance, will private schools be able to opt out of accepting vouchers? Or will their be inordinate pressure to participate in order to maintain any necessary license to operate? If they accept vouchers, will they be compelled to keep students that they previously would have "counseled" out? If vouchers are accepted, will the private school have to abide by the same curriculum and regulations as any public school?

jaggar1
jaggar1

@trifecta_ Georgia is a right to work state and we do not have a teacher's union.