State school board endorses governor’s Opportunity School District

In the final stretch, the General Assembly is advancing the Opportunity School District Lite bill . (AJC Photo.)

At its meeting today, the appointed Georgia Board of Education endorsed Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District.

(Under Georgia law, the governor appoints the state school board with consent of the state Senate.)

The resolution says the state school board supports the OSD “in order to improve the education of Georgia children trapped in failing schools.” Voters will decide Amendment 1 in November.

If the amendment passes, the governor will gain sweeping new powers to take over schools deemed failing by their performance on state tests. Deal and subsequent governors can choose to take over such schools and hand them and their local funding to the appointed OSD superintendent. Then, the schools can be reconstituted, turned over to charter management or even closed.

The state board resolution has some peculiar wording leading up to the statement of support, which may reflect political concerns among the 12 board members. The resolution seems to go out of its way to mention local districts, which will likely have little role in the OSD. And the resolution spells out the limited time-frame of a state takeover, which could be in deference to the charge the amendment tramples local control.

It states, “Whereas the mechanisms available to the Opportunity School District may involve the local districts, will involve the members of the community and will provide a mechanism for a period of up to five years to correct the problems within those failing schools, we, the state Board of Education, resolve that we support the Opportunity School District.”

The resolution quickly drew praise and condemnation.

Louis Elrod is campaign manager for Keep Georgia Schools Local, which opposes the OSD. He said, “The State Board of Education, a board comprised completely of political appointees, acted against the interest of parents across the state. By passing the governor’s school takeover resolution, the State Board of Education is telling Georgia parents, students and teachers that they support gutting local control of our schools. The school takeover is a power grab that would silence parents by handing over our public schools to an unelected political appointee. The appointee could fire teachers without cause, close schools or give schools to out-of-state, for-profit corporations — all while taking $13 million from school budgets for ‘administrative operations.’’’

Deal issued this statement, “I commend the members of the State Board of Education for their formal resolution in support of the Opportunity School District. There is a shared mission between the proposed Opportunity School District and the state school board, which is to establish an environment where every public school in Georgia is successful and every child can thrive. Students across our state have been left behind to languish in failing schools for far too long, and I believe Georgia can and must do better. By supporting the Opportunity School District, the State Board of Education is taking a stand against the failing status quo. They are seizing the chance to improve our schools and make our children’s future brighter.”

 

Reader Comments 0

63 comments
MURIEL FINCHER
MURIEL FINCHER

Have you had to deal with many of these inner city kids lately?  No communication skills, no reading skills, no writing skills, etc.  Their language, in public, reflects the rap music they prefer.  Shame on us all, if we don't look for opportunities to help these children succeed.  The criticism I hear most is from union supporters and liberal politicians.  All have an investment in not changing established programs.  Teachers now must have "panic buttons" in classrooms because they have little control.  Parents, for the most part, don't come to meetings or speak to teachers - so local control means what?  If I had children in a failing school, I would do whatever it took to help my child get a real education.  We need to open our eyes to the truth.  That truth is, in my opinion, that only failing schools will be affected by this.  If schools are doing well - they are by definition - not a "failing school".


Laura Sellers
Laura Sellers

None of them care about educating the children of Georgia!!!\

Donna Byram Moore
Donna Byram Moore

"I'm Your Puppet"! Remember that old song? Luckily the State BOE is so far removed from the reality in schools and the general public, their endorsement hopefully won't hurt the vote much!

Johnny Fowler
Johnny Fowler

Don't believe everything the AJC publishes. They are democrat lovers and try to deceive readers all the time. Obama and Killary lovers.

J.a. Teasley
J.a. Teasley

Wait ... What? This board didn't keep their mouths shut??? So -BOEs that agree with the Governor may speak up? Let's see . . . They were appointed to the GA BOE by Deal and they support Deal's Opportunity School District. Humm . . . Since they support him, it seems like he would share the secret of school success with them rather only share it with his appointed OSD Superintendent, the new bureaucrat created in Amendment 1. Please VOTE NO on Amendment 1!!!

misswhit
misswhit

No!! We have to separate schools from the state. This is not a good idea, many teachers and administrators will be out of work, classrooms will be over crowded or under-sized, many schools will be empty leaving opportunities for  crime and vandals etc.  and  presently there is a teacher shortage.  Where will your educators come from???  Please vote NO to this amendment.

ute
ute

When parents choose unions lose.

The amendment will pass because parents outnumber teachers' union bosses and their media shills.

And that spells hope & change for Georgia kids stuck in chronically failing public schools.

Finally!

dg417s
dg417s

@ute When you talk union bosses, you mean the salad lady who became an elementary school teacher and teacher of the year for the state of Utah and still ensures her teaching certificate is on display in her office? That union boss? The one who isn't willing to sell Georgia students out to corporations whose only goal is to increase profit (which doesn't equate to better education for children)?

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@ute Name one "chronically failing public school."  Just one.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@Naiad Forget Lake Wobegone and keep to reality.  Same question to you: Name one dang so-called "chronically failing school."  Just one.

Charity Wang
Charity Wang

Please notice this is the APPOINTED Ga BOE. If you were appointed by the government, of course you'll endorse whatever they bring you. Just saying.

Tom Green
Tom Green

Rubber stamping at its finest.

Reina King
Reina King

And are there any actual school boards that endorse it?

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

The state school board has totally abdicated its role in leadership.  Of course, being the Governor's appointees, we cannot expect anything but rubber stamps.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Astro - Please tell us again what the Governor's plan is after he takes the schools and their money away from the local taxpayers and voters. 


Maybe give the money and control to dark money contributors?


Devastating to the Private takeover corporations.


Are you one of those that has invested heavily in the OSD passing? Getting nervous? Posting frantically?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig

We may all be smart enough to mosey on over to Kyle's place when we feel like it, but hey, thanks for that URL hyperlinky thingy. Is it new? Did it just come out with the Iphone7?

Lisa King
Lisa King

And I say, what's in it for those on the state school board. Control of schools should be left up to local school board, parents and teacher's unless the school board demonstrates they are unable to make sound decisions as in the case of Dekalb county. Gov. Deal already has the authority to make changes. Why leave local stakeholders out of the decision making process? I say follow the $$$$

Linda Drewry
Linda Drewry

They need to do their homework. This has not worked in other places. They are part of the overload of bureaucrats

Tim Magill
Tim Magill

Deal's puppets, waiting for there share of tax payers money ; if it passes !! I hate crooked politicians and there minions.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

How strange that the Board that is appointed by the Governor supports the Governor's plan. Do most employee's usually support their boss's plan when asked?

Astropig
Astropig

@AvgGeorgian


"Do most employee's usually support their boss's plan when asked?"


Why don't you find out tomorrow morning? Just tell your boss that you don't support whatever he/she is trying to do.Undermine him/her and run to the paper and try to draw attention to yourself and how wrong your boss is.Fight your boss tooth and nail for what you really,really believe is right.Undermine,rebel.Just throw sand in all the gears at work.


Come back tomorrow and tell us how that worked out for you.



sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@Astropig @AvgGeorgian

Please enlighten us where you practice law, Astral Piggy?Is it that you get to be so dismissive and derisive of other people who oppose this amendment because you will personally gain from it passing? I can't think of any other reason for you to be so fervently in favor of a failed policy. We know you don't care about the children who are served in the schools that will be taken over because you have blatantly expressed your disdain for those in poverty in previous posts.  

Sharon Pharr
Sharon Pharr

HAHAHAHA, REALLY? Since the State Board are Governor appointees, that wasn't hard to call. Seriously people?

Wendy D Lowe
Wendy D Lowe

Ummm....why would that be surprising they're all appointed by the Governor!!! Worthless!!!!!

Barb Perry McWethy
Barb Perry McWethy

I was born in Detroit, and it kills me to see what is happening there. I will not support it here. I will vote no.

Astropig
Astropig

Keep Georgia Schools Local= Union front group.Their name is (probably) unintentional irony.The vast majority of their shadowy contributions come from...Shangi-la,apparently,since they won't reveal the source of their funds.But its obvious that they come from outside Georgia.


A "citizen journalist" first revealed that they are bankrolled by the NEA (an out and out teachers union).Local control,my left clavicle.


Kudos to the state board for having the courage to stand up to the astroturf front groups opposing this.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig

Old McGovernor had a pig

eieio

And all that pig could see was unions

eieio

With a union here, and a union there

Here a union, there a union

union, union, everywhere

Old McGovernor had a pig

eieio





ute
ute

@AvgGeorgian 

Funny how those of you with the least to add feel driven to flood the blog with your blatherings. 

And there's a reason you have so much free time on your hands.

sneakpeakintoeducation
sneakpeakintoeducation

@Astropig You post constantly about unions because you know it's an easy talking point in the south. What about the dark money coming from the charter industry? You know, the same ones who will make a huge profit at the expense of our children while keeping their shareholders happy. Or the execs who can defraud the public because of the lack of accountability and transparency that exists in the charter industry. Be honest, Glen or who ever you are, that will gain financially from this passing. You must be rubbing your little porcine hands in the hopes that this will pass. 

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

“Whereas the mechanisms available to the Opportunity School District may involve the local districts, will involve the members of the community and will provide a mechanism for a period of up to five years to correct the problems within those failing schools, we, the state Board of Education, resolve that we support the Opportunity School District.”

The word “involve” is such an indeterminate word, hence a coward’s word, hence a shallow word good only for obfuscating the devilish ill-intent of Gov. Nathan Deal’s OSD plan.  Obviously our – rather, the governor’s – State Board of Education would argue pros for the OSD plan.  And that means they would also argue pros for sending to hell the children the OSD plan targets.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

@EdJohnson And they didn't even get the facts straight!  Who wrote the statement for them?