Four signs Gov. Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District may be in trouble

The tendency for Georgians to support local control — which led to the defeat of the OSD — emerged in a new survey released today.

On Nov. 8, Gov. Nathan Deal is asking Georgia voters to endorse Amendment 1, which will give him the power — now forbidden by the state constitution — to take control of struggling local schools and the local taxes that support those schools. Deal will then place some of the schools in a state-run district called the Opportunity School District that will be overseen by his appointed superintendent. That appointed leader can close the schools, turn them over to charter management or run them.

Here are four recent signs Deal’s Opportunity School District idea may be in trouble

The first: Tim Bryant, a morning show host and on-air personality at WGAU/News-Talk 1340 in Athens, moderated a candidates’ panel last week in Oglethorpe County and asked both candidates and the audience about Amendment 1.

Afterward, Bryant shared his takeaway on social media:

Amendment One is in trouble. I noted all five candidates for school board said they’d vote against it. I then asked the audience for a show of hands. “How many plan to vote for OSD?” Not one hand went up. Maybe 150-200 people in the room, not one hand in support of Amendment One. “How many plan to vote no?” Virtually every hand in the room goes up. I’ve never seen that before. Either Oglethorpe County is an outlier, or Amendment One may be about to go down hard.

Second: In a speech last week at the Commerce Club, Deal made a bizarre pitch for the OSD to an engineering association. Johnny Kauffman of 90.1/WABE-FM reported the governor tried to sell the OSD to the engineers as a way to decrease crime threats to their nice cars and nice homes. The governor said:

Why is it that we don’t have so many chronically failing high schools? Those folks are already gone. They’ve already dropped out. So, their bad test scores don’t show up in those high school scores. They’re already out there amongst us. And one thing about crime, there is an entrepreneurial element to it.

If you think that those who are coming out of bad schools and are dropping out and going to crime are going to only steal from people in their school district, you’re wrong. Those people don’t have anything worth stealing in many, many cases. They’re going to go where people have nice cars, nice homes, things that are worth a criminal’s attention. It’s time that we stop that. It’s time that a young person has an opportunity to see that if you will stick with me, and get an education there are jobs that are going to let you make a decent living and you will not have to resort to a life of crime. I’m passionate about this. I hope it comes through. I really am. I believe we have an opportunity, with all the other good things we have done, we have an opportunity to change the dynamic, not only of our state, but of our nation. Because we can show that people regardless of the color of their skin care about children and their education and if we work together we’re going to make a difference in that regard.

Third: Yard signs — there has been an eruption of them over the past seven days and they all seem to be in opposition. (The OSD is opposed by several state organizations skilled at grassroots mobilization, including the Georgia PTA.)

Fourth: This morning former Atlanta Mayor Andy Young and baseball legend Hank Aaron held a press event urging Georgians to reject the OSD. “We have to defeat this, we have to vote ‘no’ on Amendment 1,” said Aaron. Young took issue with Deal’s description of schools and students as failing. “Self-esteem is the basis of good education,” said Young. “To take that self-esteem away from families, teachers, principals and boards of education locally and turn it over to a corporate-oriented state structure is a sin and a shame and we cannot allow it.”

Reader Comments 0

63 comments
Kay Tompkins
Kay Tompkins

Always get a list of all amendments and read and understand them before you vote,

Keith Martin
Keith Martin

#1 is very bad for the kids and the community! All Deal wants is another way to make money for himself under the table from companies that would take over your schools for THEIR profits!

Kat Brag
Kat Brag

It's a giveaway to the for profit education industry. This makes money for the company but does not improve education. Look at Louisiana!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Deal's premise basically says that the people  that live in a school district with a "failing" school have NOTHING worth stealing. He may think their belongings are worthless but I'm sure that's news to these families who value their possessions. 

He also uses dog whistle language to imply that all these dropouts are going to come to the rich folks neighborhoods to steal their stuff. Did he offer stats on a current problem with poor dropouts (from OSD targeted communities) taking their entrepreneurial stealing ventures into the the rich folks neighborhoods?

How about the state run charter high schools with up to 92% dropout rates? Does his premise apply to the state run charter high schools that are failing?

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@RoyalDawg @AvgGeorgian

Hello RDawg. I notice you did not respond to my challenge on Kyle's blog to post the hidden data of the state run charter schools. I posted all the APS data. Are you okay with Big government, big spending, and hidden spending? I gave you the sites to try to search. Let me know if there's anything else you need.


Bobby Reems
Bobby Reems

Someone needs to help the kids if the teacher 's and board's are not doing it year after year look at the money done wasted

Albert McRae
Albert McRae

Gov. Deal is not qualified to be Georgia's only school board member. What makes him so smart. That is a consolidation of power and a recipe for corruption. Vote No for Amendment 1 and making Gov. Deal King of Ga Educatio.

RolleTheorem
RolleTheorem

The problem with the OSD is that the proposal has set the bar for what is a failing school much much too low.

RolleTheorem
RolleTheorem

These are more deluded black people who believe that it is better to keep inept teachers employed than to have the State take responsibility for the criminal dens where their children will never get a decent education.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@RolleTheorem Why do you think or how do you know black people are deluded?  Then, why do you think or how do you know what black people believe?

RolleTheorem
RolleTheorem

It amazes me that the "local control" people who have been failing these schools for nearly 25 years have suddenly awaken with all the answers and solutions.

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@RolleTheorem Why do you think or how do you know "the 'local control' people ... have been failing these schools for nearly 25 years?"

daks_
daks_

Amendment 1 will be passed because parents, especially inner-city parents, know real change will come no other way. Excuses don't solve problems, but that's all we hear from failing schools. Time to try something else.


python's monty
python's monty

@daks_ I will bet that the majority of "yes" votes are from areas not affected by the OSD and that in areas that are affected the "no" votes will be significantly higher than the "yes" votes.

RoyalDawg
RoyalDawg

@jimstas @daks_ If it follows the charter amendment, the exact opposite will be tue. Poor parents stuck in poor schools, who don't spend their time blogging, want what is best for the CHILDREN who are not being educated, and vote YES.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@RoyalDawg @jimstas @daks_

Are you talking about the charter amendment that created chronically failing schools that hide all spending and hiring from the taxpayer?

Stewart Maxwell III
Stewart Maxwell III

If the local community and school board can't get it done, then who do you recommend? Look at Muscogee County - horrible system yet the citizens and elected officials keep doing the same thing, with the same results.

Mary West
Mary West

People are not going to tell you how they will vote in an anti forum. Not a scientific poll.

Bobby Reems
Bobby Reems

Teachers are not getting it done for years mama can't read baby's can't read give someone else a try to teach

Jude Sedliak
Jude Sedliak

Vote "no" so the horrible teachers/principals/adminstrators can keep the gravy train going...Anyone remember the APS cheating scandal? Thank god I live in Cobb County where we care about the children and we don't have to worry about anyone taking over our school.

RickRN69
RickRN69

sounds like rich people just trying to get rich off the public trough, control over schools, tax dollars, private companies? wow wake up they are trying to bleed us dry. next they get to raise taxes and the students continue to suffer...i'm voting no on this one

jezel
jezel

@RickRN69 The " reforms "...driven by the GOP agenda....stand to gain control of some 10 plus TRILLION DOLLARS....appropriated annually for public education across the country.


This move is not happening just in Ga.....it is not about the kids or improving education....it is about MONEY.

Blynne Roberts
Blynne Roberts

Click on the article and read the comments. The vast majority say Vote NO for Amendment 1!!!

Dawg333
Dawg333

Vote No on amendment one.  If they already have the answers on how to fix low performing schools, then why are they not sharing that information already!!!! 

Astropig
Astropig

They need to let some fresh air into the media bubble.


This is all anecdotal wishful thinking by one of governor Deal's political enemies.Let's vote.Let the people decide.If they say "yes",then off we go.If the voters say "no",then their answer is just no.It will be time to do battle on other things.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Astropig haha. The amendment language is a joke and a lie - kind of like "do you like puppies and rainbows"?

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

All parents do not have the same viewpoint; many parents do not support amendment one.

30303
30303

The teachers' unions indeed have a lot of money, much of it from out-of-state, to spend on yard signs and partisan media articles.

But Amendment 1 will win a majority of votes. Parents will see to that.

zzyzx
zzyzx

@30303 We just had a PTSA meeting, and majority of parents are rejecting this amendment. It will fail, all signs point to this

Astropig
Astropig

@Kelland


You must be a teacher,because 30303 never said that Georgia has teachers unions. He/she said that union money  is being spent to oppose this,which is an unarguable fact.


You just look like a fool.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@30303 The current governor appointed state run charter school system is a chronically failing school system that hides personnel, salaries and vendor payments from the the public. The OSD look to me more of the same. Is that what you are for? Big government and big spending that is hidden from the taxpayer.


If the spending is PRIVATE, the school is not PUBLIC.

Kelland
Kelland

What teacher union are you talking about? The state of Georgia is a Right to Work state. There are NO teacher unions in Georgia. If you want the state Government to completely control your local school vote yes. But if you want to continue local control of your education dollars then vote NO!!!

EdJohnson
EdJohnson

@Astropig

You must be a reading comprehension-challenged, OSD beneficiary, because 30303 did not say “union money is being spent to oppose this.”  What he/she said is: “The teachers' unions indeed have a lot of money, much of it from out-of-state, to spend on yard signs and partisan media articles.”  And this is unarguable.

Now what do you look like?  But, of course, looking in the mirror seems something you don’t do.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@Wascatlady @Astropig @Kelland

Astro certainly set him/herself up in a big way on that one. In his/her defense, s/he IS from a failing blog posting district.

Astro hopes the guv. will take over this failing district and turn it over to a charter school that will teach logic and philosophy to failing posers, I mean posters.