Georgia > Senate Passes School Opportunity District Bill

| March 6, 2015

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ATLANTA — The Georgia State Senate this week passed Governor Nathan Deal’s bill that would allow the state to take over “chronically failing schools” throughout the state.

The initiative, called Opportunity School Districts by the Governor, would provide for a constitutional amendment resolution to allow for the takeover of certain schools throughout the state that were chronically under performing based on state standards.  As of now, this threshold is receipt of a failing grade from the state for 3 consecutive years.  No more than 20 schools could be taken over by the state in any one year and only 100 could be within the district at any one time.  Once included, the schools must remain within the state district for no less than 5 years and no more than 10.

The legislation now move to the House for consideration.

“Today, we are one step closer to creation of an Opportunity School District, and one step closer to restoring children’s and parents’ hopes for a brighter future,” Deal said in a press release. “We’ve seen the successes that Louisiana, Tennessee and Michigan attained with similar, bipartisan measures. Working together, I believe Georgians can achieve the same for our students and families.”

“Through the efforts of our legislators, we will put this referendum on the ballot so that Georgians can assure that a child’s chance of success isn’t dependent on his or her ZIP code,”  Deal said.

Since the measure calls for a constitutional amendment, there will need to be a two-thirds majority in both houses and majority approval by voters during the next general election for final passage.

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