SAVANNAH, Ga (WSAV) – November 8th is closing in for voters across Georgia who will have not only a new president to make a decision about but several referendums that could alter the state’s constitution.
One in particular targets failing schools and local leaders and teachers spoke today asking voters to not be in favor of opportunity school districts.
“It is essentially a school takeover, a state takeover of public schools and if that referendum passes, public education as we know it today will no longer be,” says Chatham county association of educators chapter president Mary Snowden.
The first referendum for voters in November will be amendment one establishing an opportunity school district. The OSD allows a superintendent appointed only by the governor to monitor failing schools for more than five years.
“This is a constitutional amendment, it would take us ten years to overcome this and in the mean time we’re losing a generation of kids and that’s no okay with me,” says long time teacher in the SCCPSS Vicki O’Donnell.
If a school has for three years scored under sixty in the college and career performance index it could be subject to state intervention. That’s something the PTA and educators associations across Chatham county and Georgia are not in favor of.
“Parents won’t be able to have a say so, the board of education won’t be able to have a say so, educators wont’ be able to have a say so in what happens in those schools.”
From 2012 to 2015 there are at least four schools in the Savannah Chatham school district in trouble if voters pass amendment one, two middle schools and two elementary schools. The protest comes as a new ad has hit local airwaves praising the governor’s education overhaul.
Educators want voters to ask themselves who would do a better job for students, at the state or the local level.
“Find the information, do your homework, but this one here the only place student performance is mentioned is on that ballot, please vote ‘no’ for amendment one.”
Below is a look at the sample ballot for voters in Georgia.
Here’s also an overview of the OSD.