Senate education panel OKs state power in weak schools

ATLANTA (AP) – A bill giving the state more power to intervene in Georgia’s struggling schools is one step closer to a vote in the Senate.

The chamber’s education committee on Monday approved the bill creating a “chief turnaround officer” to work with low-performing schools.

The new position would be filled by the State Board of Education, whose members are appointed by the governor. Education groups instead want the elected state superintendent to hire the new official.

The bill prescribes some dramatic consequences for schools that show no improvement after three years of state intervention or that refuse a “turnaround” contract with the state.

But senators did amend the bill to prevent for-profit organizations from being hired to run public schools.

The bill would return to the House if it wins Senate approval.

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