PLEASE VOTE NO ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT #1
The proposed constitutional amendment, known as the Opportunity School District, that will allow the state to takeover local schools will be Amendment #1.
“Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing schools in order to improve student performance?”
Please do not be misled by the false opportunities implied in the language of this constitutional amendment. The state already has the authority to intervene in “chronically failing schools.” Why now do we need to change the Constitution of Georgia to implement the current authority?
Please make sure that you go out and vote and take someone with you. November 8, 2016 is a critical time for us all to be strong advocates for our students, parents, teachers, and our communities.
Here is how you can help:
NFCPTA Newsletter Article:
This fall, Georgia voters will be asked to consider a constitutional amendment which would allow an appointee of the governor to take-over schools. Georgia PTA OPPOSES this amendment. The main reasons GA PTA is in opposition are because,
- There is an existing law (O.C.G.A. 20-14-41) which allows the state to take-over struggling schools;
- The amendment would allow the governor’s appointee to take locally generated funds and locally owned school buildings (including ALL materials within the building) to utilize however he or she sees fit, without accountability to the voters and taxpayers;
- Nothing in this amendment is based upon proven techniques or methods to improve educational outcomes; two out of three other take-over districts in the United States have been repealed and the third has put a moratorium on taking new schools for a year;
Georgia PTA supports parents and communities working together with their schools to improve educational outcomes for ALL students. This amendment is not about improving education for impoverished children; it is about taking control of our local tax dollars and buildings while diminishing the power of your vote and accountability to taxpayers. Unfortunately, as with so many laws, the devil is in the details and the preamble and the ballot question have been worded to influence your vote. DO NOT BE DECEIVED! This amendment will not increase community involvement, flexibility, or accountability – it will do the opposite.
WE NEED YOUR HELP to spread the word about the deceptive language and why Amendment 1 is bad for voters, bad for taxpayers, and especially bad for students. Georgia PTA has developed an entire toolkit for you to use to disseminate information. In addition to the toolkit,
- POST PTA’s position on your social media channels between now and the election (early voting starts in mid October – you only have about 6 weeks!);
- SHARE information in the neighborhoods in your attendance zone
- HOLD a public meeting to inform your community
GET THE WORD OUT! Remember, you cannot use school resources to disseminate anything that states GA PTA’s position, but you can send out informational material. If you have questions, need more information, or would like someone from NFC PTA to speak at an event, please contact our VP of Legislation and Advocacy, Jackie Burkhalter (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- GA PTA Toolkit: http://www.georgiapta.org/issues-action/opportunity-school-district-legislation/
- Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE) PAGE is the largest teacher organization in Georgia and is also in opposition; you can find their information here: https://page.site-ym.com/page/StateTakeoverInfo
- Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) GSBA represents the Georgia’s school boards and is also in opposition to Amendment 1; you can find their information here: http://gsba.com/advocacy-communications/osd-toolkit/