What is driving the dispute between two of Georgia’s top officials?


What is driving the dispute between two of Georgia’s top officials?

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State Superintendent Richard Woods congratulates Free Home Elementary School Principal Karen Carl, 2016 Georgia Distinguished Principal, left; and Woodstock Elementary School Assistant Principal Rachel Wasserman, the Georgia 2016 National Distinguished Assistant Principal.
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A dispute between Gov. Nathan Deal and Superintendent Richard Woods about control over low-performing schools highlights a years-long turf battle over education.

For all of this century at least, governors before Deal have seized more control over education policy from the superintendent’s office. Education is the only job of the superintendent, who, like the governor, is elected statewide to oversee the public school systems and school policy.

This fight is the first instance of a public spat between Woods and Deal, who did not get along with Woods’ predecessor, John Barge. Barge wound up running unsuccessfully against Deal.

The disagreement involves the latest legislative proposal to deal with low-performing schools after voters rejected Deal’s plan to change the state constitution so he could take over “chronically failing” schools.

What precipitated this showdown? Read more here.

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