African American voters cast ballots against the Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District by more than a 2 to 1 margin. An approval of the referendum would have allowed the state to take control of poor-performing schools and try to turn them around. TAMMY JOYNER / TJOYNER@AJC.COM

Black vote helped sink Opportunity School District

Black voters have historically supported the creation of charter schools in Georgia, but they were a major force in the election day defeat of the referendum that could have turned low-scoring schools in their neighborhoods into the independently run schools.

Majority black metro Atlanta precincts voted overwhelmingly in 2012 to let the state, and not just school districts, create charter schools. But nearly 70 percent of them voted against this year’s constitutional amendment that would have created a statewide school district to take over “chronically failing” schools. That compares with 55 percent of “no” votes in majority white precincts.

You can check out the flip-flop at metro Atlanta precincts in this interactive map and read about what may have changed minds at our subscriber site, myAJC.com.

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