Gov. Nathan Deal pushed the constitutional amendment for an Opportunity School District through the General Assembly in 2015, when two thirds of lawmakers who voted placed the referendum on the Nov. 8 ballot. Amendment 1 asks if the state should be allowed to intervene in “chronically failing” schools. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Gov. Nathan Deal argues for Opportunity School District

Gov. Nathan Deal appears in a video Monday acknowledging “differences of opinion” over how to improve Georgia’s lowest-performing schools and making a pitch for his proposed state school district.

Amendment 1 appears on the Nov. 8 ballot, and passage would amend the state constitution to create a new “Opportunity School District.” It would come with a new superintendent answering only to the governor and empowered to take over “chronically failing” schools and the local tax dollars that support them.

Deal says in the video on the Metro Atlanta CEO website that students who drop out cannot proceed to technical college or participate in a growing economy.

“There’s not a single one of those tens of thousands of jobs that are coming to Georgia that are going to provide employment for somebody who dropped out of school, he says. It’s time “to show them that there is a better way. They don’t have to commit crimes. They don’t have to wind up in our prison system. They can be a tax-paying citizen of our state and that’s what we want for all of them.”

Deal is responding to fierce opposition from school boards, the PTA and teacher’s organizations. Dozens of school boards have joined the quarter million strong state PTA in adopting formal positions against the constitutional amendment because it takes away some local control over education and tax dollars.

7 things to know about the Opportunity School District

You can find information about your school, such as test scores, graduation rates and school climate rating at the Ultimate Atlanta School Guide.

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