State school chief: Help schools that were eligible for state takeover

Voters sided with teacher groups, school boards and PTAs in rejecting the Opportunity School District.

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Voters sided with teacher groups, school boards and PTAs in rejecting the Opportunity School District.

State School Superintendent Richard Woods says the defeat of the Opportunity School District Tuesday will intensify his agency’s efforts to help failing schools that were eligible for state takeover.

The effort to amend the state constitution to allow the state to seize schools and the local taxes supporting those schools was firmly rebuffed by voters; 60 percent voted against the OSD.

“As state school superintendent, I have traveled to schools across Georgia, including some that were on the Opportunity-eligible list. Many factors contribute to the poor performance of these schools — fractured communities, unclear expectations, lack of consistent leadership, inconsistent support, and students who have needs that go beyond pure academics,” says Woods.

“What I have witnessed is that each of these schools face unique challenges, and to truly address struggling schools, we cannot apply a one-size-fits-all approach. We must look at each school and individualize support to best meet its needs. For that reason, our staff will partner with each of these schools so they have a personal contact to help provide whatever support they may need,” he says.

To read more, go to the AJC Get Schooled blog.