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Gov. Nathan Deal today celebrated House passage of legislation that will allow Georgians to vote next year on creation of an Opportunity School District (OSD) to rescue children from chronically failing public schools. Already passed by the Senate, the constitutional amendment will require support from a majority of voters in 2016.

“I commend members of the General Assembly for putting aside partisan politics to prioritize the needs of our children,” Deal said. “We have both a moral duty and a self-serving interest in rescuing these children. Every child should have a fair shot at doing better than their parents before them, and we as a society benefit if more Georgians have the education and job skills needed to attract high-paying jobs.

“I believe the voters of Georgia will wholeheartedly endorse this proposal because they want these children to have a chance in life, they want them to get an education, they want them to have good jobs, support their families and be productive, law-abiding citizens. Our most vulnerable children deserve no less.”

The OSD would allow the state to intervene in schools that have received failing grades for three consecutive years. The district could add no more than 20 schools per year, for a total of 100 at any given time. The schools would remain in the OSD for no less than five years and no more than 10 years.

 

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