Local educators hold public forum to discuss OSD ballot language

Augusta, GA. (WJBF)- Members of the Professional Association of Georgia Educators are encouraging the community to vote no on amendment 1 also known as opportunity school district. The plan proposed by Governor Nathan Deal was created to aid failing schools throughout the state of Georgia.
Margeret Ciccarelli, Attorney and Director of legislative affairs led a public forum to discuss concerns among registered voters about the language used on the ballot for the upcoming November 8th election.

“I’m the daughter of a public school educator here in Georgia, I’m a product of public schools K-12 and college here in Georgia. I’m the mother of three students in public schools in Georgia and I’m a proud PTA mom so this issue is one that’s personal to me.”Ciccarelli said.

Educators discussed how they could educate voters on what the amendment means and how it will affect students and teachers if passed.

“We want them to look at that ballot question and understand what they’re really voting for. Even if they don’t agree with us that they should reject Opportunity school district at least they need to understand the implications.” Ciccarelli added.

Implications would include allowing the state to take over more than 130 schools deemed failing. If passed it could cause the firing of teachers, closing of schools, or schools turning into charter schools.

School board member Jack Padgett says the language used is misleading and that if people understood what the amendment was asking they would vote against it.

“The way its worded so vaguely and this is my concern is that people say well if its going to improve schools then certainly I want to do it but at the same token its not just an improvement, it’s a takeover.

“In addition to OSD the group discussed revising the governors formula for quality education funding. They said the overall language of the amendment needs to be more transparent and that they will continue to educate the community on why they should vote no to OSD.

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