COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. – It’s a hot topic on this year’s ballot.
Proposition One asks, “Shall the constitution of Georgia be amended to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools to improve student performance.”
Basically, if a Georgia school isn’t making the grade, should the state kick out the current administration and take that school under state control.
“That’s one of the moral obligations that the state has is to ensure that we have an adequate education system for our children,” said CSRA Minority Engagement Chair George Batcher.
Batcher is a huge supporter of this possible solution that he says would make failing schools successful again.
“Local control, I hear so much about local control and do we just sit there and say, well the locals will take care of it and we lose another generation of kids because we didn’t want to give up that control,” said Batcher.
Batcher says there have been schools in Augusta-Richmond County that have been failing for years and that’s why the state needs to step in to help.
“It’s not about control. It’s truly about getting or breaking the cycle that we’ve put our children in, in some cases for decades,” said Batcher.
At a recent Columbia County School Board meeting, members voted 3-2 to have a resolution opposing the amendment. School board member, Mike Sleeper, was one of the three, saying the state has no business setting policy inside local districts.
“This amendment is based on a number of fallacies. It’s based on a couple of programs that aren’t working. One of them, the Louisiana Reform School District, they’re taking it back. They brought in an outside agency who did a study that showed it is failing,” said Sleeper.
Right now, there are no failing schools in Columbia County. So, why the resolution?
“The fundamental point of education in our country is that schools and education is run locally. We know what’s best for our community,” said Sleeper.
Regardless of whether you agree or don’t– both men say you should research the issue before making your decision next Tuesday.
Here are some links to check out: