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School board pleased with ‘Opportunity’s’ failure

By Alicia B. Hill

alicia.hill@lagarangenews.com

LaGRANGE – On Tuesday night, Georgia residents voted against an amendment creating an Opportunity School District in the state, and the Troup County Board of Education couldn’t be happier.

Amendment 1  to the Georgia Constitution avoided being passed with a 60 percent of votes against, or 1,585,753 votes for to 2,384,713 against, a surprisingly narrow margin for an amendment that has been openly opposed by school boards and parent teacher organizations throughout the state.

“We didn’t think it was a necessary election (item),” said Troup County School Board Superintendent Dr. Cole Pugh.  “… We are pleased that it failed…  We think that what we are doing with Dr. Daggett is real school reform.”

Troup County Schools have recently begun Dr. Bill Daggett’s Rigor and Relevance training, and the school board is hopeful that the training will help raise test scores by training teachers to be more effective in the classroom.

The Troup County School Board publicly opposed the Opportunity School District amendment throughout the election season because they believed the ballot language was deceptive and because they believed that it would have created an unnecessary duplication within the state school board and state superintendent duties.  

“We are delighted that that didn’t pass,” said School Board Representative Sheila Rowe.  “We feel like there are other measures in place to help failing schools, but that is not effective.”

The board also opposed the amendment because the models that the plan was based on had not proved successful in other states like Louisiana, where a similar plan was put into place and resulted in widespread school takeovers and charter schools.

“I was pleased with the Opportunity School District (not passing) because I don’t think it’s a good thing for our children’s future,” said School Board Representative Debbie Burdette.

Troup County voters voted against the Opportunity Schools with 6,914 no votes and 4,641 yes votes.