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12 February 2015

Creekside, Banneker High Schools Could Face State Takeover Under Gov. Deal's Education Plan

This week, Governor Deal unveiled an education plan to address chronically failing schools across Georgia.

Under the Governor's proposal, persistently failing schools would be taken over by the state and placed in an Opportunity School District.

The Opportunity School District would take in no more than 20 schools per year, meaning it would govern no more than 100 at any given time. Schools would stay in the district for no less than five years but no more than 10 years.

According to Governor Deal's plan, a persistently failing school would be defined as a school scoring below 60 on the Georgia Department of Education’s accountability measure, the College and Career Performance Index (CCRPI), for three consecutive years.

In Fulton County, those failing schools are all located on the southside.

Banneker High School, Creekside High School, Holmes Elementary, Heritage Elementary, McNair Middle, Mount Olive Elementary, and Parklane Elementary all scored below 60 on the CCCRPI for the past three years.

“While Georgia boasts many schools that achieve academic excellence every year, we still have too many schools where students have little hope of attaining the skills they need to succeed in the workforce or in higher education,” Deal said in a news release. “We have a moral duty to do everything we can to help these children. Failing schools keep the cycle of poverty spinning from one generation to the next. Education provides the only chance for breaking that cycle. When we talk about helping failing schools, we’re talking about rescuing children. I stand firm on the principle that every child can learn, and I stand equally firm in the belief that the status quo isn’t working.”

Creating the Opportunity School District requires a 2/3rds vote in both the House and the Senate, before it can be placed on the 2016 ballot.