» The Top Spot » Effort to turn around low performing...
A proposal aimed at changing the direction of failing schools may have new life in Georgia.
After Governor Nathan Deal’s Opportunity School District (OSD) plan came up short at the ballot box in November, political observers have been waiting for a promised “Plan B” proposal. On Friday, it came in the form of House Bill 338, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner (R-Dawsonville).
House Bill 338 would create the position of “Chief Turnaround Officer,” placing an appointee of the State Board of Education in charge of overseeing low performing schools. Unlike the Opportunity School plan, this legislation requires that the new officer report directly to the state board, rather to than the Governor himself.
Also unlike the OSD plan, the new proposal places a heavier emphasis on addressing community-wide challenges that many teachers say affect the ability of their students to succeed.
With the help of experienced “turnaround coaches,” the state’s chief turnaround officer would ensure that school performance issues are addressed partially through community collaboration. Not only would state and local resources be allocated to improve affected schools, but they could also be directed to address poverty, lack of economic development, safety, transportation options for parents and students, and more.
It’s a provision that seems to have warmed teacher advocacy groups to the proposal.
“We are pleased to see the bill’s provision for a more robust root-cause analysis of why schools are struggling, including community factors,” a spokesman for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Additionally, Governor Deal has already indicated support for the measure.
“I look forward to working with the General Assembly to improve education outcomes for Georgia students,” he said on Twitter. “Thank you Rep. Tanner for your work.”
With a handful of powerful cosponsors, expect the bill to have significant muscle as it travels through the House. Those signing on to HB 338 include House Education Chair Brooks Coleman (R- Duluth), House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones (R- Milton), and House Majority Leader Jon Burns (R- Newington).
« Atlanta’s ‘document dump’ costs taxpayers thousands Georgians Googled more of these terms since the election, and they’re hilarious »