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School board opposes ballot amendment
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The Bryan County Schools Board of Education voted unanimously Thursday night on a resolution opposing Georgia’s ballot question that seeks to create a statewide opportunity school district.

If passed, Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot would amend the state constitution “to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance,” according to the approved language.

“We need to let everyone know what this consists of because the wording is misleading,” school board President Eddie Warren said. “We need to inform the community and promote our own stance.”

Warren suggested that board members discuss the issue with others, including any civic organizations of which they are a part.

If voters approve the OSD, it would likely begin with the 2017-2018 school year based on the College and Career Readiness Performance Index scores from the 2014-2015, 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years.

Bryan County Schools’ CCRPI score for 2014-2015 was 78.8, above the statewide average of 75.5. Bryan County Middle School received an “F” with a score of 59.2, while Bryan County High School received a “D” at 63.8. No other schools in the district were below a 75.

Schools that score below 60 on the CCRPI would be eligible for takeover. While

Schools could be placed in the OSD for five years, with no more than 20 per year, meaning it would consist of a maximum of 100 schools at any one time. The accompanying legislation would give the OSD complete control over those schools, including the ability to remove principals and teachers, change instruction and control budgets.

According to information on Gov. Nathan Deal’s website, some 68,000 students currently attend schools that have received an “F” for three or more consecutive years on the CCRPI.

“There is tremendous potential for positive impact on the educational experiences and in the lives of these students, some of whom are limited to attending failing schools for much or all of their K-12 careers,” the site says.

BCS’s resolution states “there are procedures in place that can achieve the same results without so much unknown and without creating additional layers of government.”

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