To raise awareness about the governor’s Nov. 8 “opportunity school district” referendum,
the Richmond County Democratic Party is placing a counterquestion on the ballot
County party Chairman Lowell Greenbaum said he came up with the idea for a nonbinding ballot question after learning that the November referendum will include the phrase “to
help your child be a better student.”
If the referendum passes, it would amend the Georgia Constitution to allow the state to seize control of perennially failing schools, bypassing the elected state superintendent of schools. The state would have total control of the schools, their staffs and budgets.
Richmond County has 19 schools in the failing category after each repeatedly scored below a 60 on the state Department of Education’s College and Career Performance Index.
Gov. Nathan Deal’s plan isn’t popular among Democrats, and Greenbaum said a retired educator drafted the ballot
question to raise awareness about what’s coming in November.
“We hope it’s a wake-up call for the Democratic Party,” Greenbaum said. “We hope they’ll vote ‘no.’”
He said several other Georgia counties have picked up the nonbinding ballot question, which will read:
“Shall the constitution of Georgia be amended to allow an appointee of the governor to bypass the elected state school superintendent in order to take over local school operations, buildings and control of all federal, state and local funding if a school has low scores on standardized tests or for any other reason a future legislative act may allow?”