State of Georgia to take over struggling schools

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The new law lays out consequences for schools that show no improvement within three years. It’s called “The First Priority Act”, the law impacts the bottom five percent of schools in the state.

If they fail to improve grades within three years, the law allows state officials to fire staff and give control of the school to a non-profit manager.

Muscogee County School board member John Thomas says he’s happy to see the skate taking over the failing schools but he’s not happy to see the district may be losing some.

“I am against our district losing control over any schools within our district. But at the same time I’m also against perpetually failing schools existing,” says John Thomas.

The first priority act also would allow the state to convert the failing schools into charter schools and bus children to higher performing schools.

The president of the Columbus branch of the NAACP says she’s neither for or against the law.

“Whatever will help our students achieve their best especially in elementary and middle schools those are the places we need to start. We don’t need to wait until they get in the middle and high schools,” says Tonza Thomas

In June, state officials and representatives of various education groups made the decision to enter into a contract with The National Association of State Boards of Education to search for candidates for the Chief Turn-Around officer’s position.

The eventual pick will have broad authority to select school’s for state intervention and the power to enforce plans aiming to improve student performance.

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