Reed opposes school takeover amendment

[private]Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed broke ranks with Gov. Nathan Deal Wednesday to declare his opposition to the Opportunity School District constitutional amendment supported by the governor.

“I oppose this proposal because I believe it will inevitably result in the diversion of public funds for public schools to private entities, with inadequate oversight, and without accountability to parents,” Reed said in a statement.

“I believe such a change in our state, through the permanent measure of a constitutional amendment, will weaken our public schools and create conditions where they become the last resort for desperate families, rather than a symbol of excellence and source of community pride,” he added.

Reed released the statement several hours after he attended a capitol press conference with Deal to announce the location of an IT center in Atlanta by insurance giant Anthem.

After that announcement, Reed stood by silently as Deal made the pitch for the constitutional amendment to a group of reporters.  When the reporters asked Reed for his opinion on the amendment, Reed replied, “I may have something to say about that later today.”

“Certainly, we must acknowledge that some of our state’s public school systems – including Atlanta Public Schools – face challenges,” Reed said in his subsequent statement. “I understand the frustration among parents and community advocates with the slow pace of change.”

“I also appreciate the strong desire by proponents of this measure to take action now. But I disagree with the method.”

Rather than have school problems addressed by a superintendent appointed by the governor, Reed said “the Georgia General Assembly is the right body to make changes to state education and school policy, through the legislative process.”

“By creating a new bureaucracy accountable only to the executive branch, parents are disempowered and discouraged from being active and engaged in their local school system,” Reed said.

© 2016 by The Georgia Report

[/private]

Tags: Kasim Reed , Nathan Deal , OSD , school takeover amendment