‘Keep Georgia Schools Local’ coalition takes aim at Nathan Deal’s school takeover bid

School buses line up and transport students at North Atlanta High School. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

School buses line up and transport students at North Atlanta High School. Kent D. Johnson, kdjohnson@ajc.com

The factions opposing Gov. Nathan Deal’s school takeover plan forged a united campaign aimed at defeating the constitutional amendment in November.

Called the Committee to Keep Georgia Schools Local, the group includes the Georgia Association of Educators, the Georgia AFL-CIO, Better Georgia, the Concerned Black Clergy of Metro Atlanta and a half-dozen other organizations. They kicked off a statewide campaign over the weekend at Piedmont Park.

It’s another sign that the opponents of Deal’s plan to create an Opportunity School District are trying to muster their forces ahead of a contentious vote. The measure, which gives the state the power to take control of persistently failing schools, must be approved in a November referendum.

The public unveiling came after the National Education Association disclosed plans for a statewide campaign to derail the initiative.

Leading Democrats and some influential educators groups have staunchly opposed the plan, fearing it gives the governor’s office far too much power.

Deal, who casts his constitutional amendment as a moral imperative, has his own big-money campaign brewing. A pair of groups, Georgia Leads and Georgia Leads for Education, have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the constitutional amendment.


Last year, Atlanta synagogue Ahavath Achim hosted Joe Biden as he was dithering over a presidential run. This year, the speaker is just as well timed: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire opponent of gun violence in the U.S. who also briefly flirted with a White House bid.

He’ll be speaking on July 19 – just as the Republican convention is underway.


With NeverTrump forces continuing to beat the drum that a Cleveland coup is possible, more attention than ever before will be lavished on the 112-member RNC’s rules committee, which meets this week to set the rules for the convention.

We now have word that her slot on the rules committee will now be filled by Linda Herren.

The committeewoman is replacing veteran GOP attorney Anne Lewis, who underwent surgery for bladder cancer last week.

Check out our full list of Georgia’s RNC delegates here.


Newt Gingrich caught flak this weekend for his appearance at a gala for the People’s Mujahedin, an exiled Iranian opposition group.

Read more here.


A senior Jim Barksdale staffer took to Twitter this weekend to complain about how the Democrats are looking to handle the Iran nuclear deal in their party platform ahead of the convention:

Foreign Policy has a refresher on the Powell Doctrine here. Boiled down, it’s a series of questions then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Colin Powell developed in 1990 that identified conditions that should met before U.S. leaders commit troops to battle.


U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ Twitter account was hacked yesterday, his office said.

CBS46 reports that the hacker sent out two tweets, one that told Donald Trump “screw u” and another that used some salty language and mentioned a now-suspended user on the social media site.


Another day, another political projection showing that Georgia could be in play for Democrats:


Soon, the question may become who hasn’t Denton’s hired.

The legal giant added another Georgia name to its roster of former politicians last week with the hiring of former Rep. Ed Lindsey.

He joins a firm that includes GOP soothsayer Eric Tanenblatt and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.


“Make my day.” 

That’s what House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi had to say the other day when asked about Republican talk of punishing the lawmakers who participated in a 26-hour gun control sit-in last month, including Atlanta Democrat and civil rights hero John Lewis.

“If they want to start (an) investigation on Lewis for sitting on the floor of the House, they’re going to investigate somebody for using a cell phone on the floor of the House, I don’t think so, but it would be interesting to see,” the California Democrat told reporters Thursday.

Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said earlier this week that he was mulling potential penalties for the lawmakers who broke House rules and participated in the protest. A conservative watchdog group filed an ethics complaint last week against several Democratic participants, including Lewis.

Pelosi’s remarks came the same day House GOP leaders officially punted on NRA-backed gun legislation due to Republican infighting over the proposal. The move raises the prospect that the House won’t act on guns until at least September.

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