New ad push for failing schools initiative features Nathan Deal

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen takes a selfie with Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com

Atlanta Public Schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen takes a selfie with Gov. Nathan Deal and first lady Sandra Deal. Ben Gray / bgray@ajc.com

They’ve featured parents. They’ve highlighted Democratic supporters. And now the latest ad unleashed by the forces supporting the school takeover initiative focuses on its chief architect, Gov. Nathan Deal.

“We can make a difference with the Opportunity School District,” he said in the spot, which will run statewide. “It will actually enhance local control. This is about giving those children who are now required to attend a chronically failing school an opportunity that will help break the cycle of poverty and hopefully keep them out of crime.”

Deal’s plan would give the state the power to take control of persistently failing schools through a new Opportunity School District if approved by voters in November, and Deal has staked his second-term education agenda on winning its passage.

“The time is long past due for conservatives in Georgia to demand the same level of accountability and responsible fiscal management within our persistently failing schools that we expect from other areas of local and state government,” said Tom Willis, head of the pro-amendment coalition Opportunity for All Georgia Students.

It faces staunch opposition from leading Democrats and educators groups who say it would give control of local schools to an aloof entity that is not accountable to voters, fueled by $2 million from the National Education Association. And some conservative factions have lined up against the governor or decided to sit the battle out.

More: An October surprise: Suddenly, Nathan Deal’s school takeover bid is a fight

Here’s the video:


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