The resounding defeat Tuesday of Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposal to empower state control of failing schools could prove a damaging political blow to the Republican’s hopes for a vigorous second-term agenda in his final years in office.
That plan, the centerpiece initiative that emerged after his 2014 re-election, was defeated by 800,000 votes and lost in almost every one of Georgia’s 159 counties. It was a broad-based, nonpartisan thumping that could make some lawmakers nervous about trying to tackle bigger education legislation over the next two years.
Deal’s top aide, Chris Riley, seemed to welcome the challenge of being cast as a lame duck. And Deal indicated he won’t scale back his agenda an iota.
”I haven’t given up on those children,” Deal said. “We can’t afford to give up on any of our children.”