I wrote about Governor Deal’s Opportunity School District bill in these posts: Opposition to Gov Deal’s Opportunity School District wasn’t strong enough to prevent passage & GA follows LA & TN to an Opportunity School District
It’s passage was close and in a heavily Republican state still needed key Democrats to vote. The GA House vote was very close with one vote to spare to meet the 2/3 majority needed. Of course it brought out the worst in people.
My FB feed was full of people bashing Democrats for their vote on this bill and claiming for “new leadership.”
Here is what one of the Democrats who voted for the bill wrote in a press release:
ATLANTA- March 25, 2015 – Today, Representative Erica Thomas (D- Austell) commented on the passage of SR 287.
“Moments ago, I voted “YES” on SR 287, the Opportunity School District (OSD) resolution,” said Rep. Erica Thomas. “I believe – and will always believe – that as a representative of the people of Georgia – we – as legislators – must do our best to serve the interests of our constituents.
While I understand that everyone won’t be satisfied, it is important that we give the people of Georgia alternatives to the current model of education. Plainly stated, what we are currently doing isn’t working. We have to try something new, something big. A lot of people have been lobbying me on this issue, and one thing that concerns me is that the fate of the children – the actual human beings involved – comes up very little. Our children need to be central to the conversation. And so it is through prayer and reflection with our children in mind that I decided to vote “yes.” It isn’t popular, but it’s a chance we have to take to get these schools – and more importantly – our children back on track.”
I thought it was extremely telling that she wrote that when the folks lobby her on this issue the fate of the children rarely comes up. Its all just rhetoric and politics. What we know is that what we have now, isn’t working. And the most powerful stories come from those who tell stories like this from this post: When the only option is a failing school
She is entering Kindergarten next year. It’s too late for her to go to a public charter school to get picked for the lottery. The schools around one of her homes (she has 3—long story, don’t ask) is BAD, the school around her other home is WORSE and the school around her last home is THE WORST. She’s a smart kid and I only want the best for her. Private school isn’t a viable option at this point.
These stories are real, and from all over the country. And these parents deserve a great school for their child. Let’s give it to them NOW, not the “wait and see” method.