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During the 2015 legislative session, the Georgia Legislature authorized placing an amendment to the constitution on the 2016 election ballot for the creation of an “Opportunity School District.” If passed, this amendment would allow the state to take over struggling schools with no additional resources given the school district. The final House Education committee vote in 2015 came after kindergarten and first grade teacher, Lisa Morgan gave an impassioned testimony. Lisa, who currently serves as the GAE Secretary-Treasurer, did what any GAE member would do to protect the interest of her students – she told the truth. In turn, the telling of her story gave way to a movement. Winning the national title as “Best Editorial” in an educational publication by the NEA’s State Education Editors, Lisa’s story acutely depicts the shortcomings of the school takeover initiative and gives the reader a full understanding of what OSD really is and isn’t. Everyone should read this story before going the ballot box HOW OPPORTUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT WILL NOT HELP OUR MOST VULNERABLE STUDENTS. She had heard for weeks about OSD and had been privy to the Governor’s push for an improved educational model for the state. But as a veteran kindergarten and first grade teacher, Lisa’s main concern was how this and any legislation would affect her students. She would come to learn that despite their best intentions and efforts, the Governor and his Office of Student Achievement had failed to take into account the irrefutably most vital variable - the student. And while lawmakers, academicians, consultants, and business leaders had chimed in their opinions regarding the legislation to amend the Georgia Constitution to allow for a state takeover of local community schools, one key voice had yet to be heard - the educator. 24 | KNOW • Volume 14 Issue 2 THE ZERO SUM GAME BEING PLAYED WITH GEORGIA’S EDUCATION: he was thought to be the last person to speak on the Georgia House Education Committee’s agenda that day. While many others had taken to the stand to express their varied opinions as to why Governor Nathan Deal’s proposed Opportunity School District (OSD) legislation should or should not be passed, Lisa Morgan was the only teacher to speak. this November.


KNOW_Summer_2016_Digital
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