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Oconee County Joins the Chorus Against the ‘Opportunity School District’

Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch.

Oconee County School Superintendent Jason Branch and Board of Education Chairman Tom Odom are the latest school officials to speak out publicly against Amendment 1 to the Georgia Constitution that is on the November ballot.

The so-called Opportunity School District amendment asks voters to decide if they want “to allow the state to intervene in chronically failing public schools in order to improve student performance?”

Branch told those attending an election forum on Sept. 15 that he opposes the amendment because it takes control of schools away from the local elected and appointed officials.

Odom, in a pair of article in The Oconee Enterprise, also objected to the amendment because it takes control away from local leaders, but he outlined in addition a series of objections to administration of the Opportunity School District and the criteria used for designating schools as failing.

Branch said at the Sept. 15 election forum at Veterans Park that Amendment 1 represents “a lack of local control.”

“I’m a firm believer, and I believe our board is as well, that we need to try to make as many decisions locally as possible,” he said. The video of his response to a question on the Amendment is posted at Oconee County Observations.