DeKalb County

Local school leaders clash over Amendment 1

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — One of the most fought-over issues to be decided in Tuesday’s election is how to fix Georgia's worst performing schools.

Amendment 1 allows the state to step in to run, close or convert Georgia's chronically under-performing schools, creating a new “opportunity school district.”

Channel 2's Steve Gehlbach talked to school officials at Cedar Grove Elementary in DeKalb County, which is one of the schools that could be impacted by the amendment if it passes.

Principal Bernetta Jones said they're in the process of turning things around.

"This kind of work, the work going on right here, should continue uninterrupted,” Jones said. “Any kind of intervention would actually throw us off course.”


DeKalb Superintendent Dr. Stephen Green opposes any state takeover. Of the more than 120 schools in Georgia on the potential takeover list, more than two dozen are in his district.

“Geography and where you live has determined quality,” Green said.

Cobb County school board member David Morgan has no “failing" schools in his district but supports Amendment 1 to replace what he says isn't working.

"That’s what the opportunity school district will give these children and communities that the current paradigm is ignoring,” Morgan said. "My measuring stick is, ‘have I done right by children?’"

Any school under 60 out of 100 on the state's performance index for the last three years would be on the potential take-over list if the amendment passes.

That's about 60 schools in the metro, roughly half are Atlanta Public Schools, half in DeKalb County and a few in south Fulton County.