Senate Democratic leaders said Tuesday they are exploring the possibility of ending some popular tax credits in order to fund a grant program designed to improve failing schools aimed to counter a school takeover proposal championed by Gov. Nathan Deal.
The governor, meanwhile, said he was considering whether to exempt charter schools from his proposal to put the state’s worst schools in a special statewide “Opportunity District.” That move is meant to placate critics who said the focus of the initiative should be on more traditional public schools.
Senate Democrats view their plan as a better alternative to Deal’s proposal, which they see as a government overreach that gives the governor’s office too much power over local education programs. Their initiative, Senate Bill 124, would create “community schools” with access to health clinics, counselors and after-school tutors.
“We believe a program to address failing schools must be much more focused,” said Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson.