Now Georgia voters will decide in 2016 whether to allow the state to intervene in what the ballot question will call “chronically failing schools.”

Gov. Nathan Deal’s proposed constitutional amendment to set up a special state school district drew enough Democratic support to clear the House 121-47 Wednesday, two votes over the two-thirds majority needed. A handful of Republicans cast negative votes. Three members didn’t vote, and eight were absent. Senate Bill 133, the corresponding proposal setting up the special school district’s structure, later passed the House 108-53.

Reps. Valencia Stovall, D-Lake City, Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, and Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, spoke in favor of the resolution.

“If we wait, students will sit longer in schools that are failing them,” Evans said. “How long can we wait? Parents all across this state are waiting.” 

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