- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

ATLANTA (AP) - Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation giving the state broad authority to intervene at struggling local schools.

The bill is an alternative to Deal’s preferred strategy for these schools: A constitutional amendment seeking to let the state take over some schools that voters rejected in November.

Lawmakers instead proposed a “chief turnaround officer” to work with struggling schools. Schools selected will sign contracts with the state and develop a plan to improve student performance.

The bill still lays out dramatic consequences for schools that show no improvement within three years or that refuse to cooperate.

Deal’s signature on Thursday kicks off months of work, including a national search for the new position. Chairman Mike Royal says the issue is a top priority for the State Board of Education.

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