Right Cause, Wrong Method? Examining the Politics of State Takeover in Georgia

Richard O. Welsh, Sheneka Williams, Shafiqua Little, Jerome Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A growing number of states are using state-run school districts to take over and improve persistently underperforming schools. This article uses Georgia to examine the politics of state takeover. We analyze the supporting and opposing coalitions as well as the alignment between state takeover and charter schools in the campaign for the constitutional amendment to create a statewide turnaround district. Our findings show that corporate interests, the governor, and nonprofit organizations supported state takeover, whereas educators, parents, and community organizations opposed state takeover. There was bipartisan support across coalitions and a crisscrossing of interests regarding local control and the path to school improvement. There are divergent views on charter schools, with supporters of state takeover favoring charter schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)703-742
Number of pages40
JournalUrban Affairs Review
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1 2019


  • education policy
  • politics of education
  • school takeover
  • school turnaround
  • state takeover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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