WATCH: Atlanta Black Clergy and Civil Rights Leaders Oppose Gov. Nathan Deal’s Takeover of Public Schools

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A coalition of clergy and civil rights leaders have taken their opposition to the failing schools amendment on the November ballot to the governor on Thursday. 

More than 100 members of the clergy from a variety of denominations signed a letter, in which they told the governor they will “organize and do whatever is written within our powers to defeat this referendum.”

They gave the letter to Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston expressing the group’s opposition to Sen. Resolution 287.

“Today, we stand unites to say to the governor very clearly, you do not need to take over our schools,” said Leslie McLaurin, of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, a press conference this morning with a delegation of about 30 clergy members, civil rights leaders and union representatives.

The school takeover plan, otherwise known as Sen. Resolution 287, would give the state the ability to intervene with public schools which are failing in specific categories to help them improve. The plan was initially introduced last February by Gov. Deal.

This amendment on the November 8 ballot for the voters to decide.

“This constitutional amendment is an evil thing that is being done to good people across this state,” said Rev. Gregory Fann, President of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

In a released statement, the clergy addressed why they opposed the plan:

Throughout our State, opposition to this Referendum is Growing. This Opposition includes both Republicans and Democrats, Urban and Rural, Parents and Educators, Businesses and Citizens. In other States where similar Takeovers have occurred, it has been failure after failure. AT THE END OF THE DAY, THIS IS ABOUT MONEY AND CONTRACTS AND NOT ABOUT OUR CHILDREN NOR EDUCATION.

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Source: 11 Alive | WXIA