ATLANTA -- Governor Nathan Deal says it’s going to be up to local school boards to save their failing schools – now that voters have turned down a constitutional amendment to allow the state to take them over.

For Gov. Deal, Amendment One was the most important statewide question on the ballot.

The governor appeared in commercials encouraging voters to approve it. They overwhelmingly rejected it instead, as opponents waged pricey TV campaigns urging Georgians to vote no.

Amendment One would have allowed the state to step in and take control of schools that the state considered to be chronically failing. Many local school systems opposed the measure.

Deal says now the problem of failing schools is squarely theirs. "The failure of this passing is impacting on those 68,000 children who are still stuck in chronically failing schools," Deal said Thursday. "So we’re going to see what the local jurisdictions are willing to do about that. The ball is totally in their court right now."

This year, a state appointed commission made some recommendations on how to reform public education in Georgia. Deal says he will likely propose legislation based on some of those recommendations – but said it was too early to discuss details.