Majority of DeKalb Voters Want School Board G.O.N.E.

February 25, 2013 11:26 am

by Mike Hassinger · 9 comments

Here’s a link (pdf) to a survey done last week about whether the DeKalb School Board should stay on or be removed by Governor Deal. 55% say boot ‘em all, another 30-something % say boot at least some. Maureen Downey, in the AJC Get Schooled blog, asked why the DeKalb Board shouldn’t just resign. On the far left side of that same paper, editorialist Jay Bookman opined that the DeKalb School Board has forfeited their right to hold their offices. State Rep. Scott Holcomb (D-Lakeside City) also thinks they should go. Why? Emails like this:

toalltheelected

 

Sent by Jay Cunningham yesterday morning to some County Commissioners, DeKalb mayors, Judges and assorted leaders. Cunningham was at a meeting in South DeKalb County and tried to play the race card to a group of angry and mostly black parents. They weren’t buying it. He got “an earful” according to FOX5 reports. “Clubbed like a baby seal,” according to one witness.

Could the DeKalb School Board crisis bridge the divide between north/south and black/white in DeKalb? Maybe that dysfunctional and embarrassing board has finally done one good thing.

 

Self_Made February 25, 2013 at 12:12 pm

“clubbed like a baby seal”

Yep…that’s us. As I’ve said before, there’s Right and there’s RIGHT…and this guy is ALL WRONG.

joe February 25, 2013 at 12:29 pm

So 80 something percent want to get rid of the people that they elected–am I missing something here?

Self_Made February 25, 2013 at 12:55 pm

80% of the voters simply tapped the button for the ONLY name on the ballot. I must congratulate myself for at least taking the time to write in my own name. A large part of this outrage is “blind man’s bluff” remorse since a great many voters stop paying attention to what they’re voting for once they get past the Federal and state/local executive races. The Governor is only guilty of ridding our school district of 6 self-inflicted wounds.

seenbetrdayz February 25, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Yeah it seems very strange. Now they want the governor to fix it?

“Help us Guv’. We pressed the wrong button! I forgot my reading glasses when I went to the polls. I was trying to get out of there so I could beat tomorrow’s traffic. Wait, it just occurred to us that we don’t even know how to vote.”

Ghost of William F Buckley February 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm

A DeKalb School Board position pays $18K per year.

The Board members fighting Gov. Deal are clearly able to stymie his authority on a valid Constitution claim, and like Sumter County can drag this matter onto oblivion. The Board announced a plan to fund it’s deficit over a multi-year period, no doubt an effort to show they can manage DCCS affairs, while fighting to keep their jobs.

Ol’ Gene may have outfoxed the Gov., the citizens of DeKalb, again. What a mess.

GTKay February 25, 2013 at 1:21 pm

“To date the district has completed 8 of 11 action items that was (were) cited by SAC (SACS), we are on a course of success.” (comma splice)

I guess proofreading was not one of the eight items.

Mike Hassinger February 25, 2013 at 4:49 pm

“I understand the important of governance, and I have and will continue to do what it takes to ensure that we remain accredited by the SACS.”

-Anybody can make typos, but if I were sending out an email as important as that, I’d have somebody double-check it.

saltycracker February 25, 2013 at 5:00 pm

With the typos it is a great improvement over the way they speak. At least Cunningham’s t-shirt hanging out at the public meeting didn’t have some message on it.

Polls….DeKalb might throw the Board out but odds are they will replace them with more of the same.

Nonchalant February 25, 2013 at 5:41 pm

I have argued forcefully before this for the right of the state to remove the board from oversight of the schools. The people of Dekalb County, via their school board, do have the absolute right to determine the direction of the education of their children, under the general guidelines as laid down by the Assembly. I believe in that. But they do not have the right to fail in the execution of that education. DeKalb County is not sovereign. The State of Georgia is sovereign. If the citizens of the county cannot actually administer or run their school system, then to me it is entirely appropriate for the state to take the system under a functional recievership, as long as it does not move the educational focus, the educational path, of the schools in a direction significantly contrary to majority citizen wishes of that county. This focus, this path, is different from figuring out who gets contract X.

There is a difference between citizens directing the direction of the schools, and actually running them, either daily, or via financial and managerial power. The first I would strongly strongly hesitate before trampling on, the second is not quite so sancosanct. The inability of a Board to let out contracts when they have proven they perhaps cannot manage funds is not, in my opinion, a great injustice against voters. And since it is the state taking the action, there is still a popular sovereignty link to the people.

Having said the above, I do look askance upon removing some, but not all, members, only because of the potential for abuse, but on the other hand, the system as set up does seem designed to mitigate arbitrariness.

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