DeKalb School Saga Keeps Grinding Along

From a statement issued by Governor Nathan Deal’s Press Office: “Chief administrative law Judge Maxwell Woods has sustained the suspensions of two DeKalb County school board members who petitioned for their reinstatement earlier this year.

Woods ruled that both Sarah Copelin-Woods and Pamela Speaks failed to show that their presence on the DeKalb school board would improve the ability of the local school system to retain or re-attain its accreditation…”

The AJC has some more details: “The governor’s office has released no recommendations yet in the other cases — for Eugene Walker, Jesse “Jay” Cunningham and Donna Edler.

Deal’s decisions may not matter in the long run. Walker has a lawsuit before the Georgia Supreme Court that contends the law used by the governor to suspend him is unconstitutional.”

I’ve written plenty about the DeKalb School Board, have done work for some of its members past and present, and still have one child in the system. But this is not really about DeKalb -it’s about the whether or not a Governor can remove duly elected school board members from office. I don’t buy the “removed with no evidence of wrongdoing” argument that Eugene Walker is making before the Supreme Court of Georgia -the wrongdoing was in allowing the School system’s accreditation to get bumped from “accredited” to “probationary.” The law was clear and the warnings from SACS were made years before Governor Deal was forced to act -and I don’t think he wanted to remove anyone, but that he believed he had to follow the law.

Whether or not it’s a constitutional law is for SCOG to decide. But if they decide that this was an “overreach” by the legislature, how should we reform school boards that begin to break down after they’ve been elected?

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