SCOG Uphold’s Governor’s Ability to Dismiss Dekalb County Board of Education

The good folks at SCOG Blog have another round of newly released opinions by the Supreme Court of Georgia. The big news item of the post is that SCOG has upheld the governor’s actions in dismissing 6 members of the Dekalb County Board of Education as constitutional.

On November 25, 2013, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld (Melton, concurring in judgment only as to 4(b)) the removal of the school board members, finding the statute constitutional. In a 47-page per curiam decision, the Court explained that the General Assembly has historically had the power to remove local officers for cause and nothing in the constitution limits that power. Failure to maintain accreditation was a sufficient cause to support the removal of a member and the statute does not unconstitutionally delegate suspension questions to a private agencies.

As an aside, Mike Jacobs (R – Brookhaven) is in full support of the decision, emailing:

The new members Governor Deal appointed, together with interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond, are doing a good job restoring the system’s accreditation status.  For this reason, they need to remain in place.  Now they will.

DeKalb current school board members can now quit looking over their shoulder toward the courts, while other troubled school boards need to keep a closer eye on SACS and the Governor’s office.


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