Jacobs: Governor’s Leadership Made Difference for DeKalb Schools

Below is a guest posts from Rep. Mike Jacobs, Republican from House district 80 in DeKalb County.

The DeKalb County School District recently announced that it is running a $30.9 million surplus. This represents an impressive improvement of $52.3 million over the $21.4 million deficit that faced the school district in February 2013.

February 2013 was the same month that Governor Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb County Board of Education after the board had brought our school system to the brink of accreditation loss. In replacing these six members, Governor Deal appointed six highly qualified and professional citizens who promptly rolled up their sleeves and righted the ship.

Governor Deal led when DeKalb needed him. He took necessary steps in a moment of real crisis. His swift action vastly improved the trajectory of our school system. Now our schools’ accreditation is heading in the right direction. Accreditation loss no longer is a threat.

The district’s red ink has been reversed and has become a substantial surplus. The school system has eliminated furlough days and implemented teacher and staff pay raises. This is a direct result of the improved governance Governor Deal installed on our school board. It also is a result of the $930 million increase in education funding delivered in Governor Deal’s four state budgets.

The press conference in which Governor Deal announced the removal of the school board is the most vivid memory of my ten years in the State House. I was among a bipartisan group of seven DeKalb legislators who stood with Governor Deal that day as he announced his decision.

This bipartisan group did not include Senator Jason Carter, who attended the press conference, stood far behind the cameras, and did not support the decision that was being announced.

On a related note, Senator Carter voted in favor of three of Governor Deal’s four budgets. The budget he voted against – this year’s budget – contained the largest increase in education funding in seven years: $547 million. DeKalb is benefiting from that funding as part of its surplus.

As the father of two children in DeKalb public schools, I appreciate everything Governor Deal has done to improve the governance and financial condition of our school system. We can trust him to put aside partisan politics and make decisions with the best interests of our kids at heart.


  1. Bill Arp says:

    Oh come on Mike……quit trying to brown nose. The Gov is not gonna win your district or Dekalb county……pitiful, just pitiful……..quit acting like a politician….it’s easy to see through

  2. NoTeabagging says:

    Rep. Jacobs, please remind me again why it is so important to you to dismantle DeKalb county by creating new incorporated cities?
    And let’s not forget your legislation that allowed these new cities to buy parks and other public structures form the county for pennies on the dollar.
    This doesn’t give DeKalb County an incentive to keep up the parks, fire stations, schools, etc. that are in the sights of potential cities.

    Using the old negative campaign ploy “candidate X voted against bill Y” means there is something hidden in the statement. Usually the accused voted against the positive sounding ‘Y’ because of other flaws in the bill, i.e. pork barrel amendments snuck in to benefit a particular constituency.

    BTW- I am was pleased with the Governor’s intervention of the DeKalb School board.

    • I take issue with your comment that Rep. Jacobs is dismantling DeKalb county by “creating” new cities. All the proposals to create new cities in DeKalb were proposals to allow the citizens of those local areas to vote in a referendum. Neither Rep. Jacobs, nor any other member of the Legislature “created” any new cities, we have allowed the citizens to decide for themselves.

      • NoTeabagging says:

        Rep. Jacobs has been very active with the recent city referendums. His presence and guidance at public meetings and with community groups looking to incorporate is very visible.
        Although I did appreciate his efforts to topple Vernon Jones’ power.

        • NoTeabagging says:

          To further explain, I take offense at a “Rah-Rah” campaign endorsement from someone actively taking apart Dekalb County. I must confess however, the more DeKalb becomes dysfunctional and ethically challenged, I support the annexation efforts. DeKalb needs to up their game from a customer service standpoint to take care of citizens needs and problems in a timely manner, especially in the infrastructure and enforcement divisions. If not, the prospect of being in a responsive, small city government will look much more attractive.

          • Dave Bearse says:

            It’s too late for DeKalb. All that remains is for Lakeside (maybe by another name) and Tucker to work out a border between themselves. Cityhood proponents are well-organized and energized, opponents few, with the majority of the electorate (no surprise) clueless and susceptible to nonsense—“Of course local school boundaries and clusters will be aligned to city limits, pending new independent school districts.”

            Stone Mountain, Clarkston, Avondale Estates and Decatur will pick up most of the remaining bits of north DeKalb in the next round.

  3. When Mike Jacobs switched parties he said he identified more with the Republican party but would still decide on the person, and he has endorsed Democrats in races like DeKalb CEO.

    What a betrayal – Jason defended him privately much, much, much, much longer than many other Democrats did.

  4. Cowabunga says:

    Pucker up!!! He’s in for the Deal promise made to his legislative buddies. If Deal gets through this hee expects Deal for a payback.

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