Americus Times-Recorder, Americus, Georgia

Local News

February 25, 2013

Gov. Deal suspends DeKalb school board members

AMERICUS —

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal will sign an executive order to suspend six of nine DeKalb County School Board members, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

According to the newspaper, Deal made the announcement Monday although a federal judge issued an order temporarily preventing him from replacing board members until after a hearing on Friday.

State education officials recommended suspensions for the board members after a roughly 14-hour meeting on Thursday, the report says.

Deal told the AJC he will appoint a nominating committee to find replacements for the ousted board members, although they will have 30 days to apply for reinstatement after the executive order is signed.

The DeKalb school system was put on probation through the end of 2013 and risks losing accreditation. An audit of the school system found evidence of fiscal mismanagement and unethical practices.

The DeKalb Board was attempting to challenge the same law the Sumter County School Board is challenging — the law that gives the State Board of Education authority to recommend its suspension.

The Superior Court of Fulton County sided with the six members of the Sumter County Board of Education who filed a lawsuit against the State Board of Education and Gov. Nathan Deal. Judge Bensonetta Tipton Lane granted an injunction stopping the hearing from proceeding with the State Board. The six Sumter Board members represented by Watkins are Kelvin Pless, Edith Ann Green, Alice Green, Carolyn Whitehead, Michael Lewis and Willa Fitzpatrick. Atlanta attorney, E. Brian Watkins filed the lawsuit on their behalf.

 

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