Governor is Wrong to Suspend the DeKalb School Board

School board member Eugene Walker responds to Gov. Nathan Deal's decision to suspend six members of the DeKalb board of education.

The Governor is wrong in his decision to suspend members of the DeKalb County Board of Education.

The DeKalb School District has been placed on probation by a private accrediting institution called SACS which holds considerable sway in the education community.  SACS has made a multitude of allegations, some of which I agree with, but all of them were developed unilaterally in a shrouded process. 

The leadership of SACS is not elected by the public, do not have to conform to open meetings and open records laws, and are not subject to constitutional due process as they sit in judgment of public institutions and elected officials.

The DeKalb Board of Education, like all school boards, is a public institution.  We have open meetings, open records, due process, and we are accountable to the people who elect us into office.  If there is cause to remove a member, such as an indictment or if a member resigns or passes away in office, the voters return to the ballot box to name the successor. 

It is the democratic process: the electorate chooses their representative leadership.  My constituents elected me, my colleagues’ constituents elected them and Governor Deal’s elected him.  It’s the model our founding fathers took great pains to create.  It’s the way it should be.

What we have here is the State of Georgia once again meddling in local affairs.  Rather than funding local school systems properly, the General Assembly chose to write Senate Bill 84, a popular but undemocratic law to impose state will on local politics. 

The Governor has been hamstrung by an onerous law which gives an inordinate amount of power to a private company, SACS, and an appointed state board.  One member of this board was appointed only last week and home schooled her children to boot.

This law, which requires the State Board to recommend the removal of all or none of the school board members, if it was constitutional to begin with, replaces the legitimate will of the voters with that of an appointed group.  This process is a clear attempt to circumvent or get around the democratic process - citizens electing and holding accountable their elected officials.

We have had problems on the DeKalb Board of Education. The DeKalb Board of Education is composed of democrats, republicans, black, white, men, women, liberal, conservatives and tea partiers. By virtue of the electoral process, all are represented and have a seat at the table. 

The wisdom of the voters created the diversity, which is good and healthy for a representative democracy. These problems of communication and respect for each other have been brought to our attention, and we are working on them.  We have hired a new interim superintendant, we have passed a responsible budget, we have identified resolutions to many of the issues raised by the mighty SACS and I have resigned my chairmanship to effectuate the additional changes that are needed as we move forward.

It is against this backdrop that I take a stand to fight for and preserve the democratic process and remain hopeful that those who believe in and support the U.S. and State Constitution will join in. 

I will not quit or step aside.  Governor Deal is wrong to thumb his nose at the U.S. and State constitutions, and he knows he is wrong.  I place my faith in God and the voters of DeKalb County, not elitists under the gold dome who never set foot east of Moreland Avenue.  

Eugene Walker
DeKalb Board of Education District 9

DunwoodyWorkingMan February 27, 2013 at 03:23 PM
Brook Maven, There is no "we" in this school thing. Dunwoody is going solo on the school district. You, Chamblee,and Doraville can have your own district.
TomMiller1 February 27, 2013 at 03:47 PM
Peach, you come to that conclusion on your own. "all the accusations ... are valid.." Not here. Let's say that only 50% of the accusations/charges are true. That's enough for me. If it's 25%, then it would depend on what is true or not, but it would be a close call. I have grandkids in Dekalb who moved to private schools are great sacrifice b/c of what was happening at Chamblee MS and 2 other schools. As parents, they tried to work to make the little things better to no avail. What was the result? All 3 needed remedial tutoring and work all summer long. They got it and paid for it. All 3 were behind in testing and work load when they went to private. Now, guess what? 1 year later they are at the top of their classes. More discipline, lots and lots more work, better support. ALL for less than what the county says one child needs to be taught .. for "free."
TomMiller1 February 27, 2013 at 03:49 PM
DunwoodyWorkingMan- spoken like a true know nothing. The 3 schools have great buying power; more ability to retain teachers, hire, and work through items like security, classroom size, etc. Let's bet that Dunwoody does not go "solo" ?? But you knew that.
Mick Zeblinkski February 27, 2013 at 04:08 PM
North Atlanta School District, already discussed. http://legiscan.com/GA/bill/HR486 Great site to follow ALL Bills.
Mick Zeblinkski February 27, 2013 at 04:18 PM
DeKalb County has made a grave strategic error in judgment on this current school issue. The fact that 62% of DeKalb voters supported the Charter School amendment shows that parents abhor DCSS, with many good reasons. High property taxes may not resonate with all DeKalb citizens, the issue becomes less important as either the home value decreases, or becomes moot in the case of apartment residents. That's not to say apartment owners don't pay school taxes, they do, and school taxes are passed down to residents as a percentage of their rent. The real driver is when parents become outraged at the idea of their school losing accreditation. That is a universal concern, and that is why DeKalb is going to face serious challenges. The current Board may dig in it's heels, but in the end, nobody will stand for a Clayton-esque loss of accreditation. Many good points by Dr. Walker, yet the State will not let DeKalb fail. And Dr. Walker is as much to blame as anyone, sadly.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 27, 2013 at 05:10 PM
TomMiller, so funny. Dunwoody has the property values in place to have much more than it does now. Dunwoody does not need the "buying power" of Brookhaven and Chamblee. Brookhaven however could barely support a daycare on its own. Best of luck to you. Pass the yellow mustard
HamBurger February 27, 2013 at 05:32 PM
“Brookhaven however could barely support a daycare on its own.” Mr. DWM, nothing could be further from the truth! We have a mayor down here that is going to make our city BETTER than any old Smart City! You just wait and see, we are just rolling in dough! You want a special hamburger with that yellow mustard?
Rob February 27, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I wonder if Mr. Miller knows you are pretending to post as him here on the Patch? He does now........
TomMiller1 February 27, 2013 at 05:43 PM
DWM Right, And no one who lives in brookhaven works in Dunwoody. This is not a decision on what fraternity or college you pledge allegiance to, DW, its schooling. Theres a company across from Perimeter Mall with more than 100 people, and the company owner and top staffers live in ... Chamblee/Brookhaven. Go figure. Book it- you will see all 3 cities join a school system together. I knew it. Wouldnt take my bet. Tells me all I need to know.
Mick Zeblinkski February 27, 2013 at 05:56 PM
@Rob What are you babbling about? Your posts consist of trying to ascertain who this person is, who that poster is, etc. etc. Fact is, unless you work for Patch, you do not have access to any site capture data, and since I have spoken to Patch in the past - I know that they don't really even keep up with who is posting what. Maybe I am jimmie, or maybe nobody cares about your nonsense. @TomMiller1 That is a sucker bet! You are right, if this HB486 takes off, it will be a North Atlanta School District.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 27, 2013 at 06:19 PM
TommyMiller, We appreciate the tax dollars your neighbors contribute to Dunwoody. We will put them to good use in our very own school system. If south Brookhaven was not filled with liberal loons perhaps things would be different. Blame Napoleon for drawing the district too far south. Let me ask, why do you so strongly want to partner with Dunwoody on a school district?
Erica M February 27, 2013 at 11:13 PM
Mr. Walker, This nation was founded on a system of checks and balances. That the Board epically failed its primary objective, gives the Governor the legal right to remove you from office. That any of you would use taxpayer dollars to defend yourself, just shows how little you care about the children of Dekalb County - the money you use is money that could be going towards the already stretched budget of the schools.
TomMiller1 February 27, 2013 at 11:48 PM
DWM. It's not a question of what "I want." I don't have kids but grandkids. It makes organizational sense as in my prior post to have at the very least Bhaven and Dwoody in a unified school system. Go back and read the post again. I had to laugh when you refer to brookhaven people in the southern districts as "liberal" loons. Remember, you started the name calling, not me. BTW, how many schools in that part of Bhaven? Any guesses? And no cheating, this is a school thread after all. I see realities. Whether you think the idea is a good one or a bad one, there will be a combined set of city schools on the north end. PS - I made the best with someone else, cheapskate.
TomMiller1 February 27, 2013 at 11:50 PM
By the way, Tom Miller is a pretty common name. I'm a Tom Miller, my handle is TomMiller1 (having been hacked at the Decatur Public library, was Tom Miller), anyone have a problem with it be TomMiller2. And that's my real name. Maybe. (Tom could be a nickname, or middle, or my dog's name)
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 28, 2013 at 01:54 AM
TomMiller1, I withdraw the loon comment as my grandmother was an avid ornithologist. Insulting the great loon of the North American skies was not appropriate. If we do a unified district, let's include Doraville and the south section of Sandy Springs inside the perimeter highway.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 28, 2013 at 01:56 AM
HamBurger, your mayor needs us to pay for a fire department study because you BHaven do not have yet the pot for the proverbial pee. Pass the yellow mustard.
Rob February 28, 2013 at 02:28 AM
Tell the Gov you and your 40 personalities will vote for him, that might make a difference.. ROFLMAO!
HamBurger February 28, 2013 at 02:58 AM
Mr. DWM, you know you folks in Dunwoody are caught between a rock and an extremely hard spot! And, you are looking to Brookhaven for money? Fool! Where is that money coming from!? You talk to Budgetmiester Mr. Chris (our Dunwoody budget expert) lately? News Flash: We found funds for the pot, but, that is all! That pot is for all of the food in our new budget for gubment folks to warm up for their special gubment events. Did you see the line by line food requirement in our proposed budget? You gotta relieve yourself? Out the back door! Mr. DWM has mustard, ask him if he wants more thin sliced onions and pickles!
TomMiller1 February 28, 2013 at 01:08 PM
DWM, So lets say Brookhaven approaches dunwoody abt shared Fire Departments Also you say no?
DougN February 28, 2013 at 01:12 PM
Since these goofballs have been suspended by the Governor, they should not be able to use our children's taxpayer dollars to try to keep their jobs - but should pay for it themselves. To do so is stealing, and they should be arrested.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 28, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Not a fan of the inter-government agreements. Dunwoody's love affair with Sandy Springs got us in a mess with 911 ChatComm that still does not work. Two many cooks in the kitchen with having a unified school district and a unified fire department. If you can afford to do it alone, then go it alone. becoming a city was a move to stop relying on others so much - my how some have forgotten. Pass the yellow mustard.
HamBurger February 28, 2013 at 03:23 PM
http://tinyurl.com/bld4kz4 Please pass the yellow mustard!
HamBurger February 28, 2013 at 03:24 PM
http://tinyurl.com/d9b8g6s Want a special hamburger while you read?
Peach February 28, 2013 at 07:15 PM
This has really deteriorated to childishness. And you're complaining about the school board? Let's bring it up to an adult level, everyone.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 28, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Peach, please pass the peach-flavored mustard
TomMiller1 February 28, 2013 at 08:51 PM
DWM, I asked about the fire departments because DUNWOODY's city manager suggested that Dwoody, Chamblee and Brookhaven develop a unified FD. Read the Dunwoody Crier article. BTW, citing one example on 911 to support the argument that all such shared services won't work is not a logical argument. take some get ready pills, b/c schools and FD's will be together with more than one city.
DunwoodyWorkingMan February 28, 2013 at 09:29 PM
yes our city mgr likes to come up with ideas that expand his Kingdom. ChatComm and the regional SWAT team come to mind. We hope to bring the city mgr back to reality soon. i dont blame you for wanting to partner with dunwoody on schools. it will raise the bar a good bit for the BrookHaven kids, sure 'nough. but be careful because our city mgr will want to take over those pitiful fields behind Montgomery Elem and put in a walking trail or skate park. I have enlisted my friends at Save Dunwoody to put an end to this joint fire department chatter. And folks, this is my final post on Dunwoody patch. I got a contract on my home. pass the yellow mustard one last time. And goodbye to you Rob.
Sara Wara Woo February 28, 2013 at 09:39 PM
http://youtu.be/7oqsc6ahHVI See ya!
TomMiller1 March 01, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Still no bet.
Erey March 04, 2013 at 03:15 PM
He still doesn't get it! BOE chose to pay the defense bill of Crawford Lewis instead of giving Teachers a raise. They chose to give away $114,000 dollars for an ineffective superintendent. They are not showing good judgement in their hiring practices, money mgmt or leadership abilities.


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