School Board Files Emergency Motion to Stop Possible Suspension

The move was made late Friday afternoon, in hopes of stopping Gov. Deal from suspending any school board members.

Gov. Nathan Deal's office announced on Friday that he, along with members of the DeKalb legislative delegation, will hold an 11 a.m. news conference Monday to respond to the state Board of Education decision.

The state board recommended to the governor that he remove six members of the DeKalb school board.

However, in a legal move late Friday afternoon, the school board filed an emergency motion in federal court, hoping to stop the governor from taking any action. 

According to Channel 2 Action News, the emergency motion was filed just before the close of business on Friday.

“I have closely followed the situation in DeKalb County schools since their accreditation was put at risk, and I paid special attention to the state Board of Education’s deliberations on Thursday,” Deal said in a statement.

The board voted unanimously to recommend that Sarah Copelin-Wood, Donna Edler, Eugene Walker, Jay Cunningham, Nancy Jester and Pamela Speaks be removed from the DeKalb school board.

If Gov. Deal follows the board's recommendation, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson and Melvin Johnson would remain on the board as newly elected members.

Orson's district includes some of Brookhaven's and Chamblee's schools.

“I will continue to look at the details of this case over the weekend, and I will report my decision to Georgians on Monday. Removing elected officials from office is a serious duty, not undertaken lightly. That responsibility, however, pales in comparison to the importance of assuring the credibility of students’ education. I will do everything in my power to prevent the loss of accreditation of the DeKalb school system and the devastating impact it would have on students and economic development in one of the state’s largest counties.”

See Also:

Replay Patch's Live Coverage of the State Board of Education Hearing With the DeKalb School Board

RandyRand February 23, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Why would the current Dekalb School Board believe that the State School Board and Governor Deal are somehow in violation or about to violate the GA State Constitution? Are they really that ignorant or simply obtuse to the concept of “A Board Position”. Constitutionally, the Dekalb School Board was elected and elected individually, but it was elected to do a job as a team. SACS and each district define the roles and responsibilities of the board not a board individual. Thus, the school board as an entity has a job. The board’s job involves some complex skills in the areas of governance including participation in the required amount oversight, effective teamwork and group reporting responsibilities. The job also requires some uniform sacrifices and adherence to specific rules and standards. In 2011, in response to an accreditation emergency and an ineffective school board in Clayton County , the GA State Legislature acted to provide GA SB79 so that in the case of a district accreditation crisis, the State School Board could provide oversight and judgments and Governor could intervene on the both the students and property owners behalf.
RandyRand February 23, 2013 at 05:47 PM
In Dekalb County we have the crisis specifically identified in GA SB79, but the truth is that we have a much worse situation when it comes to our board and its members. As a board, they have decided that maintaining their individual jobs is a primary focus and collective purpose of The Board. This board decision, voted on secretly and ultimately at a cost to the students of Dekalb is unforgivable. Injunction after injunction has been filed in some contorted attempt to shield the clear and continuous failures of this non competent board entity. The State BOE and now the Governor has to view this recent legally misaligned Board focus for what it truly is: The fact that the only demonstrated team effort by the current Dekalb Board was a costly attempt to save its own collective ass. That is enough; “The Board” must go now!
DeKalb Guy February 23, 2013 at 06:20 PM
While I agree it's past time for change, I don't agree that the governor should pick the school board replacements. We have the right to vote for and elect our own representatives. What should happen is an immediate special election so we can decide for ourselves. While I may not trust the current school board, I certainly do not trust that the governor won't fill these seats with his friends and supporters. Which is worse is a matter of opinion. All I know is unlike the governor, I live in DeKalb, and I have a right to vote on my elected officials.
patrick February 23, 2013 at 10:39 PM
In 2014 the entire school board is up for election and the membership,by law,will go down to 7, then we can remove eugenge jr. from dist.2, the one item that the state overlooked this week.
lastminutemom February 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Patrick two years as a lifetime and a child. Walker with his cronies and clear mismanagement is destroying our school system. if we wait two years there might not be anything left.


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