Fire the School Board

February 20, 2013

Tomorrow, Thursday, February 21, is the day of reckoning for the DeKalb County Board of Education.

The State Board of Education will meet at 8:00 a.m. on the 20th floor of the East Tower of the Sloppy Floyd Building in Downtown Atlanta to decide whether to recommend to the Governor that the DeKalb BOE be removed for running our school system into a ditch and jeopardizing its accreditation.

I am hopeful that the State BOE will recommend removal, and that Governor Deal will accept their recommendation and end the DeKalb BOE’s reign of terror.

The Sloppy Floyd Building is located across Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from the State Capitol. The State BOE is meeting is open to the public. Alternatively, you can click the following link to watch the meeting over the Internet via the State BOE’s website:

http://www.gadoe.org/External-Affairs-and-Policy/State-Board-of-Education/Pages/Live-Webcasts.aspx

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed the DeKalb BOE on probation for myriad reasons: school board members meddling in administrative matters such as hiring decisions and financial resource allocation, school board members meddling in the day-to-day administration of local schools, children without textbooks, approximately $12 million in textbook expenditures without any books to show for it, an excessive amount spent “lawyering up” for various lawsuits, and on and on and on.

Now should be a time when the school board takes swift corrective action to save the accreditation that our school system is poised to lose in less than a year.

But instead they have hired former State Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond, someone with no background whatsoever in public education, as our new superintendent of schools. Mr. Thurmond promptly pledged to make himself the only person to speak for the school board at tomorrow’s State BOE hearing. The board members should answer for themselves.

The school board also hired the top-flight law firm McKenna, Long & Aldridge to provide “governance training” (no kidding) at a minimum price of $150,000.

And yesterday the school board used your tax dollars to hire former DeKalb County District Attorney Bob Wilson to sue the Governor in Fulton County Superior Court for an injunction to prevent him from removing them from office. This is just plain offensive.

All of this from a school board that SACS found to be spending too much on legal fees.

As a parent of a child in the DeKalb County schools, I feel no need to sugarcoat this:

Stop the insanity! Remove the school board.

Please attend or tune-in tomorrow at 8:00 a.m. Our children and our community depend on the State BOE getting this right.


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