New faces took their places on the DeKalb County School Board Wednesday night. It was the first public meeting where the six newly appointed school board members worked with the three newly elected board members.
Among the actions taken by the DeKalb County Board of Education was the unanimous vote to end the District’s involvement in a lawsuit over the Governor’s constitutional right to remove and appoint new members to elected positions. Governor Nathan Deal acted on the Georgia Law outlining the steps and reasons a governor could take such actions against a school board including the possibility of losing accreditation.
In February, just before being removed from office, the previous board filed a lawsuit challenging the state law. However, the removal process continued. That lawsuit has now moved to the State Supreme Court.
Wednesday night, the DeKalb board voted to request Superintendent Michael Thurmond to instruct outside counsel to take appropriate steps to terminate the district’s plaintiff status in the DeKalb County School District, et at. vs. the Georgia State Board of Education, et al, Case No. 1:13-CV-0544. In removing its name from the lawsuit, the board also terminated district payments to attorney Bob Wilson for legal representation.
It also leaves removed board member, Eugene Walker as the sole plaintiff in the case.
According to WSB-TV, Walker told reporter Tony Thomas, “Oh yea, I’m going to continue. It is a constitutional issue. I’m going to pay out of my own pocket.”
How well enacting the state law in question actually works, and what the outcome of the law’s “constitutionality test” reveals, is what all of DeKalb County will be watching in the coming weeks. But for now, many people are saying, so far they are pleased with the “business-like” manner in which the new DeKalb School board tackled the issues.