The DeKalb County School Board is not going down without a fight. With the loss of accreditation fears, the fact that the school district has been placed on probation by Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and a growing community concern about the school board’s ability to governor, members have decided to fight the constitutionality of the Georgia law that give the governor the right to remove board members. The School Board along with Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond are scheduled to face the State Board of Education in downtown Atlanta for a hearing to whether or not to remove the DeKalb board members from their post.
But on Tuesday, the school filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court which not only challenges the 2011 Georgia law, but is asking for a temporary restraining order (TRO) to stop the Thursday hearing from taking place as the DeKalb board remains in place during the lawsuit. However, the TRO request has not stopped the State School Board from moving forward with its planned hearing and recommendation to the Governor Deal.
Governor Nathan Deal told WXIA –TV, "I think the longer you leave this [situation in DeKalb] in a state of uncertainty, the greater the process of harm that comes. All of us should be focused on what's good for the children in the DeKalb school system... I don't see anything good that has happened up to this point. I was hopeful that we could dispose of the matter in an expeditious fashion, but it appears it may be prolonged" by the lawsuit.
On Wednesday the school board preceded with electing a new board chairman, but many people including county educators, business leaders, and parents are disappointed and angry over the board decision to use taxpayer dollars to fight its possible removal. Two different citizen petitions will be presented to the Governor Deal on Thursday requesting that he removes and replaces the entire DeKalb County School Board. There is also talk of election recall efforts.