As the new head of the DeKalb County School System prepares to face the State Board of Education this week in effort to save the District, parent and community groups are urging the State Board and Governor to remove all DeKalb School Board members. Thursday, Feb. 21, Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond will go before the State Board in the second hearing to determine if the Board will recommend to Governor Nathan Deal to remove and replace the DeKalb board members. Under the 2011 Georgia law 20-2-73(a) the State Board has the authority to make such a recommendation when a school district faces possible loss of its accreditation, such as DeKalb. Citizen groups like Restore DeKalb continue its public efforts to education the community about the District's problems.
An Online Petition to remove the school board members has been circulating for weeks following the scathing Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) report that placed DeKalb on probation because of a number of serious management and financial findings. The Petition site states reasons why the community should sign the petition and why the state should follow the signature lead request including:
DeKalb County School Board members have apparently strayed from their focus on their fiduciary duty to DeKalb County's next generation and devolved into political bickering and self-serving power struggles. Strong action by the State School Board and the Governor IS REQUIRED IMMEDIATELY.
Restore DeKalb held an educational town hall meeting on Saturday. The group, teamed up with other concerned citizen efforts called for DeKalb residents to take time to understand the seriousness of the District’s problems with the possible loss of its accreditation and the impact that can have on the district’s children, property owners and taxpayers.
Interim Superintendent Michael Thurmond says the District is “Ready to turn over a new leaf”. Thurmond stated, “They are committed and I am committed. The number one priority is restoring full accreditation for the District with this board or another board.”
Local business leaders have expressed concern about the impact of the DeKalb School District troubles are having on the economy.