Developing
3:16 pm
Tue February 19, 2013

DeKalb School District Files Lawsuit To Stop Thursday Hearing

Updated 5:20 PM -- See Below

The DeKalb County School District has filed a motion with the Superior Court of Fulton County asking for a temporary restraining order that would prevent the DeKalb school board's scheduled hearing before the State Board of Education on Thursday. 

The DeKalb school system was placed on probation in December by its accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, for what SACS called board governance issues that were preventing major decisions from being made. 

The state board has been considering whether to recommend to Governor Nathan Deal that the members of the DeKalb board be removed from office.  Thursday's hearing was scheduled to be the DeKalb board's last chance to convince the state board not to make that recommendation.

Robert Wilson, the attorney for the DeKalb School District, contends that the 2011 law giving Governor Deal the power to remove local school board members is invalid under the Georgia state constitution, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  Wilson says this law unconstitutionally allows duly-elected public officials to be removed from office without any proof of misconduct on the part of any of the individual board members.

Update:  WABE's Martha Dalton spoke with Fulton County Superior Court staff attorney Beth Baer.  She said that the case has been assigned to Fulton Superior Court Judge Kelly Lee (case number 2013CV227450).  No hearings have been scheduled yet, and there is no guarantee that a hearing will be scheduled before Thursday.

This is a developing story which will be updated as more information becomes available.