Five of six suspended members of the DeKalb County school board have petitioned Gov. Deal to get their seats back. The governor suspended, and then replaced, the six members at the recommendation of the state board of education.
Former board chair Eugene Walker, Jesse Cunningham, Donna Edler, Sarah Copelin-Wood, and Pam Speaks are the five who’ve submitted petitions. Gov. Deal’s spokesperson Brian Robinson says the clock is ticking.
Officials with the DeKalb County schools originally predicted the district would run a deficit of tens of millions of dollars next year. But when interim superintendent Michael Thurmond released his proposed budget last week, it revealed a surplus of more than $9 million.
District spokesman Jeff Dickerson says the money came from federal and state reimbursements that district officials didn’t know to ask for.
DeKalb County District Attorney Robert James Tuesday issued an indictment for three former DeKalb educators accused of cheating on standardized tests. Speaking to a group of parents Wednesday, DeKalb’s interim superintendent Michael Thurmond responded to the charges.
The charges include public record fraud, such as changing attendance records and removing students from school rolls during testing so their scores wouldn’t count. Thurmond said he was saddened by the indictment, but was glad it wasn’t worse.
The DeKalb County school board Wednesday night received an update from the head of its accrediting agency. In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the district on accredited probation due to board governance problems. The recently re-constituted board has a lot of work ahead of it.
Mark Elgart, the CEO of SACS’ parent company, said by December 31 the board will need to: (1) develop a plan for student achievement, (2) improve the district’s finances, and (3) demonstrate effective governance.