DeKalb County school board chairman steps down - CBS46 News

DeKalb County school board chairman steps down

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The DeKalb County school board needs to find a new chairman. Current chair Eugene Walker announced Monday that he is stepping down from his leadership position, though he will remain on the board.

Last week, the board tried to vote on a new chairman.  However, they couldn't come to an agreement, so Walker kept the post.

Walker said stepping down is an effort to show the board is working together.

"We want the public to know that we are a board and we will make whatever sacrifices are necessary to move us forward and move us forward in a positive way," said Walker.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) put the district on probation last December after an investigation found mismanagement of money, an abuse of power and a lack of leadership.

"He felt it was necessary to let new leadership rise to the occasion and I'm very proud of the position and the decision he made today," said interim school superintendent Michael Thurmond in reaction to Walker's resignation as chair.

The board hopes to elect a new chairman by Wednesday.

But some parents actively involved in the district want the entire board removed.

"Remove this board," said Betsy Parks.  "Replace them with temporary people that can right this ship." 

Parks has gathered nearly 1,600 signatures on a petition that urges Governor. Deal to suspend board members.  She plans to present them after a hearing at the state board of education on Thursday.

Also Monday, the DeKalb board voted to hire a firm to provide leadership training to them.  It is a key concern of SACS.

"I don't have a magic wand," said Thurmond.  "We won't address all the challenges that we face but you know it's first step in the long journey back to full accreditation and I'm very excited about that."

On Tuesday, DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis will meet with interim DeKalb County Superintendent Michael Thurmond.

They will discuss what actions the school district is taking to come off probation, and how county officials can help.

CBS Atlanta New will have more on this story at 6 p.m.

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