Georgia Supreme Court upholds DeKalb Co. School Board suspension - CBS46 News

Georgia Supreme Court upholds DeKalb County School Board suspensions

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DEKALB COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

The Supreme Court of Georgia unanimously upheld as constitutional the 2010 statute that authorized Gov. Nathan Deal to suspend Dr. Eugene Walker and five others from the DeKalb County school board.

In this high-profile case, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia asked the Georgia Supreme Court to answer two questions before he issues a decision in the federal lawsuit filed by Walker and the school district:

• Does Georgia's School Board Suspension Statute violate the Georgia Constitution's doctrine that each school system shall be under the control of a local board of education whose members are elected?

• Does the potential removal of school board members under § 20-2-73 unconstitutionally exceed the General Assembly's authority to enact general laws regarding local boards of education?

In today's 47-page opinion, written by the Court as a whole, "we conclude that [Official Code of Georgia] § 20-2-73 does not violate the Georgia Constitution. Accordingly, we answer the questions of the District Court in the negative."

In December 2012, the Southeastern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) placed the DeKalb County School District on "accredited probation," which is the level of accreditation immediately preceding loss of accreditation.

Following several hearings on the matter, the state board recommended that the governor suspend six of the DeKalb board's nine members. Three members of the local board were not included for consideration because they were elected after SACS put the district on probation.

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