Anyone who has read commentary by this writer could possibly conclude this writer would like for the six suspended members of the DeKalb County School Board to resign.
There has been public and legal commentary offered concerning the removal of the six board members and the constitutional authority of the Governor to remove any local school board member. While much of the conversation surrounding the decision by the Governor to remove the DeKalb Six School Board Members appears to be based on Georgia Code (O.C.G.A.20-2-73).
For the record I must state I have no legal training or any expert experience in interpreting any aspect of law of any type. However, I did learn to read and did learn a little reading comprehension. With the acknowledgement of my legal experience being stated, I thought it important to actual know what (O.C.G.A.20-2-73) states.
From my reading (O.C.G.A.20-2-73) relates only to any temporary replacement of a member of a local school board. “Any temporary replacement member appointed pursuant to this paragraph or O.C.G.A.20-2-73 shall serve until the completion of the suspension or until the seat becomes vacant, whichever occurs first.”
My understanding of this statement in the law is simple, should the Governor appoints six new members they shall serve until the completion of the suspension or until the seat becomes vacant, whichever occurs first.
Should at anytime the suspended board members resign according to the law the appointed members by the Governor shall no longer by law be allowed to serve because the seat is vacant. Therefore, this writer continues to believe the six suspended board members should resign before the appointments and thereby give the voters of DeKalb the opportunity to select their replacements or seek to be re-elected by the voters.
This writer also believes others parts of the law should be viewed in light of the concerns regarding the constitutionality of (O.C.G.A.20-2-73). Again, this writer does not express any legal interpretation of the law. However, this is another section of the law for the reader to consider;
(7) SUSPENSION OF LOCAL BOARDS OF EDUCATION
(a) Any accrediting agency included in subparagraph (6.1) (A) of O.C.G.A. § 20-3-519 shall notify in writing the State School Superintendent upon placing any LEA or school on the level of accreditation immediately preceding the loss of accreditation for school board governance reasons. Such notice shall include the reason or reasons for the decision of the accrediting agency. The timeline for hearings conducted by the State Board of Education under O.C.G.A. §20-2-73or paragraph (7) (b) of this rule shall begin on the day following the State School Superintendent’s receipt of notification from the accrediting agency.
You can draw your own conclusions regarding this section. Also, the voters of DeKalb as well as the six suspended board members should also consider if there is not a scheme in place to reduce the size of the board from nine to the seven as described by the law.
It is possible the additional new six members appointed by the Governor could by law vote to change the size to the board membership. A view of this section of the law is included for you the reader to draw your own conclusion.
(3) LOCAL BOARD OF EDUCATION SIZE.
(a) In accordance with O.C.G.A. §20-2-52, each local board of education shall have no more than seven members as provided by local Act.
1. Paragraph (3) (a) shall not apply to a local board of education whose board size exceeds seven members as provided by local constitutional amendment or federal court order or pursuant to a local law in effect prior toJuly 1, 2010; provided, however, that if the local law of any such local board of education is amended to revise the number of members on such board, paragraph (3) (a) shall apply.
This writer believes there is more to what perhaps one of the largest school districts in the state Georgia is experiencing than the fact (S.A.C.S.) placed the school district on probation as apposed to loss of accreditation as stated by law.
Considering there is a subtle and yet overt goal of those who left the cities and counties years ago to return and reclaim the reigns of local governments. We must be aware every tool of government and laws will be used to implement the goal of reclaiming what some think has been lost to those who have no legitimate right to lead.
Again, the most logical move by the suspended board members would be to resign thereby eliminating the need for the Governor to appoint his six hand picked members to the Dekalb BOE and allow the people of DeKalb to make the decision.
What is happening with the DeKalb BOE as well as what is happening across the country is in this writer view is social and political warfare. As in any conflict there must be consideration for whom you are doing battle with.
A great military general once said “when your enemy is superior, you retreat, when you are equally match you agitate, when you are superior to your enemy you crush them.” To the DeKalb Suspended Six School Board Members, I suggest that you are equally matched with your enemy so your resignation would agitate your enemy thereby opening other avenues to wage to battle for who will lead the Dekalb School Board.
I ask you individually and collectively, would you want the people of DeKalb to elect new members to the school board or would you prefer the Governors hand picked committed to decide who will represent each school board seats you once occupied?
Please resign now for the good of all concerned, especially the integrity I believe each of you share.