The law, passed in 2011, authorized Gov. Nathan Deal’s suspension of the board’s six longest-serving members on Feb. 25.
The board, which includes six replacement members appointed by Deal on March 13, voted unanimously to terminate its participation in the suit, which cost the district $139,221.48 between January and March.
Thad Mayfield, who took the District 9 seat that was held by Dr. Eugene Walker, asked whether the county could be sued for breaching its contract with the removed members. The school district’s attorney told him no.
In addition to voting on March 20 to exit the suit, the board froze hiring and spending on discretionary expenses until the end of the year. The freeze does not include positions at the school level and instructional purchases.
The biggest task for the newcomers is preserving the district’s accreditation.
The district’s chief strategy officer, Ramona Tyson, told the board that administrators will send a progress report to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools on May 1 describing its efforts to clear up deficiencies cited by the accrediting agency.
SACS placed the district on accreditation probation on Dec. 17, precipitating removal of the old board members. It will make a final decision on accreditation by Dec. 31.
Most votes taken at the meeting were unanimous and board members were polite and businesslike. Though some parents attending the meeting preferred to withhold judgment, others seemed to appreciate the cooperative atmosphere.
Joel Edwards, a South DeKalb resident, said he thought the board members gave an excellent presentation.
“It was different from what I’ve experienced here before,” he said. “I think we as taxpayers of this county are going to be OK moving forward.”