Friday, May 31, 2013

DeKalb School Board Old New Elected Appointed

A couple of big things happening in DeKalb the next two weeks.  Number One is the Gene Walker case in front of the Georgia Supreme Court. This takes place early next week.  I have no idea if this is a one day or one week ordeal.  And we do not know when the GA Supreme Court will voice an opinion.  Gene Walker's position is that SB 84 is unconstitutional.  Walker contends he had no due process and the governor should not be allowed to rule against the voters of DeKalb.  Walker has not been accused or convicted of any crimes relating to his performance on the school board.  Same goes for the other removed school board members.  In summary, Mark Elgart from SACS put DeKalb school kids in a headlock, put the school board members in a figure-four leg lock, and referee Governor Deal made everyone tap out.  The victor?  Mark Elgart.  Nothing has changed in DeKalb since the Board was removed.  Test scores have not changed.  graduation rates won't change, classrooms are still crowded, and teachers' pay is the same.  And the new Board's first action was to buy new cars for central office employees.  Ramsey and Ramona Tyson are back in control.  I contend DeKalb school system is in worse shape now compared to a year ago.



If the Georgia Supreme Court finds in favor of Gene Walker, he and the other five board members will be back on the job immediately.  Their first order of business will be to fire SACS, switch to GAC accreditation, and have individual schools accredited.  The appointed school board members can go back to their day jobs.

If Gene Walker loses, the appointed members stay until next year when most are voted out of office by the voters of DeKalb.  By next election cycle the voters in DeKalb will have a bad 2013-2014 budget to point to as reason to vote them out. 

The hearings for the removed board members see here: http://wabe.org/post/suspended-dekalb-school-board-members-attain-reinstatement-hearings ) are a formality.  No way the governor puts any back on the board.  The funny part of these hearings are the four witnesses.  Elgart is no surprise.  But the other three witnesses are surprising: Melvin Johnson, Jim McMahan, Marshall Orson.  One of these three members was referenced in the critical SACS report.  He was mentioned as already visiting 'his' schools and making a scene.  And all three witnesses fought to keep the old (original) board members on the board, until the State of Georgia used some sort of 3rd World legal logic interpreting SB 84 to determine the newly elected members could stay.  SB 84 make sit clear that all board members should be removed.  My how the winds have changed for those three.  It will be quite the 'welcome back' party should Gene win his case.

And one board member who was present during part of the time SACS determined to be The Dark Ages, nancy Jester, is not named as a witness.  Jester is not seeking reinstatement, is not on the board, but was on the board, so why is she not a witness? 

So we all need to wait around and see if Gene wins. 

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