Walker now has 7 million pieces of evidence in Exhibit A
It's no secret to those living in DeKalb County that Gene Walker is challenging the State of Georgia and the governor over a law that removed him from the school board. I've written here before that I think the law is bad. People should be voted out of office or recalled from office. I still think Walker wins in front of the Georgia Supreme Court and the entire school board is reinstated. And we'd be in no worse situation with the old board than we are with the new Board and Thurmond.
The big scare in DeKalb was losing accreditation. That can be solved in ninety days without doing much of anything. Step 1 is move away from system-wide accreditation (like 90% of other school districts in Georgia). Step 2 is to have each high school receive its accreditation from GAC, not SACS. The problem of accreditation would be solved. Mr. Walker is one of the top political men in Georgia over the past 30 years. He continually outflanks his opponents and haters, and seems to take great pride in doing so. He is playing chess and his political foes are playing checkers. But Walker did make one error - he failed to get the board and superintendent to move the system away from SACS. He underestimated Elgart and Fran. When Walker is reinstated his first move will be removing SACS.
Accreditation is no longer an issue in DeKalb. Elgart and SACS will move them up a notch before the legislators meet early in 2014. A move is on to go to dual accreditation, allowing high schools to receive accreditation from a secondary source (GAC). SACS doesn't like this idea, but they can't stop it legally. Thurmond is playing hardball on the dual accreditation issue, but the Board seems to favor it, as a backup plan. The new Board also sees how SACS can bully them and the new Board does not want SACS pulling the strings. All the new Board members (appointed) will run for office next year, and the dual accreditation issue will look nice on campaign literature. But Walker will soon give Thurmond the wink and nod to support the dual accreditation. Why? It protects DeKalb students and paves the way for a smoother triumphant return for Walker & Co. With all high schools fully accredited (we hope), the people of DeKalb will again bury their collective heads in the sand dunes of DeKalb.
The other SACS complaint and reason for placing the district on probation was due to financial issues. Claims were made the Board mismanaged funds. This was not true with a deficit and not true with the new false surplus. It was the central office employees (hired and kept in place by the Board) that were/are incompetent. And under Thurmond they are not going away so we are right where we were a year ago. But the BIG NEWS is that the DeKalb School System is not broke, but in fact has a surplus of $27 million dollars, $7 million of 'found' money. This is Exhibit A for Gene Walker. There was no financial wrong-doings under Walker's watch is what we will be told, and he now has 7 million pieces of evidence. But those of you new to DeKalb doings realize there is no surplus. These funds were mostly set aside dollars for after school programs and funds used for active boards and books. This $27 million was simply moved from schools to the general fund. A shameful accounting trick no doubt. But hey, we have a $27 million surplus. Tell that to the kids and parents and teachers suffering in this corrupt school system.
Of course we have a new CFO. The prior CFO pulled a disappearing act as soon as the $7 million was "discovered". The former CFO was doing too good of a job, that's most likely why he is gone. His replacement was CFO under Vernon Jones.
As Mr. Walker awaits his Due Process (something not granted to him or the other Board members when they were removed from office), he will continue to orchestrate his plan of discovering evidence, all from the sidelines. The governor, the local political posse, and Mr. Elgart, like all before them, will be out maneuvered by one of the best.
Touché, Mr. Walker.
But the local strategists can still win, but only if Independent School Districts are created in DeKalb.