It appears the majority of people have gotten their wish. I heard and read numerous commentaries. Some of them were more informed than others, but that does not matter. The question now is “What happens next?” Let’s start by asking some questions.
1. Will the board sue as a board or individuals? Yes and Yes. The state board voted to retain the three new board members. That would be a violation of O.C.G.A. § 20-2-73 as I understand it. The law as it stands now says everyone goes. Does the State BOE have the right to amend law? Every mistake made in procedure or shooting from the hip will result in a legal challenge. Everyone loses here. Who loses the most? The students. The turmoil of litigation will slow the whole process to a crawl. The students and taxpayers need help now.
2. What will the Governor do? He has great public pressure on him. If he calls for their removal he may have to revisit his decision down the road. Politicians never like to have to take something back. Of course if he suspends he may be upheld. Or…….
3. Is the law constitutional. I think not, but I am just like everyone else with an opinion. Should this go to court, and I think it will, the state, Governor, and legislature may have to do a pull back down the road. Could it mean that all BOE members would be reinstated and made whole if they lose any pay? It could get really messy and expensive.
4. Can unelected officials have the power to remove elected boards of education? I have previously stated that I think only the voter can do that. You vote them out or you recall them. SACS made charges that they admitted they could not document or show to the state board of education. What did Ty Tagami say in his article. How do you fight smoke? Once again SACS has the power of God. Who are they accountable to? It is good if you get to be judge and jury.
5. What is the carnage? Pam Speaks and Nancy Jester. They are both solid people. They are not vicious politicians trying to get an edge. I like them both so I guess that makes me prejudiced. I was there with them, however ,when we were blown away in votes 6-3 numerous times. The Superintendent search was the beginning of the end. Very few people studied and had a real grasp of the issues at hand. Pam and Nancy knew the Board was blowing it, but could do nothing about it. Remember when the Board speaks you must support the vote. SACS will descend on you if you don”t.
6. What happens next week if the courts grant a trial on constitutional grounds? Will there be 15 board members?
My predictions. There will be suits. The DeKalb BOE will win on constitutional grounds. It will be long and laborious. I feel from what I have been reading today that everyone thinks that the DeKalb BOE is gone and everything is fixed. We are a long way from that.
Please do not misunderstand my points. I too think that most of this BOE is weak. There are some, in my opinion, who are not qualified. There are others that are purely political people that are there to have the limelight. They do not always prepare, but are quick to charge a TV camera or microphone. Voters could take care of this if they would. It is unfortunate that we seem to have two different electorates and they do not mix well. Too many people worried about one side of the county getting something the other side does not get whether real or imagined. It is not about “stuff”. It is about educating ALL the children.
What will be the outcome of all this posturing and opining? The voter will eventually get hyper focused on our legislature and their law making abilities. The Charter School law was overturned two years ago. Will this bill, that was run through our legislature to purposely get rid of the DeKalb Board, survive the courts? If not, we need to focus on those responsible. What about SACS? Will they have to be accountable to anyone. Right now they have unbelievable power and no restraints. Most everyone thinks they are an accrediting agency. Do they focus on academics? No. What is it they told Nancy Jester while at the GSBA convention? It is a process. By the academic record of DeKalb County they should have put us on probation years ago.
See you in court.