Friday, April 15, 2011

SB 79 passes

From the AJC today:

Bill giving governor power to remove Atlanta board passes

The General Assembly gave final approval late Thursday night to a bill giving the governor the power to remove all members of the troubled Atlanta school board and cutting the DeKalb County school board from nine to seven members.

Click here to read SB 79 in it's entirety

The versions can be accessed at the bottom of the web page.


Avidfan said...

The pertinent provision:

Said article is further amended by adding a new Code section to read as follows:
(a) On and after January 1, 2013, in counties in which there is being collected a homestead option sales and use tax pursuant to Article 2A of Chapter 8 of Title 48and a county sales and use tax for educational purposes pursuant to Part 2 of Article 3 of Chapter 8 of Title 48 and the county board of education consists of more than seven members, such county boards of education shall comply with this Code section. Such county boards of education shall consist of seven members elected from single-member districts of approximately equal population. The number of members may be reduced to less than seven members by local legislation, but such members shall be elected from single-member districts of approximately equal population.

Gayle said...

"Such county boards of education shall consist of seven members elected from single-member districts of approximately equal population. T"

Does this mean there is to be no "at large" delegates?

Ella Smith said...


I heard Senator Carter speak on the topic and the DeKalb delegation could not come together on this topic.

He was opposed to going around the Delegation delegation and I can understand this. However, I am horrible disappointed that the representatives could not work with the senate in this county and come to an agreement. Basically the bill passed by the entire Ga. delegation was about the same bill as the senate proposed. I am sad that this had to happen. I am sad that apparently politics prevented what was best for the students and citizens of DeKalb to come about because of either a few how prevented it or politics possible on the school board against it. Well the school board and county political hold off was trumped by the whole GA delegation. This is a sad day for DeKalb County that this group could not do what was best for the community and students. The GA. delegation should not have had to made this decision.

Unknown said...

Well, Ella, maybe Tom Bowen and the BOE should have behaved like responsible adults and met in person with the DeKalb delegation. Explaining their concerns in a reasoned manner might have led to a different outcome. I am just sorry they did not reduce the BOE to 5 or 3.

We already know that Bowen fraudulently used Nancy Jester's signature on the embarrassing poorly written letter sent to the DeKalb delegation. Which other BOE signature(s) did he use fraudulently?

It is unfortunate that there is no adult supervision for the DCSS BOE.

Or, for that matter, no adult supervision for the BOE secretary who typed up the letter (including all the errors) and who also was an accessory to fraud by not confirming with each BOE member that their signature could be used on this document.

Ella Smith said...

The board just does not want to all run again in two years. They do not want to have to run against each other.

I do not think district 8 candidate will have to worry about it. I suspect she can just run for district 4 possible without another board member running against her if district 4 school board member decides to retire. However, Walker and Jay will have to decide who is going to run or if both of them will run against each other.

Sagamore 7 said...

ATL @ 04/15 @ 11:08.

"Does this mean that there is no "At Large Delegates?"

Your interpretation is correct.
There will be NO Super Districts for the Board of Education.

The county school board districts will be redrawn.

There will be 7, equally populated school districts which will have one Board member each.


Kim Gokce said...

The loss of super districts was pointed out to me by some board members as a reason to oppose the change if you are in North DeKalb. The theory was/is that the super districts "balance" the "power" that South DeKalb and minority communities have in Board politics. The observation was that the people that complained the loudest about "South DeKalb" getting all the goodies are the same people screaming loudest to reduce the Board districts.

I'm not sure I fully understood the point but I'm not the most insightful when it comes to the business of politics. It will be very interesting to see what drives the boundaries of the representatives going forward - another opportunity to do something good or nefarious for the future of DeKalb public education ...

Cerebration said...

Once again -- the DeKalb delegation had the opportunity to allow the whole matter to go for a public vote to DeKalb voters so that the voters themselves could choose IF they wanted to reduce the size of the board, and if so, to 5 or 7 members.... This was the bill proposed by Mary Margaret Oliver. It was fair and democratic (actually, I'm told that the increase to 9 was never voted by the public, it was pushed through by the south DeKalb delegation without public input at all.) MMO tried very hard to offer a fair and reasonable way to make this decision - but the south DeKalb delegation shut her down. Now - oddly - they try to make the statewide referendum look "unfair" because it's not "local" -- leading me to believe that what they consider "local" is strictly their own personal opinions.

It doesn't work that way in America.

betty said...

I personally think that if a board member in South or North or Central Dekalb is making a decision that effects my child in any way, I should have a voice in who sits on the board. Local Representation get us nowhere. How many times over the course of the redistricting did you hear "I have to be concerned about the county as a whole not just my constituents" I heard it one too many times. I also think some don't give a rat's %$# about anything that doesn't effect their district. This is why the board should be seated as a whole not individually.

Gayle said...

@ betty
I agree. I think all BOE members should be elected at large. Neither North DeKalb or South DeKalb are monolithic voting blocks diametrically opposed to each other, although this is the way we are often portrayed in the media. There are many communities throughout DeKalb, and they have varying viewpoints and interests.

We have a very diverse population and you will find numerous income levels and parental involvement (or lack thereof) all over the county.

Electing BOE members at large would bind many of these geographically disparate communities together and encourage them to meet, talk, and find common ground. EVERY BOE member should be representing EVERY child and EVERY taxpayer.

Anon said...

Atl and Betty

It would have been nice if the DeKalb delegation had cooperated enough to at least have those discussions.

They didn't. It is as if no one in S. DeKalb gives a rat's a*s about students and their education, not to mention the nearly billion dollars being spent.

SB 79 was the best we could get -- this time.

PolitiMom said...

I have mixed feeling about the At Large candidates. Say they all are at large reps (as a previous poster suggested.) What if we go thru the election and it happens that all the candidates who won were from one part of the county (say all from NDK or all from SDK.) That would be such a disaster. While I hate the idea that each member only looks at his/her particular districts interests, at least there is equal representation from all parts of the county that way. What I'd like to see is that they each sign a binding resolution that says they will agree to make decisions with the interest of all the county children in mind FIRST, then the interest of their particular district second or resign. Wish there were a way to measure and hold them accountable to that.

Anon said...

There are school districts across the country with at large reps, but each rep has to live in a certain district. So, Seat 1 is held by someone who lives in a certain district, but who is elected county/city wide.

I think this is a great model.

Sagamore 7 said...

County wide elections are a great model and desperatley needed in Dekalb County.

The candidate is required to live in the district but is voted on by the entire county!