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DEKALB CO.: School board member blasts media leaks | Education

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DEKALB CO.: School board member blasts media leaks

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. -- DeKalb School Board Vice Chair Paul Womack blasted other members of the board who leaked information about secret contract negotiations with the leading candidate for superintendent.

"It's inexcusable that one or two board members would divulge what goes on in executive session," Womack said during a community meeting on Monday. "It's a violation of ethics and board policy."

The lead candidate, Dr. Lillie Cox from Hickory, N.C., withdrew her candidacy over the weekend after details of her negotiations, including her requests for vacation time, severance and salary, were leaked to the media.

Womack called Dr. Cox "an outstanding candidate."

"One or two board members did not want her, so they sabotaged by releasing the negotiations," Womack said. He did not name the board members responsible for the leaks.

Members of the DeKalb County School Board plan to meet in executive session for the second day in a row on Tuesday to talk about the search for a permanent superintendent.

Dr. Cox was the second of three finalists to drop out of the running.

Dr. Gloria Davis, Superintendent of the Decatur, Ill. Public Schools (8,700 students), recently informed the board that she didn't want to be considered for the job.

That leaves only Arthur R. Culver, Superintendent of Champaign, Ill. Community Unit School District Number 4 (8,900 students), left. But reports surfaced late Monday that he had pulled out, as well.

DeKalb County has been without a permanent school superintendent for a year. The last man with the job, Dr. Crawford Lewis, was indicted.

Now, the district faces a looming deadline from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS).

Officials with SACS have warned the board to conduct an open, national superintendent search to avoid probation.

DeKalb County is Georgia's third largest school district with more than 90,000 students.

The school board has been conducting a national search for a permanent superintendent since April 2010, when Dr. Lewis was fired and later indicted on charges he ran a criminal enterprise in the school system.

Ramona Tyson has served as interim superintendent since taking over the reins a year ago. She was at the helm during the controversial redistricting process earlier this year.

Tyson has said that she's not interested in becoming the permanent superintendent, but that could change with only one finalist left in the running.

For more information and updates on the permanent superintendent search, visit www.dekalbsuperintendentsearch.com.