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DeKalb School Board votes to drop lawsuit

DeKalb School Board votes to drop lawsuit

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- The DeKalb County Board of Education voted to terminate their lawsuit against the Georgia State Board of Education during a board meeting Wednesday. 

Board members voted 9-0 in their first meeting as a newly sworn-in school board after two cancelled meetings; one on March 4 and March 11. 

As a result of the vote, Superintendent Michael Thurmond will take the steps to seek termination of the district as plaintiff in the case of DeKalb County School District, et al. vs the Georgia State Board of Education, et al., Case No. 1:13-CV-0544. 

New DeKalb board members sworn in

New DeKalb board members sworn in

ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal announced Wednesday six names to replace six ousted DeKalb County School Board members. 

The new board members -- John Coleman, Michael Erwin, David Campbell, Joyce Morley, Karen Carter and Thaddeus Mayfield -- were sworn in during a ceremony at the DeKalb County Schools administrative headquarters at 1 p.m. 

MORE | Continuing coverage of DeKalb school issues

Deal says a selection panel interviewed about 60 applicants from a field of more than 400. Deal said he's encouraged by the candidates' qualifications and their credentials are a testament to the residents of DeKalb County.

Gov. Deal fires back at civil rights leaders over DeKalb School Board

Gov. Deal fires back at civil rights leaders over DeKalb School Board

ATLANTA --  Governor Nathan Deal (R-Georgia) announced Tuesday that he will name replacements Wednesday morning for 6 DeKalb County School Board members he suspended on February 25th.

His office also released a list of 60 possible candidates out of 403 that were interviewed by a special nomination panel since last Friday.

Deal acted under a 2011 law to remove the school board members after the DeKalb's accreditation was put on probation due to a "dysfunctional" board.

On Tuesday he also fired back at some civil rights leaders who've accused him of acting as a dictator with questionable racial intentions.

They met with him Monday to criticize his action as an unconstitutional disenfranchisement of DeKalb County voters.

Ga. Senate OKs scholarship tax credit changes

Ga. Senate OKs scholarship tax credit changes

ATLANTA --The Georgia Senate has approved changes to a tax credit program that provides scholarships for children to attend private schools.

State senators voted unanimously Thursday to support the changes, which include a reporting requirement on the average household income of recipients and requires eligible students to have attended public school for at least six weeks with a few exceptions.

Under the system, people can receive state tax credits by giving nonprofit scholarship providers donations of up to $1,000 for individuals and up to $2,500 for married couples.

The Southern Education Foundation had raised concerns that donors may have been allowed to earmark donations, although supporters had argued that was prohibited under the law. The Senate bill would add language specifically prohibiting that.

403 people apply for 6 vacancies on DeKalb School Board

403 people apply for 6 vacancies on DeKalb School Board

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga -- Given the tumultuous state of Georgia's third largest school system, some might ask why anyone would want to be on the DeKalb County School Board.

The answer is 403 people.

That's right, FOUR-HUNDRED-AND-THREE...for 6 part time jobs that only pay $18,000 a year.

READ | Full list of applicants for DeKalb School Board seats
MORE | Continuing coverage of DeKalb school issues

That's the number Governor Nathan Deal's office provided to 11 Alive News just after the 5 p.m. deadline for applications on Wednesday.

State "overwhelmed" with applications for empty DeKalb School seats

State "overwhelmed" with applications for empty DeKalb School seats

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Georgia Board of Education member Kenneth Mason admits he's a bit "overwhelmed".

As of Monday afternoon, 150 people had applied for six vacant seats on the DeKalb County School Board and the deadline for more applications isn't until 5 p.m. Wednesday.

Some were from other parts of Georgia and at least one from out-of-state, but whoever is picked will have to live in the school district to be represented.

"Business leaders, community activists, parents, concerned people who want to be part of the solution," is how Mason described the list to 11Alive News on Tuesday.

Mason is chairman of a nomination panel named last week by Governor Nathan Deal to begin picking replacements for the six DeKalb members the governor suspended.

DeKalb School Board's court fight sparks outrage

DeKalb School Board's court fight sparks outrage

ATLANTA, Ga. -- A federal judge in Atlanta promised Friday to rule quickly on whether Georgia's governor has the constitutional authority to remove elected school board members from office.

The DeKalb County School Board is suing the governor, claiming that the Georgia law empowering him to remove members of the DeKalb school board is unconstitutional. The board's attorney argued the key points of case at a hearing before U.S. District Court Judge Richard Story Friday afternoon.

There is outrage on both sides of the case.

The school board members are in limbo while their case is being considered, they are powerless to act to try to save the school system's accreditation until the state law is settled because the governor has already suspended six of the nine members pending the judge's ruling. The judge is letting them stay in office for now, but ordered them not to take any official action on any matter until he rules.