Georgia Supreme Court to consider DeKalb lawsuit

Ty Tagami informed AJC readers today that the Supreme Court of Georgia has announced that they have the DeKalb school board case on their docket and will consider it. They have up to six months to make a decision.

The school governance controversy in DeKalb County has moved to Georgia’s highest court, where justices could take up to half a year to consider whether the displacement of six school board members was unconstitutional.

Last week, Gov. Nathan Deal named six new members for the DeKalb school board, after suspending six who were in office last year when the system’s accreditation dropped precipitously.

The suspended board members sued in federal court, and last week the judge asked the Georgia Supreme Court to consider the constitutionality of the 2011 law authorizing Deal’s action. On Monday, the state’s high court docketed the case.

The justices will consider two questions: Does the state’s new law violate a constitutional “doctrine” that school systems be controlled by elected school boards, and did the General Assembly extend unconstitutional powers to the governor?

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Georgia Supreme Court to consider lawsuit by suspended DeKalb school board

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9 Responses to Georgia Supreme Court to consider DeKalb lawsuit


    The DeKalb Board of Education will hold a business meeting at 6:00pm, Wednesday, March 20, 2013, in the J. David Williamson Board Room in the Robert R. Freeman Administrative Center at the DeKalb County School System’s Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

    The meeting agenda can be accessed online by going to:, click on Leadership, go to eBoard Home Page and click on the date for the meeting agenda\information.


    Dr. Melvin Johnson, Chair
    DeKalb Board of Education

  2. ursokm16 says:

    So the aspect of relying on SACs as a basis for the Governor’s decision isn’t being looked at?

  3. No Duh says:

    Action item #13!!!!!

  4. No Duh says:

    Reduction in legal expenses.

    Quick Summary / Abstract
    Presented by: Mr. Marshall D. Orson, Board Representative, District #2

    Upon approval of this action item, the Superintendent is requested within 24 hours to instruct outside counsel to take appropriate steps to seek termination of the School District’s further status as plaintiff in the above-referenced lawsuit and any related litigation.

    Financial Impact
    Termination as plaintiff of the DeKalb County School District in the above-referenced lawsuit and any related litigation will result in financial savings as of the date of the termination of such status.

    Requested Action
    It is requested that the DeKalb County Board of Education terminate the School District’s status as plaintiff in the above-referenced legal matter and any related litigation in any court. It is further requested that such termination be without prejudice, if possible.

    Motion by: ___________________
    Seconded by: ________________
    Vote: _______

    Implementation Date(s)
    March 21, 2013

  5. howdy1942 says:

    Thanks for sharing, but does this mean that if the Dekalb School Board votes to drop its status as plaintiff, does that mean that the Dekalb County Taxpayers will no longer be funding Eugene Walker’s efforts? More specifically, will any Dekalb taxpayer dollars be used to fund Walker’s appeal to the Georgia Supreme Court? This is a very fine point, but the School Board could drop its status as plaintiff yet still fund Eugene Walker’s effort. Anyone know the answer?

  6. Chamblee Dad says:

    @howdy I’m sure that’s what they intend, & will try to do. Wonder if the lawyers will try to go after DCSS for terminating & not paying them. Normally turns on the termination clause in the contract. Think they were careful in that wording? – talking the board, not the lawyers.

    Obviously he could legally fund it himself, but would he?

  7. John says:

    I doubt he will ever pay for it himself. I don’t think he has that much conviction. Even as much as he dislikes white people, Dr. Walker has become too accustomed to having the public pay for everything. However, I suggest that the NAACP use their funds to pay Dr. Walker’s legal bills.

    I applaud the Board for taking this action. This is the right thing to do to start rebuilding the public trust. It’s a long, long road, but it it a good start.

  8. howdy1942 says:

    Well, Eugene Walker is still being paid by the Dekalb taxpayer – $18,000 over the next year and almost twice that through December 2014. Seems like I read about him saying that his School Board pay was his “walking around money”. He could use that money to “walk to the courtroom”. Don’t know how much $1500 monthly would buy from Wilson, however!

    Assuming that this new board votes on the proposed motion to withdraw the School Board as a plaintiff, I just hope that there would remain no provision to pay the legal expenses of Eugene Walker beyond Thursday. Remember, however, that all three retained members – Johnson, McMahon, and Orson – voted for this legal expense in the first place. Had they not done so, there would have been at least four votes to reject the motion and I expect that Dr. Speaks would have become the fifth. Don’t get me wrong – I”m very pleased that this newly constituted board is taking this action, but we wouldn’t be worrying about the wording of the legal contract with Wilson nor would we be worrying about any additional funding for Walker had this decision been avoided in the first place. In fact, Dekalb residents may well have never had to worry about that filing in the State Court and many never have had to bother Judge Story. This suit in and of itself had inflicted a lot of damage on Dekalb County. Rather than praising Johnson, Orson, and McMahon, I would simply say that they are taking a step to undo something they should have never done in the first place.

    Let’s hope that this puts Walker and crowd in the rear view mirror so we can look ahead.

  9. John Oselette says:


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