Posted: 11:48 am Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Nathan Deal feels vindicated by DeKalb school board decision 

By Greg Bluestein

Gov. Nathan Deal doesn’t usually venture into state school board meetings, let alone local ones. But when the Republican intervened in DeKalb’s growing school crisis last year, he also inherited the outcome – good or bad.

About a year ago, shortly after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accrediting agency warned that DeKalb was about to lose accreditation, Deal replaced six of the nine school board members and his office appointed replacements among more than 400 applicants.

On Tuesday, a few minutes after Tuesday’s DeKalb school board meeting had begun, he strode in to hear the SACS chief announce the district was now off probation. And Deal views it as vindication to the first degree.

“Yes, they’ve given me the best validation I could possibly receive,” Deal said. “I don’t claim credit for the validation because it was in their hands to show that they could work together. And they have done so.”

A careful political calculus helped drive and complicate his decision to intervene last year. Deal took considerable criticism by wading into DeKalb after SACS found the local board to be a dysfunctional mess, and residents and outside groups attacked the Republican for wading into a thorny local matter in a Democratic bastion.

Now Deal’s team hopes the move pays dividends. With education at the center of his re-election bid, the resurgence in DeKalb is the type of bipartisan teamwork Deal’s team salivates over.

And DeKalb is the home to his Democratic rival, state Sen. Jason Carter, who met privately with Deal a year ago to help smooth over the governor’s decision. In a statement, Carter gave the credit to Michael Thurmond, the school superintendent and former Democratic labor commissioner.

“The political situation that we were confronted with last year was a complicated one, and I was glad that DeKalb County was able to put our politics aside and come together to work in the best interests of our children and families,” Carter said.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Steve Henson, who also represents a chunk of DeKalb, took it a step further by blasting Deal for politicizing the news by appearing at the Stone Mountain event.

“It is disappointing to the people of DeKalb County that Governor Deal tried to turn this announcement into a campaign stop,” said Henson. “What made this process successful in DeKalb is that we put politics aside and focused on education.”

Thurmond, for his part, was careful not to tick off either side. The superintendent, who dismissed speculation about another run for higher office, said the kudos should go to DeKalb’s parents and students.

“We are off probation. The stigma of probation is gone,” Thurmond said. “You can’t cut it. You can’t dilute it. That’s the fact.”

19 comments
Bernie31
Bernie31

If a GEORGIA Governor EVER USURPED or INVALIDATED an Overwhelming White Community's VOTE then INSTALL a Group of the Governor's own CHOOSING.

That Governor would NEVER Be Governor or DOG CATCHER AGAIN!

Just imagine The Outrage if President OBAMA committed such an OUTRAGEOUS ACT?

Their would Throngs of American in the Streets with TORCHES LIT.  24/7 until he is GONE.

Why NOT the SAME for this Republican Governor......

Uh...huh

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Jason "moonbat" Carter = DeKalb resident.  Voting for this moron would imply that you want the state of Georgia to become like the dysfunctional DeKalb county.

MiltonMan
MiltonMan

Took a Republican to clean up the mess created by a bunch of Democrat morons.  The ignorant residents of DeKalb will elect morons yet again to fill these seats & yet again put the dump county of DeKalb back into the same mess.

Bernie31
Bernie31

ONE THING FER SURE....GOVERNOR DEAL By HIS Decision did NOT gain any Black Voter Support , nor win over any Black Friends except the BOOTLICKERS at The Dome and Atlanta City Hall.

Uh..HUH.

BurroughstonBroch
BurroughstonBroch

Don't look for Michael Thurmond to willingly step down as superintendent, as he had promised. He's a has-been politician out of a job, with no reasonable chance of being elected to a state-wide post, and is 6 years from full Social Security age. 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

ITP public schools are perfect examples of failure where cronyism, administrative jobs, and politics suck up the money meant to improve classroom education. Deal's intervention will be short lived.  The culture of not enough parents/voters caring will allow it to continue.

Starik
Starik

nick1234: Very true, but in general it's nothing to celebrate.  There will be elections...

nick1234
nick1234

@Starik


Tell that to the students who were in the process of applying to college this year and bear no responsibility for the quality of the school system.

Bernie31
Bernie31

Of course Dear Leader FEELS Vindicated. Most DICTATORS do as well. Gover Deal in his ill advised and misguided ACTIONS caused great HARM to the Voting Process in Georgia by such actions by FIAT.


Governor Deal's actions were totally and completely UNCONSTITUTIONAL to the United States of America. 

Only a REPUBLICAN Governor in this day and time would USURP the People of Dekalb County's right to VOTE.

The removal of a People elected School Board without any PROOF of Allegations of wrongdoings is UNAMERICAN but Such Laws mean NOTHING to this CROWD.


Heck, these same Republicans even repealed the (4th) Fourth Amendment in the Dead of Night while America slept on a Sunday evening in October 2001.

The-Centrist
The-Centrist

No fan of the governor here, but he probably deserves to feel vindicated....

Charles50
Charles50

What's the latest on the problems the SACS President was having?  Hmmm, talk of that just quitely went away.  DeKalb was just another victim of SACS' overreaching hand.  They need to be thrown out on their ear.  There is NOTHING that happened that could not have happened without SACS stepping in.  


If this is the kind of validation Deal needs, then it is just another example of why we need another governor.

The_SAWB
The_SAWB

I hope that the citizens of DeKalb learn a lesson from this terribly embarrassing situation and exercise a little more care in their future school board selections. Often these are races that many voters pay little attention to, but the outcome can impact the community for years.

As for Deal being at the announcement I don’t really see it as a negative issue after all he did take the initiative to stop the train wreck that was the DeKalb School Board.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

“Yes, they’ve given me the best validation I could possibly receive,” Deal said.

And with the next breath:

“I don’t claim credit for the validation because it was in their hands to show that they could work together. And they have done so.”

Too funny!

DontTread
DontTread

Things will return to their natural state within the next few election cycles.  This was just a temporary band-aid solution, but the only solution the governor could reasonably implement.

Starik
Starik

Regaining accreditation is not significant - it's still a bad, bad school system. 

GB101
GB101

@Bernie31 


If the school system in an  Overwhelming White Community ever is threatened with losing its accreditation we can find out what a governor will do in such a situation and how the the people of the Community will react if the governor chooses to INSTALL a Group of the Governor's own CHOOSING.  Til then, you can speculate all you want, and use all the eccentric capitals you want, but we really don't know.


In all the United States, how many school systems in Overwhelmingly White Communities have lost their accreditation? 

The_SAWB
The_SAWB

Yes, DeKalb could have made the necessary changes without the action by SACS, but seriously do you think they would have?