The fractious APS board of education may be at peace after a court agreement hammered out today and an emergency meeting afterward to approve the agreement and elect new officers.
I think both sides were aware that the public was unhappy with the standoff and wanted quick resolution.
Here is the consent order. Take a look and let me know your thoughts. Seems like a fair compromise to me.
At this point, I will take any agreement that moves the Atlanta board and its schools forward in the important task ahead of finding a new superintendent.
I must note that the judge ruled the charter change made by the five-member majority on the board — dubbed the “furious five” by Get Schooled posters — was legal. That means the ousting of the board chair and co-chair and the election of two members of the five-pack was legal.
However, board Chairman Khaatim Sherrer El and Vice Chairwoman Yolanda Johnson agreed to resign so the board could start fresh with a new election, which was held within an hour of leaving the courthouse today. Under the consent order, each faction had to have one of its own as either chair or vice chair.
So, El was re-elected chair and Cecily Harsch-Kinnane was elected vice chair, the post to which she was elected in January but then lost in September to Johnson.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge John J. Goger as part of the agreement said El, Johnson and three other members acted legally when they took over board leadership in September. With Goger’s approval Tuesday afternoon, the board has scheduled an emergency meeting for 5:30 p.m. to formally adopt the agreement and elect new officers.
Four board members filed the suit in late October. They alleged the board’s other five members violated the board’s governing charter when they voted to change an existing board policy governing board leadership and then used that change to make mid-term appointments of El and Johnson.
The leadership change and suit followed months of public bickering between the two sides, a situation that caused the city school system’s accrediting agency to schedule an on-site accreditation review next month focused on board governance.
Previous attempts to mediate between the two sides failed but Tuesday, minutes before a final hearing in the suit was to start, Goger summoned both sides to a room in his chambers. They emerged four hours later with the agreement in hand.