Some breaking news on AJC.com out of DeKalb County schools
DeKalb County school board Chairman Eugene Walker announced Monday that he will be stepping down from his leadership role over the troubled school district.
Walker will remain on the board but will relinquish his chairmanship so someone else can lead.
“I will be stepping down as chair and we will elect a new chair,” Walker said at the close of a meeting that was called over the weekend.
Last year, Walkers’ colleagues selected him as chairman. This year, though, during the annual vote, the board couldn’t muster a majority for a new chairman. That left Walker in by default. The 9-member board is expected to meet again at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday for another try at selecting a chair.
Critics contend Walker’s leadership is at least partially at fault for DeKalb’s problems. In December, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools dropped DeKalb’s accreditation to probation and threatened to eliminate accreditation altogether. A report assembled by the agency is sprinkled throughout with references to Walker, and notes a recommendation he made to former superintendent Cheryl Atkinson to hire someone.
Atkinson’s successor, interim superintendent Michael Thurmond, praised Walker’s decision.
“For him to voluntarily step down, and not seek re-election, I think is a significant statement,” Thurmond said.