AJC political report Greg Bluestein is reporting that Gov. Nathan Deal expects to announce six new DeKalb County school board members on Wednesday at a mid-morning press conference. Deal met today with the nominating committee he assembled to review the candidates.
According to Bluestein:
Deal said the five-member panel interviewed about 60 applicants and then met with him Tuesday morning to discuss their findings.
“I’m very encouraged by the names I saw. And I think everyone will be encouraged when they see the qualifications that the individuals that have been interviewed bring to the table,” he said. “It’s a commentary on the citizens of DeKalb County that we’ve had so many very qualified people.”
Deal suspended two-thirds of the DeKalb school board last month after an accrediting agency placed the district on probation. The Republican said he was wary of intervening in an overwhelmingly Democratic county, but that he took action because he feared metro Atlanta’s economy would otherwise suffer.
He’s come under criticism from some parents and others who fear he’s overreaching by ousting elected members. After a closed-door meeting on Monday with members of the NAACP and other groups, participants accused him of being a dictator and criticized him for urging them to “find some good black people to run” for the seats in 2014 if they were frustrated by the process.
Deal said the leaders used the 90-minute meeting to focus on racial issues rather than the district’s accreditation woes. He said he told them that DeKalb students he met with were more interested in their academic future than whether the governor overstepped his authority.
“Their response to that was, ‘These were just children,’” the governor said. “My response was that was, ‘These were children who were concerned about whether they were going to lose their scholarships to Vanderbilt and Stanford.’”
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog