Nathan Deal signs bill that allows replacement of Atlanta school board

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed SB 79, which gives the governor the power to replace the Atlanta Board of Education, if the public school system loses its accreditation this summer.

But in a formal statement, Deal said removal of elected officials would be a “last resort:”

“It is my hope that the district will take the appropriate steps to move forward in order to avoid a sad and embarrassing situation. We all benefit if this is resolved locally by elected officials in Atlanta.

“But we have seen the horrific consequences of schools that lose their accreditation. I believe in the sanctity of the ballot and in the power of the people to elect their leaders. For me, removing elected officials would be a last resort. But with the future of Atlanta’s students hanging in the balance, I believe it is better to be prepared with more options on the table than with less.

“Signing this bill into law is not a time for celebrating; it is a time for Atlantans to come together to work constructively so that the powers given to the governor’s office in this bill never have to be used. I, along with my APS liaisons and Mayor Kasim Reed, look forward to upcoming discussions with the school board as we work together with the best interest of Atlanta’s students at heart.”

Reed had worked for the measure’s passing. House Democratic Leader Stacey Abrams of Atlanta had opposed it.

One reason for the governor’s hurry-up signature: Under the requirements of the Voting Rights Act, the measure must receive approval from the U.S. Justice Department before it can go into effect.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

For instant updates, follow me on Twitter, or connect with me on Facebook.

16 comments Add your comment


April 20th, 2011
1:12 pm

I’m with Mayor Reed and Governor Deal on this one. A needed backstop if the Atlanta Board of Education members continue to put politics ahead of proper governance.


April 20th, 2011
1:57 pm

No way can this be constitutional. The Governor shouldn’t be allowed to remove any person or group without due process. That is nullifying the votes of the people who voted for them.
Let’s hope the Feds squash this like a fat worm.


April 20th, 2011
2:24 pm

The state should take over MARTA as well and fire the MARTA police. Every one of them. They do nothing to protect passengers. They only gather around each other and talk instead of patrolling for criminals.


April 20th, 2011
2:43 pm

Since Deal has signed the bill, how long do we have to wait until the APS Board is fired?

Been there....done that....

April 20th, 2011
2:48 pm

The Georgia Supreme Court will nullify SB79 because it conflicts with OCGA 1-3-11:

O.C.G.A. § 1-3-11

Copyright 2011 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.

*** Current Through the 2010 Regular Session ***
*** Annotations Current Through March 14, 2011 ***


O.C.G.A. § 1-3-11 (2011)

§ 1-3-11. Local referenda on abolishing offices or shortening or lengthening term

No office to which a person has been elected shall be abolished nor the term of the office shortened or lengthened by local or special Act during the term for which such person was elected unless the same shall be approved by the people of the jurisdiction affected in a referendum on the question.

HISTORY: Code 1981, § 1-3-11, enacted by Ga. L. 1983, p. 685, § 1.


April 20th, 2011
3:17 pm

The term of the office is neither being shortened nor lengthened nor is the office being abolished.

The peeples is simplly bean replased.

Been there....done that....

April 20th, 2011
3:26 pm

@? – it’s scary that you might be a real person…..yes, the term of office is being shortened if the elected official is being removed in a manner other than provided for in OCGA 1-3-11; before their elected term of office is complete.

The Georgia Supreme Court unanimously upheld OCGA 1-3-11 in September 2005 when legislation (HB 1795) was passed to shorten the terms of Carroll County School Board Members before their original terms were up. The legislative sponsor of HB 1795 was our current State Labor Commissioner Mark Butler.


April 20th, 2011
4:04 pm

It’s as if some of these bills get produced just so lawyers can sue, other lawyers can respond, and both groups just suck on the govt tit for a few years. This law won’t get past the “Justice” Dept.


April 20th, 2011
5:51 pm

But O.C.G.A. 1-3-11 must not have held when the members of the Warren County School Board were removed from their offices by Governor Perdue.

For all the posturing, SB 79 simply extends that power to apply to people who were excluded from the previos law in a ‘grandfather’ clause. See O.C.G.A. 20.2.73 and the modifcations to it in SB 79. This section is designed for the removal of local board members and defines the rules and process. Due process?

Last Man Standing

April 20th, 2011
8:28 pm


“No office to which a person has been elected shall be abolished nor the term of the office shortened or lengthened by local or special Act during the term for which such person was elected unless the same shall be approved by the people of the jurisdiction affected in a referendum on the question.”

I would draw your attention to the words, “by local or special Act”. As I understand this, it is certainly no “local” act, nor is it a “special act”. The Governor (I’m sure with the blessing of the Attorney General) is acting within the scope of his powers.

Last Man Standing

April 20th, 2011
8:31 pm


No truer words have ever been spoken! It is no accident that it works out like that. They are truly the leeches of society, sucking the life blood (money) from governmental functions.


April 20th, 2011
8:49 pm

Kasim Reed is the one that wanted this bill. Remember the law has to be approved by the State BOE an the Federal justice department.


April 20th, 2011
9:17 pm

A lot of thanks for your whole work on this website. Kate really likes managing research and it is simple to grasp why. excessive sweating kidney problems Most people learn all of the compelling mode you convey precious things by means of your website and in addition improve response from other individuals on the topic and our own princess excessive sweating after surgery is actually being taught a lot of things. Have fun with the rest of the new year. Your excessive sweating for no reason conducting a very good job. I will be recommending to my friends


April 20th, 2011
11:15 pm



April 21st, 2011
5:04 pm

td is right. This is Mayor Reed’s baby. The governor is merely the surrogate.