Deal: DeKalb community came together in time of crisis

January 21, 2014

Gov. Nathan Deal this morning accepted an invitation from the DeKalb Board of Education and Superintendent Michael Thurmond to celebrate news that an accrediting agency had removed the board from probation.

“Today’s announcement is excellent news for the students in DeKalb schools who ran the risk of owning tarnished degrees and for homeowners whose property values would have fallen precipitously,” Deal said. “In early 2013, we faced a crisis in DeKalb. Working together with many local leaders who had the courage to step forward, we put aside short-term politics for a long-term solution that is paying dividends today. I would like to thank my friend Superintendent Thurmond, the volunteers on the nominating panel, my school board liaisons and the DeKalb legislators who stood with me when we made this announcement last year. I also want to give a special thanks to the diverse group of public servants who stepped up during their community’s time of need to serve on this school board. They have made a positive difference, and for that, we are grateful. As I often say, my No. 1 goal is to bring good jobs to Georgia, and education plays a critical role in that effort. Today we celebrate this positive development, as well as the great example that DeKalb has set by rallying together for the public good.”

DeKalb was placed on probation in December 2012, and has now been moved to "accredited warned" status within the system. Deal took the necessary steps to save the system’s accreditation and, by extension, the value of its students’ degrees by replacing six members of the school board. SACS will continue to monitor the system until May, when it returns for another review.

Gov. Deal, along with a bipartisan group of DeKalb legislators, announced Feb. 15, 2013, that he would use the powers given to him by Georgia statute to remove six members of the DeKalb school board, which faced possible loss of accreditation.