Gov. Nathan Deal told the Buckhead Business Association on April 21 that he doesn’t want to remove members of the Atlanta school board with powers granted him under a new law, but will if necessary.

Under a bill sponsored by state Rep. Ed Lindsey of Buckhead, the governor can remove school board members if the Atlanta public school systems does not obtain full accreditation by July.

Deal signed the bill into law April 20.

Deal said representatives from his office will meet next week with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall and members of the Atlanta school board to discuss the situation. He said he’s received “some encouraging news” from the Atlanta school system in recent weeks.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed Atlanta Public Schools on accreditation probation in January.

Deal called the law “an extra tool in the toolbox” that can be used if needed. AdvancED, SACS’ parent organization, gave the school board six requirements to meet according to a timetable.

Deal also said he expects the Legislature to discuss state tax reform during a special session that starts August 15. A tax reform package didn’t pass during the last session of the General Assembly.

But the major issue for the special session will be reapportionment, he said, so the tax discussion must be limited.

“Reapportionment is contentious enough,” the governor said. “I want to make sure we have close parameters on tax reform” discussions.

By Ralph Ellis

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.