DeKalb County Board of Education member Nancy Jester has resigned from the school board rather than contest her removal by Gov. Nathan Deal.
Deal removed Jester and five other board members after the state Board of Education recommended the drastic move. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools placed the DeKalb County School System on accreditation probation, alleging that board members interfered with day-to-day school operations.
Other board members suspended were Eugene Walker, Sarah Copelin-Wood, Donna Elder, and Pamela Speaks.
Jester made the announcement in her blog, and said she will continue to be involved in education.
“For clarity, I wanted to resign from the board in advance of the hearing in February, but refrained from doing so because of the pending court case,” Jester wrote. “If the ruling had gone the other way, the remaining board members would have remained on the board and they would select my successor. I wanted to prevent that. I am more comfortable with the Governor and his team selecting my replacement.”
BOE members asked a federal judge to overrule Deal, but on March 4, U.S. Judge Richard Story said the issue is a matter of state law, and referred the ousted school board members to take the case to the Georgia Supreme Court, which can rule on state matters.
Here is Jester’s full statement posted March 5:
I am writing today to express my gratitude and sincere thanks for the opportunity to serve you during the last two years. Please know how much I appreciate your supportive words, calls and prayers. I am proud of the work I did to expose the deceptive budgeting practices and bring a parent’s perspective to the board.
In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be blogging about various educational issues, legislation and events of importance to DeKalb and our state. We have so much work to do together. As always, I remain steadfastly committed to being an advocate for children and taxpayers.
I look forward to seeing new faces on the DeKalb Board. I hope the new board and administrative team will reflect on what I said at our February board meeting about reforming our district. My remarks are available on my blog. http://whatsupwiththat.nancyjester.com/2013/02/12/308/
For clarity, I wanted to resign from the board in advance of the hearing in February, but refrained from doing so because of the pending court case. If the ruling had gone the other way, the remaining board members would have remained on the board and they would select my successor. I wanted to prevent that. I am more comfortable with the Governor and his team selecting my replacement. Additionally, it is a matter of public record that I voted “no” on February 1st, to the hiring of the attorney to pursue the board’s legal challenges in the first place. I did not support in any way, the filing of legal action and I expressed my opposition in board meetings. Because the court has vacated their previous stay, the board members subject to the Governor’s executive order are now, no longer on the board. Once the Governor appoints new members, the board will have a quorum and be able to meet. At that point, the board will be able to make decisions regarding the use of district resources.
I hope that the next chapter for DeKalb schools brings about a reformation that begins to fulfill our obligation to our children. I hope this next chapter offers the taxpayers a product worthy of their investment. Thank you again for allowing me to serve you. I look forward to working with you to promote ideas and strategies that will empower parents and teachers and improve the educational lives of children.