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DeKalb school district is hot topic for local lawmakers
by LaTria Garnigan
January 09, 2013 11:58 AM | 3083 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DeKalb County legislators have several key issues of concern to deal with when the general assembly convenes Monday at 10 a.m. One of the more prevalent issues is the state of the DeKalb County School District.

District 40 State Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, said he is actively working on the issue of the school district being placed on probation by AdvancEd, parent organization of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.

“I will be at the state board meeting and we are working on some things behind the scenes on that as well,” said Millar. “Until SACS took the steps they just took, the state was precluded from intervening. Depending on the state board recommendation, the governor will then decide whatever action [to take].”

Millar, who has been vocal about the state of the school system, said he has been all over the association for the last couple of years and added this issue is a major concern for the county.

“And as far as I want to say right now, it’s being worked on,” he said.

District 86 State Rep. Karla Drenner, D-Avondale Estates, added this is a hot button issue, with many municipalities possibly wanting to form their own school systems like Decatur.

“As a DeKalb County legislator a concern for me and an issue at the forefront locally is what will happen with the result of the state board of education looking at the county board of education and whether the governor will come in and re-appoint school board members,” said Drenner.

Millar added District 79 State Rep. Tom Taylor, R-Dunwoody, would possibly lead any effort for the promotion of an independent school system for Dunwoody, which the Dunwoody City Council put forth as one of its items to promote.

Drenner will continue to introduce her renewable energy bill, which she does yearly. She said it is a non-mandated version and does not require the utility companies to use a certain percentage for renewable energy, but encourages them to do so.

“It doesn’t have a chance in passing, but I continue to remind my colleagues that an energy policy in this state is critically important,” she said.

She will also take up the issue of many homeowners associations that do not allow homeowners or sellers to put up solar panels because of aesthetics.

Shopping locally is another major point for Drenner who would like DeKalb County government and schools to have a certain percentage of its purchasing from local DeKalb businesses.

“I’m gonna really kick it up a notch and see if I can get commissioners and the school board to support a certain percentage that would keep DeKalb dollars in DeKalb County,” she said.

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