Recently appointed DeKalb County Schools' Superintendent Michael Thurmond told a group of Dunwoody homeowners that he felt the district needed to stop funding the legal fight over six school board seats.
"We are spending way too much on attorney fees," Thurmond told the crowd Sunday night.
The fight is over six out of nine DeKalb County Board of Education seats. Gov. Nathan Deal ousted those six members after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the district on probation because of their governance issues, specifically mismanaging money.
Thurmond came into his role in February and has been making the rounds to different parent, stakeholder and student groups trying to put people at ease. He spoke to the Dunwoody Homeowners' Association Sunday night knowing that it was in support of a new state bill that would allow it and other newly formed cities to create their own school districts if they want.
"I can understand the frustrations that parents, taxpayers have with our school district," Thurmond said. "There have been major challenges, major problems. I come here tonight to reassure them that I am committed as the superintendent of DeKalb County Schools to do everything I can to turn the page and move in a new direction."
Parent and Dunwoody HOA board member Adrienne Duncan said she hasn't put her children in DeKalb County Schools because of all the problems the district has had for years.
"I saw a lot of problems coming a while back, when they started cutting teachers' salaries, when they started furloughing teachers," Duncan said. "I didn't want my kids in a school where the bottom could drop out at any time. "
Thurmond said his first goal is to get the school system off of probation.
"Failure is not an option. We will not lose accreditation," Thurmond said. "We are dedicated to doing whatever we need to do to answer the challenges that have been raised by SACS. We've already begun the process and we're making progress every day."
A panel put together by Deal has been sifting through more than 400 applications for the six open board positions over the weekend. One state lawmaker who has been updated about the board's progress said panelists have already begun interviewing candidates and could have names in place by the end of the week. Thurmond said he's not focused on who will be selected for the new board.
"I'm not following that process very closely. My job is to run the day-to-day operations of the district. I'm looking forward to working with whoever the governor supports," Thurmond said.
Many parents' questions dealt with what Thurmond planned to do to keep valuable teachers from leaving the district. Thurmond said he's making that a priority as well.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 6:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 22:00:18 GMT
A hairy topic is trending on China's microblogging service Sina Weibo and on other websites. Website ChinaSMACK.com showcases a photo of hairy stockings for sale. The photo has gone viral. Sina WeiboMore >
A hairy topic is trending on China's microblogging service Sina Weibo and on other websites.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 6:28 PM EDT2013-06-19 22:28:05 GMT
A Woodstock police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after a police dog was left in his car and died of a heat stroke. The 3-year-old Spartacus, a Belgian malinois, was found dead insideMore >
A Woodstock police officer has been placed on paid administrative leave after a police dog was left in his car and died.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:20 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:20:27 GMT
Festival promoter Peter Conlon officially announced the September dates, music lineup and the addition of a third stage to Music Midtown 2013. The festival returns Friday, September 20 and Saturday, SeptemberMore >
Festival promoter Peter Conlon officially announced the September dates, music lineup and the addition of a third stage to Music Midtown 2013.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 11:50 PM EDT2013-06-20 03:50:19 GMT
The 12-year-old girl and her parents told CBS Atlanta News that the rules have changed when it comes to her for the upcoming football season. They said Strong Rock Christian School in Locust Grove hasMore >
The 12-year-old girl and her parents told CBS Atlanta News that the rules have changed when it comes to her for the upcoming football season. More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 4:01 PM EDT2013-06-19 20:01:29 GMT
After 3 years a video, called "Julius Escaping" has gone viral. The video features a 16-foot albio Burmeses python opening a door all by herself. The video was posted by Vimeo user, Jenner. "This isMore >
After three years a video, called "Julius Escaping" has gone viral.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 5:14 PM EDT2013-06-19 21:14:11 GMT
National Beef Packing Co., a Liberal, Kan., establishment, is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7. The problem was discoveredMore >
National Beef Packing Company - a Liberal, KS, establishment - is recalling approximately 22,737 pounds of raw ground beef products that may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7.More >
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >
Wednesday, June 19 2013 8:57 PM EDT2013-06-20 00:57:05 GMT
Dekalb County CEO Burrell Ellis's indictment comes as no surprise for one county business owner. Loretta Washington, owner of LCW Engineering incorporated, told CBS Atlanta exclusively Wednesday thatMore >
Dekalb County CEO Burrell Ellis's indictment comes as no surprise for one county business owner.More >