Friday, April 8, 2011

Proposal to remove, replace Atlanta school board members met with friendly warning about 'federal lawsuit'

Posted By on Fri, Apr 8, 2011 at 12:14 PM

Sen. Vincent Fort, D-Atlanta
Lawmakers are up in arms — and hinting at litigation — over a proposal that would allow Gov. Nathan Deal to remove some members of Atlanta's cartoonishly dysfunctional school board. Via the AJC:

Sens. Vince Fort, Horacena Tate and Donzella James, all Democrats representing parts of Atlanta, said they consulted with lawyers who told them of “substantial” legal problems with Senate Bill 79, which is slated for a House vote Monday.

Among the problems, they said, is that it grants Gov. Nathan Deal power to sweep out the full board retroactively, to when the nine members were elected in Atlanta in November 2009.

Fort said the bill violates the federal Voting Rights Act, which deals in part with preventing the nullification of votes by minorities.

"It would be ripe for a lawsuit" if SB 79 moves ahead, he said.

Look for this issue to spill over into a floor debate on Monday.

Anyone planning to head down to the Gold Dome on Thursday, the final day of the legislative session, to witness the chaos? Party goes 'til midnight!

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