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Gov. Kemp ‘highly concerned’ about DeKalb County Schools after firing of superintendent

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Gov. Kemp ‘highly concerned’ about DeKalb County Schools after firing of superintendent

Gov. Brian Kemp speaks during a televised town hall on March 26. Screen shot taken from a live feed of the town hall event.

DeKalb County, GA — Gov. Brian Kemp has responded to a letter from state Sen. Elena Parent asking the governor and state school superintendent to investigate DeKalb County Schools.

He said he is “highly concerned” about what’s going on in the district.

Parent sent a letter to Gov. Brian Kemp and State Superintendent Richard Woods asking them to investigate the district following the DeKalb County School Board’s surprise decision to fire Superintendent Cheryl Watson-Harris on April 26. Watson-Harris’ firing followed a period of turmoil for the district surrounding a proposed renovation project for Druid Hills High. The school board has repeatedly blocked that project, doing so even after students at the high school released a video showing the unsafe and unsanitary conditions in their building.

The board gave no explanation for the superintendent’s firing. Sen. Parent wants answers about what’s going on in the district. State Superintendent Richard Woods said he would forward her concerns onto the Attorney General’s Office, suggesting the issues raised in her letter pertain to violations of the state Open Meetings Act. He also doubled down on threats to cut the district off from state facilities funding. To see his response, click here.

Kemp said he is deferring to Woods in this situation, but said he’s paying attention to what’s happening in the district.

“I am highly concerned that these serious issues in DeKalb County could be a result of a school system choosing politics over students, families, and educators, and as Governor of the State of Georgia, I take very seriously my job to advocate for all Georgia citizens – especially our most valuable resource, our students,” Kemp said. “My office will remain in close communication with the Georgia Department of Education on these issues to determine what further action is needed.”

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