A Senate committee revives a couple of school board-related bills that failed to make it through Crossover Day. Both were tacked onto another bill relating to the amount of time school boards facing suspension can appeal.
One would prohibit suspended school board members from using public funds to sue over their removal. It was proposed after the decision by members of the DeKalb School Board to file suit when Gov. Nathan Deal announced their suspension.
“Suspended board members can’t go forward with legal action and expect taxpayers to pick up the tab,” says Sen. Fran Millar (R-Atlanta), who sits on the Senate Education Committee.
Other committee members raised questions about the bill’s constitutionality and requested an opinion from the State Attorney General’s Office before it moves to the floor of the Senate.
Sen. Donzella James (D-Atlanta) opposes the idea.
“I want to make sure that we’re fair,” she says. “Some people are falsely accused or it could be some kind of other problems.”
A bill that would allow students whose school system loses its accreditation to qualify for the HOPE scholarship was also tacked onto the measure.
Millar says the bill was initially introduced after Clayton County lost its accreditation. It would apply those school systems that lose accreditation before 2015 as long as they previously had it.
“We’re not penalizing the kids for adults not acting in a good manner,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.