ATLANTA -- Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law today legislation dealing with school boards, their size, length of terms and empowering governors to remove wayward members.
He said he doesn’t have a timetable for signing bills on restricting illegal immigrants or permitting local referenda on selling packaged alcohol on Sunday afternoons.
He signed the school board measure now to allow time for the attorney general to submit it to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval under the federal voting rights act.
Senate Bill 79 ensures that all school boards have four-year terms. It reverses local legislation enacted last year that halved terms for members on the board of the Savannah-Chatham Public School Board. All other boards already have four-year terms.
The bill also limits the size of boards to seven members under certain circumstances, a provision targeting the DeKalb County board. And, in a provision aimed at the Atlanta Public School’s board, the bill gives governor’s the ability to remove from office board members for unethical or unprofessional conduct when the State Board of Education has conducted a hearing and made that recommendation.
“This is not something that I would relish using,” he said.
The law already authorizes governors to remove board members elected last year or later. SB 79 merely applies it to those already in office.