Justice approves bill allowing school boards to be removed en masse

Nancy Badertscher and Kristina Torres:

The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday approved a new law that gives Gov. Nathan Deal the power to suspend the entire Atlanta school board for jeopardizing the city district’s accreditation.
With that consent, state school board members will hold a hearing that involves the local nine-member board no later than July 31. They will then make a recommendation to the governor.
Deal does not have to follow the state board’s recommendation. But if he suspends local members, Deal will make interim appointments and ousted board members will be allowed to appeal for reinstatement.
“I’m pleased,” said House Majority Whip Edward Lindsey, R-Atlanta, who helped write the bill that gave Deal such extraordinary power over the board’s future. “Now we can focus on the best needs of the 48,000 children in Atlanta Public Schools.”