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Online Petition for Removal of Entire DeKalb County School Board Gaining Steam

After being put on probation in 2012, the school board for the DeKalb County School District is now facing a petition from an angry parent who wants to see every member removed.

DeKalb County parent Betsy Parks began a petition online to convince the state to remove members of the board. Parks' online petition has 700 signatures from parents so far expressing frustration with the county's probationary status; a second petition has more than 900 signatures.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools put the school district on probation last month due to financial and academic mismanagement. Some of the misusages of funds include the inability to explain the location of textbooks bought with a borrowed $12 million from the state.

According to WSB-TV, Parks said she decided to create the online petition after hearing her own frustrations echoed in conversations with other parents.

"I wanted to be able to have my voice heard," said Parks. "And then I wanted to give voice to other people. They've expressed frustration to me, and I just wanted to do something."

DeKalb County Schools must submit a list of potential witnesses and documents to the state school board by Friday. Within a week, the state school board will hold a hearing to determine if it will recommend that Gov. Nathan Deal remove school board members. Legally, the governor can remove school board members, only if the state school board recommends it.

The district's probation status puts it in jeopardy of losing its accreditation over the next year if changes are not made. DeKalb County has the third largest public school system in the state, serving almost 100,000 students, with 88 percent of the student population being minorities.

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