DeKalb County School District, Georgia

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DeKalb County School District
DeKalb County, Georgia
DeKalb County School District seal.png
District Profile
Superintendent:Michael L. Thurmond
Enrollment:98,088 students
Graduation rate:58.7%[1]
Number of schools:135
Budget: $1.0 billion
Website:School Home Page
Board of Education
Board president:Dr. Melvin Johnson
Board members:9
Term length:4
DeKalb County School District is a school district in Georgia that served 98,088 students in 135 schools during the 2011-2012 school year.[2] This district is the third-largest by enrollment in the state of Georgia.

After the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) audited the school district and discovered issues with board governance, unethical practices and fiscal mismanagement, the organization placed DeKalb County School District on "accredited probation" status. An investigation by the Georgia Department of Education led to the state board of education recommending significant alterations to the district leadership and administration.[3]

In February 2013, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb Board of Education from office and appointed new members one month later. On January 21, 2014, SACS announced that the district was no longer under probation and moved it up to "accreditation warned" status.[4]

About the district

DeKalb County School District is located in DeKalb County, Georgia.
DeKalb County School District is located in DeKalb County, Georgia. The county seat of DeKalb County is Decatur. DeKalb County is home to 713,340 residents, according to the United States Census Bureau.[5]


DeKalb County outperformed the rest of Georgia in terms of higher education achievement in 2012. The United States Census Bureau found that 39.2 percent of DeKalb County residents aged 25 years and older had attained a bachelor's degree compared to 27.8 percent for Georgia as a whole. The median household income in DeKalb County was $51,252 compared to $49,604 for the state of Georgia. The poverty rate in DeKalb County was 18.6 percent compared to 17.4 percent for the entire state.[5]

Racial Demographics, 2012[5]
Race DeKalb County (%) Georgia (%)
White 37.4 62.8
Black or African American 54.6 31.2
American Indian and Alaska Native 0.6 0.5
Asian 5.5 3.5
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander 0.1 0.1
Two or More Races 2.0 1.8
Hispanic or Latino 9.5 9.2

Presidential Voting Pattern, DeKalb County[6]
Year Democratic Vote Republican Vote
2012 238,224 64,392
2008 254,594 65,581
2004 200,787 73,570
2000 154,509 58,807

Note: Each column will add up to 100 percent after removing the "Hispanic or Latino" percentage, although rounding by the Census Bureau may make the total one- or two-tenths off. Read more about race and ethnicity in the Census here.[7]


The superintendent of DeKalb County School District is Michael L. Thurmond, whom the school board appointed to the position on February 8, 2013. Thurmond graduated with a B.A. in philosophy and region from Paine College before earning his J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law and completing a political executives program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

From 1987 to 1992, he served as a Democratic member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Thurmond ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat for the United States House of Representatives in 1992 and the United States Senate in 2010. After leaving the state legislature, he served as the director of the Department of Family and Children Services briefly and then as the Georgia Commissioner of Labor from 1998 to 2010. Thurmond has published multiple books and served as a distinguished lecturer at the University of Georgia's Carl Vinson Institute of Government.[8] His annual salary as superintendent is $275,000.[9]

School board

DeKalb County School District is overseen by a seven-member board, all of whom are elected by geographic electoral district to four-year terms. The size of the school board shrunk from nine to seven seats as part of the 2014 election.[10]

In February 2013, Governor Nathan Deal followed the recommendation of the state board of education and removed six members of the DeKalb Board of Education from office. On March 13, 2013, Governor Deal announced the appointment of six new members to fill the vacant seats. He appointed John Coleman to District 1, Michael A. Erwin to District 3, David Campbell to District 5, Joyce Morley to District 7, Karen Carter to District 8 and Thad Mayfield to District 9.[11]

Of the appointees, only John Coleman and David Campbell decided not to run for re-election to stay on the board. Erwin and Morley ran to retain their seats, and Carter and Mayfield ran for different seats on the board since their original seats were eliminated as part of the election. Carter ran in District 4 against District 4 incumbent Jim McMahan, and Mayfield ran in District 5 for the seat vacated by Campbell. Jesse Cunningham was the only board member removed by the governor who campaigned to return to the board, but he narrowly lost in the general election and did not proceed to the runoff election in District 5.[12]

DeKalb County Board of Education
Member District Assumed Office Term Ends
John Coleman 1 2013 2014
Marshall Orson 2 2012 2018
Dr. Michael A. Erwin 3 2013 2014
Jim McMahan 4 2012 2014
David Campbell 5 2013 2014
Dr. Melvin Johnson 6 2012 2018
Dr. Joyce Morley 7 2013 2016
Karen Carter 8 2013 2014
Thad Mayfield 9 2013 2014

School board elections

See also: DeKalb County School District elections (2014)

Members of the DeKalb County Board of Education are elected to four-year terms. Seven seats were up for election in 2014. Since four of the seats were for special two-year terms to create staggered elections following the appointments made by Governor Nathan Deal in 2013, those four seats will be up for election again in 2016.

Public participation in board meetings

The DeKalb County Board of Education maintains the following policy on public testimony during board meetings:

The DeKalb County Board of Education encourages the public to be involved in public education. To facilitate public input, it is the intent of this policy that the Board shall conduct a monthly Community Meeting in accordance with the procedures below. The Community Meeting is intended to allow speakers to address issues before the Board or other subjects pertinent to the Board or the DeKalb County School District.

In order to assure that persons who wish to appear before the Board may be heard and, at the same time, allow the Board to conduct its meetings in an orderly and efficient manner, the Board adopts the following guidelines for the public comment portion of its meetings:

  • The opportunity to provide public comment is limited to District parents, students, residents, employees, businesses, and organizations.
  • Before addressing the Board, individuals are urged to seek a satisfactory solution to their concerns by following the proper staff and administrative channels.
  • Individuals wishing to speak may submit a request in writing to the Board Office via letter, fax, or e-mail no later than 12:00 noon on the day of the Community Meeting. Such request shall include the individual’s name, address, topic to be addressed, previous steps taken to resolve the concern, and the group (if any) that the individual is representing. If an individual is unable to attend the meeting after signing up in advance, he/she may appoint a substitute speaker by calling the Board Office by noon of the meeting day.
  • In addition, speakers may complete a Request to Comment card in person between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. on the day of the meeting. Cards must be completely filled out, providing the information listed in the preceding paragraph.
  • An organization may sign up to speak by designating a duly authorized spokesperson and one alternate, who may speak only if the primary spokesperson is unable to attend. By signing up and addressing the Board on behalf of an organization, the speaker is representing that he or she has been duly authorized by that organization to make the comments presented.
  • Speakers shall have a maximum of three (3) minutes each and must stop speaking promptly when their time is up.
  • To allow time for the Board's other business, the public comment period will be a maximum of one (1) hour or 20 speakers. At the Board’s discretion, the comment period may be extended for a specified amount of time or a specific number of additional speakers.
  • To allow the Board to receive input from as many stakeholders as possible, individuals who speak during a Community Meeting one month may only speak at the next month’s meeting if there are spaces remaining after all non-repeating speakers have signed up.
  • Speakers should be courteous and professional. Speakers may offer objective criticisms of school operations and programs, but the Board will not hear complaints about specific personnel or individuals connected with the District in a public session. Other channels provide a more appropriate forum for consideration and resolution of legitimate complaints involving individuals.
  • Individuals will not be denied the opportunity to address the Board on the basis of their viewpoint. However, the Board will not allow abusive language, threats, comments, jeers, applause, or shouts from the floor. Disruptive persons will be asked to leave the meeting room. The presiding officer may terminate public comments that are profane, vulgar, defamatory, or disruptive.
  • Speakers may not address confidential student or personnel matters, but may submit such concerns to the Superintendent in writing.
  • Speakers are encouraged to provide the Board with a written copy of their comments and other appropriate supporting documentation.
  • The Community Meeting is designed to gain input from the public and not for immediate responses by the Board. While the Board cannot assure each speaker of a specific or individualized response, the Board will consider the public comments and any supporting materials provided by speakers.
  • In its discretion and as deemed appropriate, the Board may allow for public comment during Committee of the Whole meetings and, in such case, shall establish procedures for public participation. In addition to any applicable guidelines above, comments of speakers must be germane to the topic and issues before the Committee of the Whole.[13]

—DeKalb County School District website, (2014)[14]


The table below displays the budget for DeKalb County School District:[15][16]

Expenditures by Category
School Year Staff Expenses Student Services Operational Expenses Debt Service Other Budget Total
Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget Total % of Budget
2012-2013 $507,334,056 69.3% $79,285,759 10.8% $140,950,355 19.3% $0 0% $4,438,261 0.6% $732,008,431
2014-2015 $690,635,051 66.5% $158,045,847 15.2% $162,701,761 15.7% $3,042,725 0.3% $23,752,091 2.3% $1,038,177,475
Averages: $598,984,553.5 68% $118,665,803 13% $151,826,058 17% $1,521,362.5 0% $14,095,176 2% $885,092,953

Teacher salaries

DeKalb County School District employed 6,547 PK-12 teachers during the 2010-2011 school year.[17] Teacher salaries are categorized based on higher education achievement and years of service. The salary schedule accounts for a graduate degree by providing a higher starting salary and a greater potential salary. The following table details the salary schedule set forth by the district for 2013-2014:[18]

Salary structure
Degree level Minimum salary ($) Maximum salary ($)
Provisional certificate 35,051 35,051
Professional certificate + Bachelor's 40,742 58,117
Professional certificate + Master's 43,184 67,476
Professional certificate + Specialist 47,239 73,798
Professional certificate + Doctorate 51,657 80,364

Schools in DeKalb County School District


DeKalb County School District served 98,088 students during the 2011-2012 school year. The district experienced a 2.2 percent decrease in enrollment between 2007 and 2011. The following chart details enrollment in the district between 2007 and 2011:[2]

Total enrollment
Year Enrollment Year-to-year change (%)
2007-2008 100,273 -
2008-2009 99,775 -0.5
2009-2010 99,406 -0.4
2010-2011 98,115 -1.3
2011-2012 98,088 -0.03

District schools

DeKalb County School District operates 135 schools listed below in alphabetical order:[19]

DeKalb County School District
School Name
Allgood Elementary School
Arabia Mountain High School
Ashford Park Elementary School
Austin Elementary School
Avondale Elementary School
Bob Mathis Elementary School
Briarlake Elementary School
Briar Vista Elementary School
Brockett Elementary School
Browns Mill Elementary School
Canby Lane Elementary School
Cary Reynolds Elementary School
Cedar Grove Elementary School
Cedar Grove High School
Cedar Grove Middle School
Chamblee Charter High School
Chamblee Middle School
Chapel Hill Elementary School
Chapel Hill Middle School
Chesnut Elementary Charter School
Clarkston High School
Clifton Elementary School
Columbia Elementary School
Columbia High School
Columbia Middle School
Coralwood Diagnostic Center
Cross Keys High School
DeKalb Academy of Technology and the Environment
DeKalb Alternative School
DeKalb Early College Academy (DECA)
DeKalb Elementary School of the Arts
DeKalb High School of Technology South
DeKalb Path Academy
Dekalb Preparatory Academy
DeKalb School of the Arts
Destiny Achievers Academy of Excellence
Dresden Elementary School
Druid Hills High School
Druid Hills Middle School
Dunaire Elementary School
Dunwoody Elementary School
Dunwoody High School
E.L. Bouie Elementary School
Eagle Woods Academy
Eldridge Miller Elementary School
Elizabeth Andrews High School
Evansdale Elementary School
Fairington Elementary School
Fernbank Elementary School
Fernbank Science Center
Flat Rock Elementary School
Flat Shoals Elementary School
Freedom Middle School
Gateway to College Academy
Hambrick Elementary School
Hawthorne Elementary School
Henderson Middle School
Henderson Mill Elementary School
Hightower Elementary School
Huntley Hills Elementary School
Idlewood Elementary School
Indian Creek Elementary School
International Community School
International Community School (Stone Mountain)
International Student Center
Jolly Elementary School
Kelley Lake Elementary School
Kingsley Elementary Charter School
Kittredge Magnet School
Knollwood Elementary School
Lakeside High School
Laurel Ridge Elementary School
Leadership Preparatory Academy
Lithonia High School
Lithonia Middle School
Livsey Elementary School
Marbut Elementary School
Margaret Harris Comprehensive School
Mary McLeod Bethune Middle School
McLendon Elementary School
Meadowview Elementary School
Midvale Elementary School
Midway Elementary School
Miller Grove High School
Miller Grove Middle School
M.L. King, Jr. High School
Montclair Elementary School
Montgomery Elementary School
Murphey Candler Elementary School
Narvie Harris Elementary School
Oakcliff Elementary School
Oak Grove Elementary School
Oak View Elementary School
Panola Way Elementary School
Peachtree Charter Middle School
Pine Ridge Elementary School
Pleasantdale Elementary School
Princeton Elementary School
Rainbow Elementary School
Redan Elementary School
Redan High School
Redan Middle School
Robert Shaw Elementary School
Rockbridge Elementary School
Rock Chapel Elementary School
Ronald E. McNair Discovery Learning Academy
Ronald E. McNair High School
Ronald E. McNair Middle School
Rowland Elementary School
Sagamore Hills Elementary School
Salem Middle School
Sequoyah Middle School
Shadow Rock Center
Shadow Rock Elementary School
Smoke Rise Elementary Charter School
Snapfinger Elementary School
Southwest DeKalb High School
Stephenson High School
Stephenson Middle School
Stone Mill Elementary School
Stone Mountain Elementary School
Stone Mountain High School
Stone Mountain Middle School
Stoneview Elementary School
The Champion School
The Museum School Of Avondale Estates
Toney Elementary School
Tucker High School
Tucker Middle School
Vanderlyn Elementary School
Wadsworth Magnet School
Warren Technical School
Woodridge Elementary School
Woodward Elementary School
Wynbrooke Elementary School

Academic performance

The Georgia Department of Education administers annual tests to students in grades three through eight called the Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). These tests assess the proficiency of district students in five academic subjects including reading, English language arts (ELA), math, science and social studies. The CRCTs are designed to measure progress by students in topics covered by the Common Core State Standards. A student meets state proficiency goals with a score of 800 and exceeds state proficiency goals with a score of 850 or higher. The following tables detail the percentage of students who met or exceeded proficiency levels on the CRCTs during the 2012-2013 school year:[20][21]

CRCT Scores, Grades 3-5, 2012-2013[21]
Grade Subject District meets/exceeds standard (%) State meets/exceeds standard (%)
3 Reading 85.6 92.1
3 ELA 79.8 88.1
3 Math 65.1 78.5
3 Science 65.1 78.4
3 Social Studies 73.1 83.4
4 Reading 86.9 92.5
4 ELA 82.3 90.2
4 Math 70.0 84.3
4 Science 69.0 82.7
4 Social Studies 68.1 81.3
5 Reading 86.5 92.9
5 ELA 88.3 94.2
5 Math 79.2 89.5
5 Science 63.2 79.6
5 Social Studies 66.2 80.5

CRCT Scores, Grades 6-8, 2012-2013[21]
Grade Subject District meets/exceeds standard (%) State meets/exceeds standard (%)
6 Reading 91.6 96.0
6 ELA 86.2 92.4
6 Math 70.8 82.7
6 Science 55.9 74.0
6 Social Studies 63.1 77.5
7 Reading 87.4 94.7
7 ELA 84.6 93.0
7 Math 78.2 89.9
7 Science 70.7 85.2
7 Social Studies 68.7 82.7
8 Reading 91.8 96.8
8 ELA 87.5 94.3
8 Math 68.9 83.0
8 Science 57.2 74.0
8 Social Studies 62.5 77.9

Contact information

DeKalb County School District seal.png

DeKalb County School District
1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
Phone: 678-676-1200

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. The Governor's Office of Student Achievement, "2010-2011 Report Card," accessed July 6, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 National Center for Education Statistics, "ELSI Table Generator," accessed July 6, 2014
  3. CBS Atlanta, "Governor Deal Suspends DeKalb School Board Members," February 25, 2013
  4. The Augusta Chronicle, "Deal praises DeKalb County schools, no longer on probation," January 21, 2014
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 United States Census Bureau, "DeKalb County, Georgia," accessed May 8, 2014
  6. Georgia Secretary of State, "Current and Past Election Results," accessed May 8, 2014
  7. United States Census Bureau, "Frequently Asked Questions," accessed April 21, 2014
  8. DeKalb County School District, "Superintendent," accessed July 6, 2014
  9. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, "DeKalb Superintendent Atkinson replaced by former Georgia labor commissioner," February 8, 2013
  10. DeKalb County School District, "Board of Education," accessed July 6, 2014
  11. Governor Nathan Deal - Office of the Governor, "Deal names new members of DeKalb County school board," March 13, 2013
  12. DeKalb County, "Judges, State Court & Board of Education; Sheriff Special Election; Soil & Water Commission; Nonpartisan Qualified Candidates," accessed May 8, 2014
  13. Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  14. DeKalb County School District, "Policy BCBI: Public Participation in Board Meetings," accessed July 6, 2014
  15. DeKalb County School District, "Budget," accessed November 26, 2013
  16. Dekalb County School District, "Budget: Previous Fiscal Years," accessed December 10, 2014
  17. The Governor's Office of Student Achievement, "2010-2011 Report Card," accessed July 6, 2014
  18. DeKalb County School District, "2013–2014 Teacher Salary Schedule," June 11, 2013
  19. DeKalb County School District, "Schools and Centers," accessed July 6, 2014
  20. Georgia Department of Education, "Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT)," accessed June 20, 2014
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Georgia Department of Education, "CRCT Statewide Scores," accessed July 6, 2014