DeKalb County School Board members suspended by Governor Nathan Deal
DeKalb County School Board applicant Marney Mayo of Stone Mountain
Resigning DeKalb County School Board member Nancy Jester
Governor Nathan Deal (R-Georgia) announces suspensions of 6 DeKalb County School Board members on February 25, 2013
DEKALB COUNTY, Ga -- Given the tumultuous state of Georgia's third largest school system, some might ask why anyone would want to be on the DeKalb County School Board.
The answer is 403 people.
That's right, FOUR-HUNDRED-AND-THREE...for 6 part time jobs that only pay $18,000 a year.
READ | Full list of applicants for DeKalb School Board seats
MORE | Continuing coverage of DeKalb school issues
That's the number Governor Nathan Deal's office provided to 11 Alive News just after the 5 p.m. deadline for applications on Wednesday.
Two days ago a federal judge cleared the way for the Governor's special panel to begin considering replacements for the six board members he suspended last week for being so dysfunctional that the system's accreditation was put on probation in December.
One of the replacement applicants is former chemical engineer and stay-at-home mom Marney Mayo of Stone Mountain.
"I've been paying attention for 10 years and I've been highly frustrated," she told 11 Alive on Wednesday.
With two children in DeKalb's school system, she's been attending board meetings for years and helped found the International Community Charter School in Decatur.
Now she's one of the 403 people who want to considered as possible replacements for the six suspended board members.
"I think things have reached sort of a critical mass where people that otherwise have not paid attention are now paying attention; that's a good thing," she said.
Like many parents, Mayo is worried about the impact the system's academic probation could have on her children's college plans.
But she's also worried about how to get the most education for all 99,000 of DeKalb's students with a shrinking tax base.
She's also glad she has a lot of competition for the board positions.
"I hope that there is a quality pool of applicants and I hope that we as a community can come together and focus on those kids," Mayo added.
While most of the suspended school board members continue their legal fight to challenge the constitutionality of the 2011 removal law, at least one has called it quits.
In her online blog, Nancy Jester claimed she did not support the legal challenge and wanted to resign earlier, but did not want those other board members to pick her successor.
"I am more comfortable with the Governor and his team selecting my replacement," she wrote.
The nominating committee appointed by Governor Deal will meet Friday to begin the process of choosing replacements.
Some applicants are from outside DeKalb, even one from out of state, but no one will be considered unless they live in the county.