The move to make Gwinnett County school board elections nonpartisan and redraw map for the board’s districts without consulting Gwinnett County Public Schools or its school board has drawn a rebuke from GCPS Superintendent Calvin Watts and a letter-writing campaign from parents.

Senate Bill 5EX was approved by the Georgia Senate’s State and Local Government Operations Committee on Wednesday and it is awaiting placement by the Rules Committee on the full Senate’s voting agenda, something that is generally more of a formality than anything else.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

(5) comments


Why should a political party run education? People of all and no political parties use the schools. If people want a political party to control education, I can assure you that they have ulterior motives. I have followed the issues with the Gwinnett School Board for some time as an interested party, and they all need to be removed. Where is the other side of the story here? The hundreds of parents who have been silenced, threatened, and banned for trying to express their concerns? Let's see some balance here.


I applaud Senator Dixon's attempt to make our school board nonpartisan. Anyone that has paid attention knows it has become too political and our kids are being used as pawns. GCPS and media has "spun" the Cognia report as "move along, nothing to see." Don't be fooled readers. It was a big deal. Our board was rebuked for racist social media posts and solicitations for money for personal gain... among other things. Now taxpayer dollars are used to train the board members on roles and responsibilities, norms, ethics, etc. These are leadership "no brainers" but they were on a mission to terminate Mr. Wilbanks. Some board members are clearly in over their heads.

GCPS is the crown jewel of Gwinnett County. People need to wake up. It has nothing to do with race but incompetence and political agendas. Firing Alvin Wilbanks was a colossal waste of money. Some board members complained he earned too much money. Yet they offer the exact same base salary to Dr. Watts, with far less experience. Now taxpayers pay double.

Take the politics out of the school. You are using our children and parents are sick of it. Just wait until Cognia returns. It is going to hit the fan.


Dixon is my senator and does represent my concerns and the best interest for pursuing academic excellence in Gwinnett County. Our tax $ were wasted with the early termination of Wilbanks and the School Board hadsvery little interest in listening to parents and taxpayers. This is the right decision to protect the future of our children and the economic viability of Gwinnett County.


Dixon doesn't live in GCPS, he's Buford. Maybe so, but his constituents live in Buford and GCPS. He is my senator and I am GCPS, not Buford City Schools. This was drafted in response to concerns by his constituents. They are being heard by someone, and that someone isn't this school board.

The Board has made it a habit of NOT responding to constituents, period. It's ironic they are complaining they weren't given a voice. Even though I email and speak at meetings, I am not given a voice either.

And 3 of the 5 board members make decisions that impact 180,000 students. They routinely silence the 2 board members that make the minority, thereby silencing the districts they represent. Watts said this in his letter:

“(Eighty-six percent) of the voices, represented by six senators, five school board members, and 13 House representatives have been nullified,” the letter states. “Senator Clint Dixon and all those supporting this bill made a decision to not include my voice, by not including my senator, school board member, nor House representative, when drafting and submitting these bills.”

I believe at some time, Blair and Johnson said this is how the process works. They are elected to make these tough decisions. Sometimes those tough decisions aren't popular. Sometimes they need to be made for the better of the community.


Nope, He lives in Gwinnett and not Buford City.

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