The 10 former Atlanta educators sentenced Tuesday for their roles in a test-cheating scandal were out of the Fulton County Jail by 9:10 p.m.
They either met the requirements set by Judge Jerry Baxter or posted bonds that will leave them free while their cases are appealed.
Only one spoke as he left the jail, Donald Bullock, a former testing coordinator who admitted to his crimes in court and got off with six months of weekends in jail, five years of probation, 1,500 hours of community service and a $5,000 fine.
"I am blessed," he told a reporter as he exited.
Three former top administrators were given maximum 20-year sentences Tuesday in the Atlanta school cheating case, with seven years to be served in prison, 13 on probation and fines of $25,000 to be paid by each.
Baxter voiced frustration that more defendants weren’t willing to accept the deal and admit to what they had done.
“Yesterday I said to everyone, this is the time to search your soul and we could end this and the punishment wouldn’t be so severe. It was just taking responsibility, and no one is taking responsibility that I can see,” Baxter said. “I was going to give everyone one more chance, but no one took it. All I want for many of these people is to just take some responsibility, but they refuse. They refuse.”
Others who worked as principals, teachers and testing coordinators received sentences of up to five years with at least one-year in prison and hefty fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. All the defendants were granted first-offender status, meaning their records will be wiped clean after they served their time.