Charter cluster a wedge issue in school board runoff election

Charter schools, and more specifically, the rejected petition for a “charter cluster” that would have included several schools in and around Druid Hills, was a focal point of a school board election forum Thursday.

The event, hosted by the civic group Leadership DeKalb, drew all six remaining candidates in the heated election for three seats on the DeKalb County school board. All seven were up for election, but these three — in electoral districts three, four and five — were the only seats with an indecisive outcome in the May primary.

Voters will have a final say at the July 22 runoff election. The candidates differentiated themselves based on their attitudes toward the Druid Hills Charter Cluster petition, which the school board narrowly rejected earlier this year. In each of the three electoral districts, one candidate supported the cluster proposal while the other questioned it. The plan would have put Druid Hills High School and its feeder schools under an independently operated charter organization.