Small crowd attends first of two school board candidate events

The first of two high-profile DeKalb County school board candidate forums drew a sparse crowd despite the importance of the May 20 election.

The nine-member board is being reduced to seven seats, and all are up for election in the non-partisan race that will be decided without a primary. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, which nearly stripped DeKalb of accreditation and only eased its dire warnings after Gov. Nathan Deal replaced most of the board last year, has said this election is crucial.

Maria Balais, executive director of Leadership DeKalb, an organization that promotes community engagement and helped coordinate the forum Tuesday at the Emory University School of Law, introduced the dozen candidates to the crowd of about 60, saying, “The board of education election is probably one of the most important moments in DeKalb County history.”

There are 22 candidates. The forum for the remaining 10 is 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts & Community Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Information:

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