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Dukes Enters Campaign for BOE Chair

He said he will eliminate all teacher furloughs, cut the county dropout rate and never vote for a tax increase.

Pledging to eliminate all teacher furloughs by reducing a "bloated" ,  governing board member  said late Tuesday night that he will run for county school board chair.

“We all deserve a school board with positive, collaborative energy and an effective leader who works for solutions based on conservative principles,” he said in a statement. “We can have the highest performing school system in Georgia if we put students first and pledge to work with other elected leaders to solve problems. And we can do all this without raising taxes.”

Dukes' decision came a little more than a month after to weigh the pros and cons of a campaign for the newly-created countywide chair position.

“During the last few weeks, I have discovered a groundswell of support for a true conservative as Cherokee County school board chair," he said Tuesday. "Parents, teachers, community leaders and citizens share my sincere passion for the children of our county."

Dukes' run sets up a race between at least two of the key players in the .

In April, Board of Education Vice Chairwoman Janet Read said that she was running for chair. And BOE Chairman Mike Chapman and former school board member Eddie Blackwell said that they are mulling BOE runs, too. 

If you had to go to the polls today, who would get your vote? Tell us in the comment box below.

Chapman and Read were two of the four school board members who .

The state Board of Education subsequently , but the of denying the Cherokee Charter Academy or to “.”

And in March, Gov. Nathan Deal signed a controversial redistricting measure that creates the elected chair position and effectively draws out Chapman and Read from their seats. Critics have said that the , a . 

In Tuesday's announcement, Dukes said the school board has “engaged in a very public fight with families and community leaders” as , a reference to a new federal formula that resulted in a drop for the entire state. 

“When elected school board chair, I can guarantee the working relationship between this school board and others will be repaired immediately,” he said. “Instead of fighting about charter schools, we will focus on making sure students graduate with an exceptional education.” 

In addition to eliminating teacher furloughs and repairing strained relationships between the BOE and others, Dukes said he will "take every step possible" to cut the county dropout rate in half and never vote for a tax increase. He said his professional experience as the managing member of a financial consulting firm qualifies him to give Cherokee the "fiscal oversight many have felt was lacking on the school board for years."

For the full announcement, open the attached PDF document under Dukes' photo.

Kara Martin May 25, 2012 at 07:41 PM
I find it largely offensive Julie that you commented on a grade changing story having to do with CCA since there was NO such story. Actually it was a letter posted as a blog that this may be occurring and you were the author of that letter. There was and is NO evidence of this having occurred and came conveniently 1 day after several teachers contracts were not renewed for next year. What I also find disturbing is that you would send a slanderous letter without providing any proof. In the future please do not come on to a message board and try to in site an uproar over false accusations and lies. What you stated is not an opinion it is slander and disrespectful to the children who worked for those grades and the teachers who taught.
Kara Martin May 25, 2012 at 07:45 PM
I would like to apologize now for the previous outburst. Those of you who know me on here and from here know that I typically try and keep my comments on topic and regarding the issue in a non-aggressive and civil manner. However I take this accusation personal as I would regardless of the school this was thrown at because there is no basis for it. I believe that teachers and students should not have their reputations tarnished as the result of vindictiveness. Opinions and experience on the issues of school choice, charters and CCSD is one thing, but lies that could damage lives is another.
Frank Jones May 25, 2012 at 09:11 PM
@Mikael...Listening is probably fearful of people like you. As I recall, in previous thread you attempted to find out information about Ashley or another person such as what school and grade her child was in. That put everyone on notice that there are nuts on here and that their personal safety could be in jeopardy. It may be against the rules of Patch.com, but I'd support the use of alias'.

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