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(AJC) — The General Assembly gave final approval late Thursday night to a bill giving the governor the power to remove all members of the troubled Atlanta school board and cutting the DeKalb County school board from nine to seven members.  Senate Bill 79, which still has to be signed by Gov. Nathan Deal and approved by the U.S. Justice Department, sets up a two-step process by which all nine members of the Atlanta Board of Education could be removed by the governor after a hearing before the state Board of Education in July.  The bill would affect other school districts that are not fully accredited as of July 1. But its clear target was Atlanta Public Schools, which was placed on accreditation probation in January largely due to board infighting and has until September to show marked improvement.  The bill received final passage on a Senate vote of 34-12, despite pleas from some Atlanta-area legislators to give their school system time to work through its problems.

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