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SACS officials visit DeKalb school district to check on progress

Accrediting agency officials visited the DeKalb County School District today to see how the district is doing in meeting the 11 actions needed to restore the system’s full accreditation.

 

The district was placed on probation in December 2012 after the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) cited the school system with financial mismanagement and governance issues.

Ramona Tyson, the district’s chief strategy officer, said the visit scheduled today was conducted for a “pulse check” so district officials could ask questions and SACS could provide input. She said the district expects to receive a progress report from SACS on or before May 1.

 

Tyson discussed the SACS timeline and gave an update while speaking on Wednesday night during the school board meeting.

 

The nine-member board, with its six new Governor-appointed members, met for the first time on Wednesday and voted on several items of business. The new board members voted unanimously on all but one item, asking lots of questions before casting their votes electronically. Board member Thaddeus Mayfield, who was appointed to represent District 9, voted against a lease/purchase for portable classrooms, after several questions. Mayfield wanted to make sure the district had the best deal possible in the lease/purchase arrangement.

 

The board also voted to remove the district as a plaintiff in a lawsuit filed against the state by the six board members who were removed by Gov. Nathan Deal. Former board chairman Eugene Walker, who is also named as a plaintiff, is challenging the governor on the grounds that his removal and the others was unconstitutional. Walker pledged to continue the legal fight, even if he must pay for it.


On Monday, the DeKalb NAACP issued a news release stating that it remains opposed to the DeKalb County School Board being suspended and replaced by the governor.


“It is our determination that this violates the political rights of the citizens of DeKalb County to have a representative government and it usurps their voting rights,” DeKalb NAACP President John Evans stated in a letter.

 

In other action Wednesday, the board accepted a resolution presented by the DeKalb Chamber of Commerce that expressed its full support of the board to improve academic achievement and to work expeditiously on regaining full accreditation. Chamber officials told the board that they wanted to convene a long-term partnership with the school district.