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BOE to unveil SACS response during called meeting

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

The Clayton County Board of Education will let the public know on Friday why the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' (SACS) should not revoke the district's accreditation.

The response will be presented during a called meeting on Friday, at 7 p.m., at the Clayton County Performing Arts Center, 2530 Mt. Zion Parkway, Jonesboro.

The response -- with its supporting evidence -- is the final, major step in preparation before a SACS review team visits the district on the Aug. 14 and 15 to see if the district has truly met the accrediting agency's nine mandates for improvement.

The district has been told by SACS it will lose its accreditation, if the mandates are not met by a Sept. 1 deadline.

"Of course, everything will depend on the decision made by SACS, but we feel we have done due diligence, and the response will show the district's commitment to complying with all of the SACS mandates," said District spokesman Charles White.

District officials had previously announced a schedule that included the board voting to approve the response on Monday, July 28, during its monthly work session. But White said the vote could possibly happen on Friday.

District officials already revealed the evidence, which will be included in the response, on July 17, during a meeting with several elected officials, business and community leaders. The evidence includes minutes, videotapes and agendas from board meetings; a new state law which creates a new code of ethics and an ethics panel for the board; revised policies; financial and attendance audits, and board member residency affidavits.

White also said the school system has accumulated "several thousands of sheets of paper," showing its evidence of compliance with the mandates, which will be sent to SACS officials with the response.

The response will also include letters from local elected officials, asking the accrediting agency to show mercy on the school system.