MORROW — Clayton County Commission Chairman Eldrin Bell said he sees the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools’ warning letter to Clayton County school system officials as more of a message to county residents, than their school board members.
With five school board seats up for election in November, Bell said voters in the county have to take extra care in deciding who they want to have representing them on the Clayton County Board of Education.
In his letter to the school district, SACS President Mark Elgart said the accrediting agency had concerns over some board members fighting amongst each other and criticizing district officials.
“We have to take a look at the people running for school board seats in November, and make some thoughtful decisions about who will take care of our most precious asset — our children,” said Bell. “That letter is much more about the public, than it is about any individual member of the school board. We must make thoughtful choices in the election.”
Bell’s comments came in reaction to remarks Elgart made Thursday to Clayton News Daily about his letter to the school system. Although Elgart said the letter was a “proactive” effort to get the school board to make improvement, he parents should also demand better behavior from the school board.
Elgart also board members need to face stiffer challenges during elections.
The accrediting agency chief questioned whether some board members have been re-elected because they are “the familiar name on the ballot” or because voters truly feel the board members have been effective.
Bell said the special election, where voters will choose the occupants of five school seats, will be a chance for the public to give Elgart an answer.
“We have five golden opportunities in November to make some thoughtful decisions about the future of our school system,” said Bell.