Clayton-specific BOE ethics laws repealed

— Two ethics laws that specifically targeted the Clayton County Board of Education were repealed by the Georgia Senate Tuesday, freeing the school board to follow a statewide ethics law without risking any conflict.

The two laws, known locally for years as House Bill 1302 and House Bill 743, were passed in 2008 and 2009 during the height of an accreditation crisis in the county. They were intended to help the school system meet one of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools nine mandates for regaining accreditation. An ethics commission was created for the board as part of House Bill 1302.

Everything changed in 2010, when the general assembly passed a statewide school board ethics reform bill that was also a response to the county’s accreditation crisis. That law was enough to meet SACS mandate without needing a county’specific law and district officials complained the tow ethics laws conflicted in some areas.

They began pushing for the repeal county-specific legislation in 2011 but the Clayton County Legislative Delegation did not introduce a bill to repeal the laws until this year.

The House of Representatives has already passed the bill authorizing the repeal and it now awaits Gov. Nathan Deal’s signature.