By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
An accrediting agency wants the DeKalb County school board to answer allegations that it has mismanaged its oversight of the system and ignored key financial responsibilities.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said it’s received dozens of complaints from a broad spectrum of people in DeKalb. Parents, public officials and school staffers have alleged everything from financial mismanagement to undue influence in hiring — all while the school system faces a financial crisis.
“The allegation is they’re getting involved in areas that aren’t their responsibility, and then in the areas that are their responsibility, they’re not being effective,” said Mark Elgart, president and chief executive officer of AdvancED, the parent company of SACS.
In a letter received by school officials Wednesday, SACS said there is “significant concern” about whether DeKalb is meeting “at least” two of five accreditation standards. SACS gave DeKalb 30 days to respond, and will then investigate and issue a report.
“I don’t see where we violated any policy,” school board chairman Eugene Walker said. He said he wants to consult the 9-member school board before issuing any detailed response. He also said he needed more details than provided in the 3-page letter.
“They need to show some evidence of these things,” Walker said.
The allegations are from about 50 people over the past year, Elgart said.
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