APS School Board Squabbles Could Jeopardize Accreditation | News
ATLANTA -- Mayor Kasim Reed is calling on the Atlanta School Board to resolve differences that are threatening the district's accreditation.
There is a battle among members for control of the school board and all sides are digging in for the fight. Wednesday the agency that accredits public schools warned the board members that their dissension may cause irreparable harm to the school system, and they may cause Atlanta Public Schools to lose accreditation.
"Enough is enough," Reed said in a statement Thursday. "I am deeply disappointed by the Board's actions, which are severely undermining the best interests of our students by risking the accreditation of the entire school system."
Five members voted out the Chair in the middle of her two-year term, and the state attorney general later said that voting her out in the middle of the term violated the board's charter and was illegal.
"The Board should act immediately to comply with the opinion of the State Attorney General and then partner with SACS to ensure full adherence to its accreditation criteria," Reed said.
Wednesday afternoon, new school board chair Khaatim Sherrer El e-mailed 11Alive News saying that he does not recognize the attorney general's opinion. El says it is just an opinion and not a court ruling. El blasts the head of the accrediting agency, Dr. Mark Elgart, for "siding with a minority political faction" on the board.
And El says that Elgart is threatening to "exact extreme penalties." He goes on to say about Elgart, "asserting that he is a legal authority is not constructive."
School Superintendant Beverly Hall is pleading with El and the others on the board to "come together for the students," because the feuding board members she says could lead to the loss of the schools' accreditation.