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Tuesday, May 25, 2010 - 9:50am

Bill Boosts State Control Over School Boards

Governor Sonny Perdue signed a bill that lets the state remove school board members of school districts in danger of losing accreditation.
The Governor says the so-called "school board reform bill" is a result of the state's inability to intervene in the Clayton County school district ordeal years ago. 
"You ever try to help someone who didn’t need you’re help?  That can be very frustrating...  The state had run out of tools and we realized at that point it was all of our responsibilities to never let our school systems to get in the threat for their students of losing accreditation," says Perdue.
Clayton County lost its accreditation for nine months due to its ineffective school board. 
Perdue says the legislation will let the state respond to such crises in weeks. 

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools issues accreditations. Its president Mark Elgart says this bill would have helped Clayton County.

"We wasted about 18 months because there was nothing anybody could do to stop the progression of chaos and conflict that was happening in that school system that was being generating by adults elected who are elected to the board of education," says Elgart.
The legislation did not come soon enough for the state to intervene in Warren County. SACS is slated to pull the district’s accreditation this summer—that’s due in part to unprofessional behavior of some of its board members.
The governor is going through what he calls a “long” and  “arduous” court process to determine whether to remove those members.