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Friday, June 4, 2010 - 1:01pm

Coffee Co. Schools Face Sanction

South Georgia's Coffee County has become the latest school system to face losing accreditation because of a dysfunctional school board.

Southern Association of Colleges and Schools officials say, the 8,000 student district is in serious jeopardy of losing accreditation, which could affect student scholarships.

SACS says, school board members threaten staff, interfere with hiring and firing and micromanage the superintendent.

Referring to the board's Ronnie Johnson, Douglas businessman Jeff Hennesy says, the board is simply meddling.

"Mr. Johnson was furious that the superintendent had gone into one of the schools without his permission and the board asked the superintendent if he would notify the board before he went to a school," Hennesy says. "That's an example of where our problem is."

The district's problems could hurt business recruitment in a county otherwise known as business-friendly.

"I know that many people in the community that haven't been that involved in the school system are starting to get frustrated," Hennesy says.

SACS says, it'll monitor Coffee County over the next six to twelve months.

In 2008, the association pulled the accreditation of Metro Atlanta's Clayton County Schools.

The incident led to a law taking effect in July that allows the Governor to intervene when a school system is in trouble.

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