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Thursday, October 28, 2010 - 4:31am

Atlanta Schools Could Lose Accreditation

A national agency is threatening to strip Atlanta Public Schools of its accreditation because of its bickering school board.

 Mark Elgart, head of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, sent a letter to the board Wednesday saying the members have until December 1st to get their act together.

  Losing accreditation could put the 50,000-student district in danger of losing private grants and could keep students from gaining admission and winning scholarships at some colleges.

 The board became divided after the launch of an ongoing investigation into possible cheating at 58 city schools, leading to a vote to replace the board chairwoman and vice chairwoman.

Four board members have filed a lawsuit claiming the election of new board leaders last month was illegal. The Clayton County school district just south of the city lost its accreditation with Elgart's agency in 2008 because of a squabbling, ineffective school board. The district has since replaced its entire board and regained its standing.

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