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Wednesday, April 11, 2012 - 11:55am

Sumter County School Board Investigated

The organization that accredits schools sent a team to Americus this week to investigate the Sumter County School Board. The visit comes amid allegations of power struggles and policy violations.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has been in Americus investigating the board since Monday.

The problems started in 2010 when the Sumter County School Board unanimously agreed to reduce their members from nine to seven. But after they received legislative approval, some Board members changed their mind and refused to step down. Now, operating with two extra people puts them in violation of state law.

School board member Dr. Michael Busman admits the group has some problems internally and expects the Board to be reprimanded:

“We are a dysfunctional school board, there’s no doubt about it. I believe there will be some sanctions. What will they be? I don’t know, but the focus should be the kids, not personal agendas, not catering to special interest groups, it should be the kids.”

Dr. Mark Elgart, President and CEO of SACS, says based on the review team’s analysis, they will give the school system directions on how to address their problems and a deadline to improve:

“During that timeframe, their accreditation would probably, if it’s true what’s been alleged, would be placed in some level of sanction, it could be warning or probation and then monitor their accreditation through this whole transition.”

The results of the investigation should be released by the end of April.

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