The DeKalb County School District will soon receive a visit from its accrediting agency. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools will launch a three-day investigation of the district starting Wednesday. SACS says its received dozens of complaints about the DeKalb school board. Mark Elgart, the CEO of SACS’ parent company, says it comes down to governance.
“The complaints we’ve received have indicated that individual board members have interfered in the day-to-day operations of the school system,” he says, “And there’s deep concern that the board is not effectively carrying out its responsibility, particularly in the area of financial oversight and stewardship of the system’s resources.”
Specifically, the complaints allege that some board members have pressured school officials to hire their friends and family members and that the district under-budgeted some major expenses, such as utility costs and legal fees.
Board Chairman Eugene Walker has dismissed the allegations and says he welcomes the investigation.
The district’s accreditation status is currently “on advisement.” During the investigation, school officials will try to keep it from slipping to probationary status. That would put the district one step away from a loss of accreditation.