Clayton school board faces heated crowd over SACS letter

by: Tony Thomas Updated:

A much larger than normal crowd gathered at a school board meeting Monday night after SACS sent a letter to the district last week warning of school board in-fighting and micro-managing.

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. - The Clayton County School Board is asking for clarification from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools about why the south suburban district is being warned its accreditation could be at risk.

SACS sent a letter to the district last week warning of school board in-fighting and micro-managing.

A much larger than normal crowd gathered at a school board meeting Monday night.

Many parents and community leaders are angry and worried the district is being thrown into turmoil again, just four years after losing its accreditation.

One mayor told the board just rumors of problems are already creating economic havoc on her city.

Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Winn-Dixon said two businesses with as many as 200 potential jobs have already broken off talks of moving to Riverdale simply because of the potential accreditation loss.

"We're not going to be apathetic and stand by and watch this happen. This will not happen to the city of Riverdale again," Winn-Dixon said.

Without accreditation most colleges won't accept students' diplomas and federal monies are lost.

This comes as the board begins a search for a new superintendent.

Luvenia Jackson just took over as the interim leader.

"I know that I can count on you because too much is at stake," said Jackson.

Board Chairman Pam Adamson promised the community the board is taking the warning letter seriously.

"We are working as well as any other board in the nation." she said. "I think we will be fine."

There's not much time though. Five of the boards nine members are up for election in just five weeks.

"Please know waiting the wings, we are ready to take up the fight," Winn-Dixon said, even as she promised to work with the board.