Defendants in APS cheating scandal prepare to report to jail

ATLANTA — A source tells Channel 2 Action News the investigation into cheating at Atlanta Public Schools is not over.

This information comes as the 35 people named in Friday's indictment prepare to turn themselves in to the Fulton County Jail.

"We don't plan to go out and arrest people," said Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard during Friday's news conference. "We're hoping that they would simply turn themselves in."

Thirty-five Atlanta Public School leaders, teachers and staff have until Tuesday to surrender to the Fulton County Jail to face charges for alleged involvement in one of the largest school cheating scandals in U.S. history.

"This took place in 58 of the Atlanta Public Schools," Howard said.

Sources tell Channel 2 Action News a grand jury set a $7.5 million cash bond for former Superintendent Dr. Beverly Hall.

It was a strong statement against a once-nationally recognized education leader prosecutors say headed up a criminal conspiracy to cheat.

"Without her, this conspiracy could not have taken place," said Howard.

According to the indictment, Hall and 34 others told students the answers to federally-mandated standardized tests or changed the students' answers themselves…all in return for big bonuses.

"I think the financial terms were a motivation all across the board," Howard told reporters.

The former school leaders are now facing 65 counts ranging from racketeering and theft to influencing witnesses and even retaliation against whistle-blowers.

"We've got many examples of people who made complaints and once those complaints were lodged, they were terminated," Howard said.

If convicted, the defendants face years in prison.