Thousands of students in Clayton County, Ga., could have trouble getting into some colleges and universities and even lose scholarship money because the county's public schools have lost their accreditation, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Families learned last week that Clayton County Public Schools, a 50,000-student district just south of Atlanta, lost its accreditation because of the school board's failure to meet eight of the nine mandates the regional accrediting agency required. Many parents have since withdrawn their kids from schools (1,800 students by the district's last count). District administrators, weary of losing students and state funding, are appealing the decision by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. They have promised that every senior who graduates in May will have a valid diploma. Not everyone is convinced. A high school senior who occupies the No. 1 rank in her class told a local reporter, "It's almost like a bad dream. You're just hoping to wake up and everything will be OK."
The district is the first in the nation to lose accreditation in 40 years. It must meet several improvement mandates by next September to regain accreditation, which would be retroactive and put the district back in good standing with colleges and universities. The state has already ousted four members of the district's board.