While I usually go to great pains to maintain some cloak of privacy around this blog so that after I graduate I can, y'know, GET HIRED AND SHIT, I have to tell you that I can no longer hide my disgust at the shenanigans of our local school board. I was in Athens this weekend and couldn't attend the march demanding the resignation of all nine school board members.
It's such a long story. Some school board members and some concerned citizens alerted SACS to possible ethics violations on the part of other school board members. Irony: the person who reported the others doesn't live in his district, either. He has an empty apartment in that distract. His first-grade daughter told someone at school all about it. After SACS did their investigation (the report for which can be found here) they found that the board was "fatally flawed." Their recommendation? that NACS pull their accreditation of the entire county school system on September 1.
What does this mean? That my nephew, who has straight A's, will graduate in 2009 and his diploma will have "Non-accredited" stamped across it. And he'll be ineligible for the HOPE scholarship, which is given to any Georgia graduate with a GPA of 3.0 or higher who is attending a Georgia public university. There are 52,000 kids in this county's school system. Pre-K funding would be lost.
The school board is guilty of micromanagement and poor ethical choices. Six of them are clearly guilty and while I haven't heard anything negative about the other three, I'm afraid that at this point the only way to resolve this is to get rid of the entire board. The Governor has already appointed several people to start overseeing the changes that SACS has recommended. In the meantime, one of the most guilty on the board is still refusing to resign. He was recently arrested for beating up his gay lover in their home. In Dekalb County.
The worst problem is the "negative influence" cited in the report that is affecting the entire system. That person's name will not be mentioned on this blog but he is pretty much the Devil incarnate. He managed to get some of his cronies elected on the last school board (when SACS investigated our county a few years ago). Upon getting elected, the previous school board head (who is black) said they were going to recommend that no more white teachers get hired until the amount of black teachers was equal to the proportion of black students. With the words, "It's our turn now, we're going to get ours," she turned race relations in my county back 40 years. Even after that board got elected out, That Person managed to get more of his cronies elected.
It's a mess. And I just wish I had an answer, you know? If you're local, check out public access channels for tomorrow night's school board meeting. They just moved it to the local performing arts center and installed metal detectors. But I bet I could sneak in some rotten tomatoes.