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DeKalb School Board comes under D.A.'s scrutiny

DECATUR, Ga. -- DeKalb County Schools were put on probation this week by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, but they won't be the only ones looking into the school board.

The board is accused of mismanaging money and behaving unethically. A SACS report shows the board put the district $12 million in debt for new textbooks that were never purchased.

RELATED | DeKalb County Schools under investigation

Now the DeKalb District Attorney's office will have to figure out where that money was spent, who spent it, and whether there was any criminal activity.

DeKalb Schools put on probation through 2013

DeKalb Schools put on probation through 2013

DECATUR, Ga. -- The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has placed DeKalb County Schools on probation through 2013.

The accrediting agency held a news conference at noon Monday following an intense investigation.

MORE | Read the SACS report here

"We want to see sustained progress," SACS president Mark Elgart said of the school district during the press conference. He added that SACS believes it will take more than a year to reach that goal, as "there are no proper checks and balances to explain where the money went."

92% of DeKalb students pass Ga. High School Writing Test

92% of DeKalb students pass Ga. High School Writing Test

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- Nearly 92 percent of high school juniors and seniors in DeKalb County passed the Georgia High School Writing Test in 2012.

DeKalb's 91.7 percent is very close to Georgia's 93 percent, up from 91 percent in 2011 and 88 percent in 2007, when the more rigorous test was rolled out.

Students must pass the annual writing assessment to receive a high school diploma. A perfect score is 350; a student must earn at least 200 points to pass. They may take the test multiple times during their junior and senior years.

A breakdown for each DeKalb County high school is as follows:

Arabia Mountain HS
299 students took the test
98.7 percent passed the test

Cedar Grove HS
186 students took the test
89.8 percent passed the test

Chamblee HS
316 students took the test
97.2 percent passed the test

DeKalb County Court to announce Division V Art Challenge Contest winners

DeKalb County Court to announce Division V Art Challenge Contest winners

DECATUR, Ga. -- The winners of the second annual Division V Art Challenge Contest will be announced by DeKalb County State Court Judge Eleanor L. Ross on Monday, December 4.

At 4:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Courthouse Courtroom C, middle and high school students will learn how their work ranked. Around 36 pieces including pencil drawings, watercolor and photographs were submitted from around 15 schools.

Judge Ross will select winners based on creativity, through the promotion of children and the community. When the contest ran, Ross contacted Elizabeth Epps, the Visual and Performing Arts Coordinator for the K-12 DeKalb County School System. Epps spread word of the contest to all schools in DeKalb County.

Special state funding adds 49 school busses in DeKalb County

Special state funding adds 49 school busses in DeKalb County

DEKALB COUNTY -- The DeKalb County School District is adding 49 new busses to its fleet, without impacting the general budget.

Funds given from the Georgia Department of Education and the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission will make it easier to transport DeKalb's 62,000 students to and from school each day, according to DCSD.

The Board of Education approved the purchase of the busses at a meeting on October 8. The Blue Bird busses carry up to 72 passengers. As of now, 20 Blue Bird busses have passed inspection and have arrived ready-to-use. The rest of the busses will be put to use over the next several weeks.

"Our mechanics and drivers work diligently to care for and maintain our fleet of more than 850 busses, but it can be challenging with the incredible volume of miles that we drive each day," DCSD Bus Fleet Director Anthony Jackson said.

According to DCSD, its busses travel 11 million miles in one year.

Jimmy Carter to become Mercer University trustee

Jimmy Carter to become Mercer University trustee

MACON, Ga. -- Former President Jimmy Carter will soon join the Mercer University Board of Trustees.

Mercer's board is expected to name Carter and nine other trustees to the board Friday.

Deanna Congileo, a spokeswoman for the Carter Center, says Mercer's board and the center's board will be the only boards on which Carter serves.

Larry Brumley, a senior vice president of Mercer, said Carter will have a substantive role, as do all trustees, in setting Mercer's policies and guarding its mission. Brumley said Mercer's mission of service seems to mesh with Carter's.

Mercer's 45-member board of trustees is responsible for overall policymaking for the college. Trustees serve five-year terms.

In addition to its main campus in Macon, Mercer has campuses in Savannah and DeKalb County.

Look for JROTC cadets collecting for the Empty Stocking Fund Nov. 3-4

Look for JROTC cadets collecting for the Empty Stocking Fund Nov. 3-4

More than 2,000 JROTC cadets from 30 metro Atlanta high schools
to participate in historic fundraising effort

On Saturday, November 3rd and Sunday, November 4th, visitors to metro Atlanta Kroger stores are likely to be met by a smiling, uniformed JROTC cadet with an Empty Stocking Fund logo, as more than 2,000 cadets representing 30 metro Atlanta high schools’ JROTC programs will be working outside metro Kroger stores to raise awareness of and contributions for The Empty Stocking Fund, an Atlanta-based, Atlanta-serving non-profit organization that has been providing holiday gifts to Atlanta’s neediest children since 1926.