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SACS: DeKalb County schools to remain accredited

SACS: DeKalb County schools to remain accredited

DECATUR, Ga. (AP) - The DeKalb County school district is keeping its accreditation.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools announced Tuesday that the district will remain "accredited on advisement." That means the nearly 100,000-student district is accredited but will be watched closely by SACS to ensure progress is being made.

The district had until last month to shape up or lose accreditation with the metro Atlanta-based SACS. Agency President and CEO Mark Elgart said DeKalb County has "demonstrated significant work" on issues ranging from an ineffective school board to instability in the superintendent's office.

SACS will visit the district again in March.

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

State tax credit program raises $50M for scholarships

ATLANTA -- The Georgia Department of Revenue stamped its approval on $50 million in donations under the Georgia Scholarship Tax Credit Program.

The program lets people and businesses get tax credit for donations to scholarships for Georgia children to attend private schools.

Fifty million dollars is the most allowed under the program. In 2012, the statewide cap on donations will increase by the annual increase in the Consumer Price Index until 2018.

Individuals can donate up to $1,000, while married couples have a donation cap of $2,500. Corporations can donate up to 75 percent of their state income tax liability.

The American Federation for Children estimated more than 6,000 students last year got scholarships to attend private schools through the program.

DeKalb County announces Mascot Naming Contest

DeKalb County announces Mascot Naming Contest


DECATUR – DeKalb County Chief Executive Officer Burrell Ellis invites local middle school students to name the DeKalb County Department of Watershed Management’s new mascot. The new mascot is a male mallard duck and is native to the State of Georgia. The duck also emphasizes the importance of protecting our water resources.

Interested middle school students can go online, with parents’ permission, to www.dekalbwatershed.com and click below the picture of the duck to submit a name for the mascot. Entries must be submitted by noon on Monday, Nov. 14. A judging panel will then select the five best names and place them on the Department of Watershed Management’s website for online voting. Online voting will begin Friday, Nov.18 and end Monday, Nov. 28.

The mascot will attend DeKalb County sponsored events, school activities and public meetings. 

Voters weigh education sales tax with SPLOST

Voters weigh education sales tax with SPLOST

ATLANTA -- Voters in two cities and six counties in Metro Atlanta will decide on Nov. 8 whether to renew a one-cent sales tax for school construction.

The education SPLOST is one-cent special purpose local option sales tax that was first approved by voters in Atlanta, Decatur and Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cherokee, Douglas and Henry counties in 1997.

On Tuesday, Nov. 8, voters will be asked to continue that tax with SPLOST IV.

$10 million in low interest student loans up for grabs

$10 million in low interest student loans up for grabs

ATLANTA -- State officials have re-opened the pool for $10 million in low interest student loans. 

Lawmakers had set aside $20 million to help families after an overhaul of the lottery-funded HOPE scholarship took effect this summer.

Only about 5,200 students applied for the loans during the initial application period, which ended in July.

The Georgia Student Finance Authority has now re-opened the application process for the remaining $10 million in available loans.

Students have until Oct. 31 to apply for the Student Access Loan Program. 

For applications and details, visit GAcollege411's website.

New DeKalb superintendent releases plan of action

New DeKalb superintendent releases plan of action

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- At a district-wide meet and greet in late August, then-incoming superintendent Dr. Cheryl Atkinson told parents she wanted to hit the ground running - promising better communication and a thorough district-wide review.

In her first day on the job, she took steps toward fulfilling both of those promises.

Dr. Atkinson released a 90-day plan detailing steps to audit the district's leadership, departments and programs.

READ: Dr. Atkinson's complete 90-day plan

She also visited six schools, touring the building and meeting with each principal. Her goal is to visit each school in the district.

Dr. Atkinson inherits a district under review by SACS. She comes on the heels of former superintendent Crawford Lewis, who was indicted on racketeering charges.

High school sports get a new 'beat'

High school sports get a new 'beat'

ATLANTA -- In just one week, Atlanta-area high school sports will get a new beat.

Beats Battle, the brainchild of atlanta.highschoolsports.net and Patchwerk Recording Studios, will give high school students the chance to use their talents to show pride in their schools and teams.

Each week Patchwerk will provide different beats on atlanta.highschoolsports.net. Students can download the beats, add lyrics that praise their favorite high school teams and upload their products to the Web.

Voters can visit atlanta.highschoolsports.net to select a weekly winner. At the end of the season, one grand prize winner will receive recording time in the legendary Patchwerk Studios.