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Atlanta Schools: What Are the Consequences for Losing Accreditation?


Several Atlanta area school districts have been faced with loss or review of their accreditation. Clayton County actually lost its accreditation in 2008 and regained it in 2009 on a two-year probation. DeKalb County Schools is under review by SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and must resolve concerns by 2012. The Atlanta public school system has been on probation since early 2011 and must make progress on six recommendations from SACS or face loss of its accreditation.

Loss of accreditation is rare - Clayton County was the first Georgia system to lose it - but the consequences are serious. 

College Acceptance

Traditionally, colleges require applicants to graduate from an accredited institution. Some out-of-state universities may not accept a non-accredited diploma, while others will require additional documentation or testing for acceptance.

HOPE scholarship

Students who graduate from a non-accredited high school have an extra requirement to qualify for the HOPE scholarship: they must score in the 85% or above on the SAT or ACT in addition to earning a 3.0 GPA. 

Federal and Private Funding

Federal education dollars go to accredited school systems. Private philanthropic groups have said that the troubled school districts' funding could be pulled, stripping the districts of millions of dollars. 

Property Values

Local school quality is a major factor in property values. Loss of accreditation will negatively affect Atlanta home values in an already troubled market. 


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