The Appling County school system has been placed on probation for the 2010-11 school year by the organization that accredits public schools in Georgia.
The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools said Appling's superintendent and board had violated its accreditation standards for leadership, governance, resources and support. It gave the district until April 1 to correct the problems. At that time, it will decide whether to lift the probation, extend it or revoke the system's accreditation.
Accreditation is voluntary, but losing it can affect access to loans, scholarships and college admission for students graduating from the district, association spokeswomen Jennifer Oliver said.
Interim Superintendent Debra Brantley said board members had just received the report and would meet at 10 a.m. Thursday to discuss what to do next.
"We do realize there are some problems that need to be addressed," Brantley said. "There needs to be a collaboration of input from the board, the community and stakeholders.
"We are a good school system. There has been a lot of bad publicity, some founded, some unfounded."
Gary Moore, who retired as NAACP president to run this year for the school board's District 3 post, said the report was very thorough and hit key complaints made by community members, especially with regard to transparency and community involvement.
"I think if we follow those guidelines, by the end of the monitoring term we should be well on our way toward correcting the problems," he said.