Report: Hold school board candidates to standards

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ATLANTA -- A sweeping report on local school boards released Wednesday recommends that board candidates meet statewide requirements before being allowed to run and that a state authority take over underperforming school systems.

Board candidates should be required to hold a high school diploma or GED, sign a code of ethics and pass a drug test, according to the report, a product of a task force of business and education leaders.

The panel also recommended the state create a “receivership authority” to seize control of systems that consistently underperform while new board members and a new superintendent are found.

“The authority would be a solution of last resort,” the report says. “Its objective will be to get the system back on a positive track through whatever means deemed most appropriate for the system.”

The task force, commissioned by the State Board of Education, was a partnership between the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education and AdvancED.

It was created after a series of high-profile school board controversies in recent years, most recently Clayton County Schools’ loss of accreditation.

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