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No plan in place in Cobb County after school district review by accreditation agency, board member says

A Cognia Accreditation review for the school system released in November listed numerous complaints.

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — It has been less than a month since Cognia Accreditation gave the Cobb County School District a list of action steps following a special investigation. 

The question now is what, if anything, has the district done since then?

A Cognia review for the school system released in November listed numerous complaints, ranging from not adhering to ethical practices to lack of transparency with stakeholders.

Some are wondering whether the district started addressing the concerns. The answer -- not yet.

"We are in the very early stages of reviewing the report and making sure we know exactly what the report is asking of us as a board of education and as a school district," Leroy Tre Hutchins said.

School board member Leroy Tre Hutchins said he and the other school board members intend to work with the superintendent to come up with something. Right now, no plan is in place, nor is there a timeline for when that may happen.

Cognia has set a deadline for Dec. 22 of 2022. Despite previous challenges, he remains confident solutions will be in place by then.

"The purpose of the review is to help us be better and help us do better and so I am hopeful that we will come together as a board of education, review the findings and move forward to make sure that we are being better for all of Cobb County," he said.

There are many watching closely, Heather Tolley-Bauer with Watching The Funds Cobb said she and her organization intend to be vocal about what they want to see leading up to the deadline next year.

"Cognia has given them their marching orders and it is now up to the board to follow these orders and to show with great fidelity that they are interested in protecting our schools and our students," Tolley-Bauer said.

Tolley-Bauer said this includes sharing and reviewing the report with stakeholders, something she said the board has not done. Moving forward, she said her organization wants to see more transparency.

"There's a real lack of trust in this school board, that is also reflected in the report and how they address this and the steps that they take is going to go a long way with building trust with the stakeholders," she said.

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