Phenix City School District could be reviewed by SACS

The Phenix City School District is waiting to hear what is next after receiving a letter from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools outlining the possibility for a special review.

"We have to meet certain standards when we go through accreditation, and Standard number two has to deal with governance and leadership.  When we got accredited they said you certainly meet that standard.  They're just concerned that standard may be compromised," said Phenix City School District Superintendent Larry DiChiara.

DiChiara says he received a letter from the Southern Association of Collage and Schools or SACS earlier this month.

The letter expresses concerns about the way Phenix City Council appoints school board members especially if prospective members may have a conflict of interest with the school system.

"They removed a long time board member and replaced him with a gentleman who was the opposing council that represented the city in the lawsuit that they had with the school district," said DiChiara speaking about a recent appointment by the Phenix City Council. 

DiChiara says because of this concern from SACS, the district could be under review which could potentially end with the district losing its accreditation.

Phenix City Council members and Phenix City Mayor Sonny Coulter were not able to comment.

City Manager Wallace Hunter says the city would never jeopardize the school district. "I think this is a conflict of personalities.  Not as far as people doing their jobs."

Hunter believes the most recent appointment was a smart choice.

"We wouldn't do anything to disrupt or hurt the city and its accreditation, and I know Attorney Funderburk would never do anything either."

DiChiara says he does not think the school district will lose their accreditation and does not want to alarm parents, but he says it is something people need to know.

President of the School Board Eddie Lowe spoke with News Leader Nine on the phone Friday afternoon about the situation.  He said it is the right of the Phenix City Council to appoint members to the school board.

Copyright 2012  WXTX  All rights reserved.