With affidavits complete, system looks to Justice Department for answers

Thu, 01/24/2008 - 4:11pm
By: John Thompson

Coweta County School system spokesperson Dean Jackson confirmed this week that the system is down to missing just under 100 residency affidavits for its students.

The affidavits are a requirement of a federal court settlement. This is the second year of the federal court requirement, which applies to all currently enrolled students.

Students who did not fill out the forms were disenrolled from their school. Jackson said there were nearly 300 outstanding on the first day of school Jan.3, but has gradually diminished down to the current numbers.

“We’re assuming that many of these students were moved, or were simply out of district and did not show up for the second semester,” he said.

The affidavits are being required by the United States Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, to meet the terms of a federal court Consent Decree entered into on November 9, 2006.

This is the second year that parents must submit the Affidavits of Residency. The Consent Decree reached last year in federal court mandates that schools collect the affidavits annually, as a part of a two-year review of the school system’s compliance with the terms of the 1973 federal desegregation order.

At the end of the two-year period, if the court finds that all areas of compliance have been met, then the school system may be awarded “unitary status,” which would remove Coweta County Schools from the review of the U.S. Justice Department. The school system must carefully document school system policies, school assignment, student transfers, hiring practices, educational opportunities and other matters (27 items in all) during this period.

School spokesperson Dean Jackson said the two-year period will end this November and will deal with The Department of justice to see if the affidavits have to be done again next school year.

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