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Georgia District Plans to Revise Policy on Purchasing Sites

Gwinnett County (Ga.) School Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks says the district is working to revise its policy governing acquisition of school sites after questions raised by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the purchase of several sites.

While defending the district policies and practices for purchasing school sites as sound, the superintendent says the language needs to be more precise.

"A review of the board’s current ‘site acquisition policy’ led us to determine that the language is vague," Wilbanks writes on the district’s website. "Therefore, I am working with the board and staff now on proposed improvements that will clarify and strengthen the policy. … Changes we are proposing will more specifically clarify the steps we take to secure sites or vacant buildings for future schools."

Wilbanks’ announcement came a few days before the newspaper published an article stating that the Gwinnett County district bought three properties between 2005 and 2007—at a price $9 million higher than investors had paid for the tracts just a few months earlier.

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