(AJC) — Lawyers for Atlanta Public Schools have sent state investigators a defiant letter, ratcheting up the tension in an already-strained relationship. In a three-page letter, sent Friday and obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, district officials denied obstructing the state’s criminal investigation into test-tampering, as investigators alleged last week. The letter objected to accusations that school officials have for years systematically retaliated against employees who reported cheating on state tests.
The school system also refused to cease its internal inquiry into allegations that a high-ranking district official allegedly advised a dozen principals to tell GBI agents to “go to hell.” The letter could set the stage for further clashes this week with the three state investigators, who were appointed by former Gov. Sonny Perdue last year to find out whether widespread test-cheating took place in Atlanta schools. “Notwithstanding the status of your investigation,” the district letter said, “APS has both the continuing authority and responsibility to investigate misconduct involving any of its employees.”