updated 8/28/2008 2:30:48 PM ET 2008-08-28T18:30:48

Authorities said Thursday that a Georgia county's school district has become the third in the nation in 40 years to lose its accreditation.

Clayton County Commissioner Eldrin Bell confirmed the loss of the accreditation shortly before the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools was to announce the news.

The association issued a scathing report in February calling Clayton County's school board "dysfunctional" and "fatally flawed." It gave the district until Sept. 1 to overhaul the system.

A team from the association visited the Georgia school district last week to review whether the district had done enough to keep its accreditation.

Clayton County's 50,000-student school district plans a news conference later Thursday.

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