Opinion: We cannot allow Georgia cities to create their own school districts

Rebekah Morris, a resident of DeKalb County, teaches high school English. Morris focuses on poverty and education policy as an independent researcher

Today, Morris takes on one of the most controversial political questions in state education: Should the state constitution be amended to allow cities to break from their county systems and form their own school districts?

By Rebekah Morris

Because we all value the goals of racial equality and providing quality educational opportunities for every student, please read this article with open eyes.

We cannot allow cities in Georgia to create their own independent school districts.

Before I make my case, I understand the appeal of local control. Many people will agree those living in a community will understand the issues facing that community and will be able to make the best decisions regarding the schools for a particular community.

However, this is not the only consideration when discussing independent school districts, also referred to as city school districts.

In Georgia, there are 181 public school systems.  There are 159 county school systems and 21 city school systems. Now, in Article VIII, Sec. V, Par. VI, of the 1976 Georgia Constitution (Code Ann. § 2-5306), “[a]uthority is hereby granted to municipal corporations to maintain existing independent school systems… No independent school system shall hereafter be established.”

Basically, if you were a city or independent school district before 1945, Georgia law allows you to continue operating – which is why City Schools of Decatur and other city districts are still in operation. However, if a city wants to create a city school district now, they are prohibited.

A row of buses leaves Dunwoody High School, which is now part of the DeKalb County School District. There is a movement to allow cities like Dunwoody to break away from county control and operate their schools as independent city systems, but it would require a change to the state constitution. (PSKINNER@AJC.COM)

A row of buses leaves Dunwoody High School, which is now part of the DeKalb County School District. There is a movement to allow cities like Dunwoody to break away from county control and operate their schools as independent city systems, but it requires a change to the state constitution. (PSKINNER@AJC.COM)

State Rep. Tom Taylor of Dunwoody, one of the wealthiest suburbs in metro Atlanta, wants to amend the Georgia Constitution to allow cities created since 2005 (eg. Johns Creek, Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven, Peachtree Corners, etc.) to create their own school districts (House Bill 784).

He tried to get this bill through the Legislature during the 2013-2014 legislative session. It failed. The 2014-2015 legislative session saw the bill fail again, but this time it included any city, not just ones created since 2005 (HB 4). During the 2016 legislative session, I am sure we will be seeing it again.

If you are zoning out by now, let me bring you back. To me, this is a civil rights issue. Most of these cities are predominantly wealthy and white.

Desegregation laws in the 1960s caused massive white flight from the city of Atlanta in large part because white parents wanted to avoid having their children in school with black children (either because their children would be zoned for schools where black children would be attending or black children would be allowed into certain majority white schools through the process of intradistrict busing).

Consider the story of the integration of Kirkwood Elementary School. Read the story in “Atlanta Rising,” “The Atlanta Paradox,” or any other book that chronicles how Kirkwood Elementary announced on a Friday in 1965 they would be integrating their students the following Monday. Over the weekend, all but seven white children left the school and nearly 500 black students started school the next Monday.

The school was officially “integrated.”

To avoid these situations during the 1960s and 70s, whites moved outside of Atlanta schools to DeKalb County, where there weren’t as many black families. But as more middle-class and working blacks were able to afford to move out of Atlanta and into a better school district, whites began leaving DeKalb and heading for Gwinnett and north Fulton.

One individual who attended a mostly white high school during those years told me privately a few months ago that blacks had “ruined their school” when they had arrived at her high school in the 1980s.

DeKalb County, along with 109 other school systems in Georgia (including Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County), needed additional government oversight during the 1960s and 70s to ensure that desegregation was, in fact, happening. Once a school system demonstrated it was desegregated in six categories, they were placed on “Unitary Status” and the system was then free from federal oversight.

And that brings us to the cityhood movement of today.

Apparently white flight has reached a limit as to how far they are willing to “fly” to escape integrated schools. Nowadays, people don’t state directly they don’t want their children in schools with children of other races – they make the case against having their children in school with children from poor families or troubled backgrounds, many of whom happen to be Hispanic or black.

While de jure (or legal) segregation does not exist, de facto (what’s actually happening) segregation is, sadly, very much alive.

This is why independent school districts are problematic: allowing cities to create their own school districts in Georgia would only exacerbate the problem of de facto segregation. The only kinds of cities that could even support their own school systems financially would have to be ones that had a wealthy tax base, and this would result in a myriad of problems, including segregation of socioeconomic classes and (many times) race.

Consider the cities that have been created since 2005 – Dunwoody (69.8% white, 12% black, median family income of $106,777), Johns Creek (63.5% white, 9% black, median family income of $137,271), Sandy Springs (65% white, 20% black, median family income of $129,810), and Brookhaven (61% white, 17% black, median family income of $52,679). In addition to being majority white cities, they are also extremely wealthy compared with other parts of Atlanta.

Creating an independent school district would not only allow these cities the ability to cut off families who could not afford to live in their city limits, but it would also remove a significant amount of funding from the county systems that they are now a part of.

By simply incorporating, cities (contrary to popular opinion) did not remove any funding from the county school system. In creating an independent school district, however, these cities would take the property taxes allocated to the county school system and instead use the money to fund their city school system, leaving the schools left in the county system without their biggest tax base.

These school systems already have a difficult time spreading their thin budget to meet the needs of the county-wide system, so removing their wealthiest taxpayers would further limit their ability to attract teachers and administrators with competitive salaries, maintain school buildings and properties, and provide materials for extracurricular activities (i.e. sports fields/stadiums, band equipment, art supplies, etc.) – among other things.

If any of this resonates with you, please take the time to figure out how you can advocate against this and other isolationist policies. I’m not trying to make anyone feel guilty for unintentionally playing a role in these types of things. (Heck, I grew up in Gwinnett and went to high school with only a couple black students.)

But I am trying to raise awareness so people can understand their actions don’t occur in a vacuum, and we must consider how our individual actions impact others.

A few ways you can personally get involved would be to join a Local School Advisory Council or a parent council in your region or cluster. You can also attend community input sessions at your school board meetings, and of course, you can always reach out to your respective board member or state representative.

If nothing else, hopefully you will begin having this conversation with those you know. Kids and their life outcomes are greatly affected by education, and every student deserves a chance to succeed. Let’s try to figure out the best way to do that.

 

 

Reader Comments 0

254 comments
Ed Williams
Ed Williams

See HR4  It was introduced in 2015 Georgia General Assembly .  You really should study history more.  Our history is littered with good intentions and bad consequences. A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality in the State of Georgia to establish by local law an independent school system; to provide definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.  

RCMorris
RCMorris

Thank you everyone for the thoughtful and critical feedback (some more critical, some more thoughtful). :)


I think that the comment posted here and then in Monday's edition of the AJC by @Bud about this being a question of the common good is ultimately the discussion we need to continue to have. A solution for some students and not for a broader group of students will ensure that this conversation (about how to address the challenges in education --especially in the metro Atlanta area) continues. We can't keep kicking the can down the road.


This issue is complex and all issues cannot be addressed with one 1000-word article. It's not just about race and class -- there is much to discuss. If you want to continue the conversation, I hope you will check out my blog for additional thoughts.


https://researchforteachers.wordpress.com/

On Twitter @rcohenmorris



An American Patriot
An American Patriot

You know what?  The most corrupt school system IMO in the State of Georgia is shaking in their collective boots, afraid that 1) Charter Clusters, such as Druid Hills will be allowed, 2) Areas in DeKalb County will be allowed to incorporate and form new cities and, one day be allowed to have their own school systems.  Not if, but WHEN this happens DeKalb County School System will almost cease to exist and folks, that will be good for all of DeKalb  For the last thirty years, these people have been allowed to completely destroy one of the best school systems in the Great State of Georgia and for what reason?  It's called POWER.  I'll say it again POWER.


Fifty, that's FIFTY years later folks, where have we gotten in regards to school integration?  Well, in some schools, it's pretty good, in others the schools are still entirely black.  That's not the fault of Whitey.  I've said this before and I'll keep saying it........"YOU CANNOT FORCE SOMETHING LIKE SCHOOL INTEGRATION DOWN PEOPLES THROATS.  Forced integration will not work, has never worked and NEVER WILL WORK.  Don't tell me I have to do something.  If I don't want to do it, I'll figure out a way not to have to do it.  White flight was the answer in the beginning, along with Private Schools and Home Schooling. Folks, people that don't want their children to go to an integrated school WILL FIND A WAY AROUND IT.  I am not saying that our schools shouldn't be integrated.  What I am saying is "Let it happen naturally".  This might take a little longer but, it will work a whole lot better.  We passed a law prohibiting segregation in our public schools, but instead of letting the law work in a natural way, it was FORCED and that's what people don't like the Federal Government sticking their lousy fingers in.

Dunwoodian
Dunwoodian

Ms. Morris and Downey,


My two youngest go to a local DCSS elementary school.  I inform their teachers at the beginning of each year that I am happy to provide copy paper to the class if need be.  Last year one called in October, the other in November, and both then again in the spring.


I don't mind spending $150 over the year to provide classroom paper, but boggles me that at 12K per student they run short of the stuff!


Wanna bet on the over/under timeline for this fall? 

TaxiSmith
TaxiSmith

Public school,people are frightened to death of any kind of competition, even from other public systems. Until citizens have a choice if how to spend the money they pay in school taxes,mothers will be NO incentive for public schools to do a better job.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@TaxiSmith Does that include me? I have no children to educate and pay property and income taxes for public education. Do I get a choice in how my money is spent? Can I get a voucher or a tax credit to donate to the school of my choice? Or are parents of school children afraid of competition?

MallOfGeorgia
MallOfGeorgia

@AvgGeorgian @TaxiSmith 

OK AvgGeorgian, I think now I’m beginning to understand your issue. You have no children, and therefore, why should you have to pay property and income taxes for public education and a vote in where the money is spent?That pretty much sums it up doesn’t it?

Let me see if I can address this issue on multiple fronts.First of all, you yourself have already benefited from it. How? You did get an education yourself did you not? You may argue the quality of your education, but you appear to be rather literate yourself from my view of what you have written thus far. I too thought it was unfair when I was younger and had no children for which I paid property taxes for almost a decade before having children. Your argument would yield corporations exempt from property taxes as well.

Now, I believe that everyone benefits unilaterally from an educated society as a whole. America is the very testament to that assertion. I wouldn’t necessarily have an issue, and neither would the residents of Dunwoody, if the public school system to which they are being held hostage, were getting it done. But it isn’t. Most reasonable people don’t wish to fix that which isn’t broken. But it is. And my argument over redistribution of wealth stems from the differences in motivations between Dunwoody residents and the remainder of Dekalb County residents. The ONLY reason the rest of Dekalb County wants to prohibit Dunwoody from developing their own school system is purely money driven.The ONLY reason the Dunwoody residents want to declare their independence from Dekalb County is purely educational.

About your redistribution of wealth: The context in which you see a redistribution of wealth differs greatly from that of my own. By your argument, if you do not drive, you shouldn’t be subject to helping pay for road construction and maintenance. By your argument, if you are not a female, you shouldn’t be subject to helping pay for female health issues such as having a baby. By your argument, if you do not require emergency services, you shouldn’t be subject to helping pay for emergency services. But society benefits from all of these services, and whether you care to acknowledge it, you do too. As an example on the roads, if it weren’t for the roads, you wouldn’t be able to go to the store and buy that milk, bread, and eggs because A) You wouldn’t have a path to get there, and B) There wouldn’t be a path for it to be delivered.

Now that I have addressed the redistribution of wealth issue, let’s talk about you getting a tax credit or voucher. NO, you don’t get a say in where the money goes. Like I said, the money follows the child. The child gets the vote, and by extension, their parent gets the vote. One Child ~ One Vote!As long as the money follows the child, then it becomes imperative for the school system to do whatever is necessary to receive that child in order to receive that child’s allocation of money. And I would even go so far as to say, whatever amount is in the budget for all of the children gets divided equally amongst all of the children. If that number is $10,283/child, then $10,283 follows that child no matter where they are enrolled in school.You are not the beneficiary. The child is.

I hope I have cleared this up. But if not, I think perhaps there is no clearing it up for some people.

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

Let's get this conversation to the top ...


DekalbInsideOut


@MaureenDowney

Would the Dekalb school system be better off if Decatur didn't have their own schools?  Would you advocate to dissolve the Decatur school system and be part of the DeKalb school system?


MaureenDowney moderator

@DekalbInsideOut @MaureenDowney Not sure adding 3,000 kids to DeKalb's 100,000 would produce dramatic changes for all kids in the district.


Unless....we raised  the DeKalb tax rate to match Decatur's.


Here's the fact about Decatur schools that gets overlooked. They are very, very expensive to maintain: Would DeKalb residents be willing to pay what Decatur now pays in property taxes to invest in school improvements, including smaller schools and better adult-student ratios? 


A neighbor moved when her property taxes -- due to the big increase this year -- reached $12,000. She bought in unincorporated DeKalb where her taxes for a similarly sized house are $3,800.


It's more than the size of Decatur that has led to the improvement in its schools over the last three decades; it's the willingness to pay the state's highest property tax rate to keep smaller elementary schools in play. Those high taxes are causing older residents to cash in and move, but the younger families moving in -- typically dual-career couples with good incomes -- seem OK with what they are being asked to pay to support the schools.

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

@MaureenDowney

Would Dekalb residents be willing to pay Decatur school district taxes?  Heck Yeah!!!!! DeKalb School District millage rate is 23.98 and Decatur millage rate is 20.5 ... throw Dekalb into that briar patch.  There are more houses in DeKalb valued over $500k than in Decatur.  That's a lot of people in DeKalb paying a lot more in school taxes.


Not sure adding Decatur kids would drastically change DeKalb?  No more than losing Dunwoody would drastically change Dekalb.  Nevertheless, you avoided the question.  Would DeKalb be better off if the Decatur city school district were dissolved and become a part of DeKalb ... even if the improvement is marginal.

Starik
Starik

@MaureenDowney @Cere @DekalbInsideOut Who is Rebekah Morris? Where does she teach? Does she have kids? Are her kids in the DeKalb system? Is her opinion based on "independent research" or because she sees herself as a Social Justice Warrior?

whisper11
whisper11

@Starik  She is a twenty-something, recently-minted teacher at Cross Keys HS.  The same Cross Keys HS that routinely gets overlooked by DCSS.  But she hasn't been there long enough to know that yet. 

Her kids are still babies.  She just had one this past year, and is now returning to the work force.  Not old enough for DCSS yet.  She lives in Doraville.  We'll see if she enrolls them in public school or not.


She's just a social justice warrior of the most pompous kind.  Her Facebook account speaks volumes.  The only person to ever comment on her (very short and neglected) blog is her own father.

Cere
Cere

@DekalbInsideOut Interesting point! How is it that merging Decatur schools 3,000 students would have 'little impact' on DeKalb schools, however, Dunwoody starting their own district of about 3,000 would be a travesty?!! That's not congruent. You can't reconcile those two things. If people like Maureen are against others in DeKalb starting their own districts, then they must also agree that logically, Decatur, as part of DeKalb, should merge into the larger DeKalb system. You can't have it both ways.

gactzn2
gactzn2

Why can't people see- charter schools will only reflect the districts they wish to separate from. When schools close mid year and displace students you impact the public schools.  Charter schools- competing with public schools and each other will never have enough resources to sustain themselves as a general public school entity.Furthermore, you can anticipate less resources for your child than the public schools can provide and a ridiculous teacher turnover- perhaps even worse- but proceed with caution if you will.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

Much of the problem I see is various groups claiming ownership of the "education" money and wanting to be free to use "their" money as they choose. 


The fact is education funding is a distribution of wealth - wealth is taken from those who have no kids in the system and given to those who do by way of public school funding(and private school tax credit scholarships). 


Time after time I hear people talk about a right to the current amount of education funds based on many different arguments. I have never heard an argument for parents to be awarded only the funds they pay into the system and to let taxpayers with no children in the system keep their money. 


You can't have it both ways - either we all pay in to educate all Georgia students or -  taxpayers with no children K-12 age don't have to pay at all and students will have to get by on  their parents funding only (in whatever mechanism that the state legislates).

MallOfGeorgia
MallOfGeorgia

Here’s a clue for ya Mr. Ed Williams. I’ll tell you exactly what the hidden agenda is in case you don’t have the wherewithal to figure it out for yourself.People need/want the best education possible for their children for the finite amount of time they have them, hence the opportunity, to do so. I submit to you that most people could give a crap about race, but there is no shortage of people that have sufficient need to exploit that agenda. It isn’t about charter schools, so get over it.

Additionally, people generally do care about society as a whole. They just don’t care to do it at their expense, or at the expense of their own child. This mindset that one inherits responsibility for another is all too familiarly socialist in a “…from each according to his ability, to each according to his need…” in a Marxist kind of way. You’re perfectly willing to help people in need in so long as you can spend someone else’s hard earned money to do it.

This redistribution of wealth has never worked in any society that has ever attempted it (i.e the U.S.S.R.). It is not their responsibility, nor that of the government, to benefit one segment of society at the expense of another. When you forcibly do that, you create animosity and a lack of interest and willingness to make any charitable contribution to them. There will never be harmony between segments of society when one becomes the beneficiary at the expense of the other.

And since you seem to be completely ignorant of the existence of Milton and Campbell Counties, let me educate you. Milton and Campbell Counties were both bankrupt and were absorbed into Fulton County; not Dekalb County during the Great Depression. Hindsight being 20/20, I’m sure they never would have imagined being suburbs of Atlanta as rural as they were back then. Had they known what we know now, they would have figured out a better alternative.

So, to wrap up my soapbox, for those that want independence from Dekalb County Public Schools, it’s all about education. For those that want to prohibit independence from Dekalb County Public Schools, it’s all about the money. Let’s just be clear and honest what our intentions and agendas are.

Have a nice day sir!

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@MallOfGeorgia


I'm confused - you seem to argue against redistribution of wealth but seem to be for redistributing the wealth of taxpayers with no kids to the taxpayers who do have kids. Which are you for; pay your own way or redistribution of wealth?

MallOfGeorgia
MallOfGeorgia

@AvgGeorgian @MallOfGeorgia What? How in the world did you interpret that from what I said? How did you form the conclusion I was "...for redistributing the wealth of taxpayers with no kids to the taxpayers who do have kids..."  Where did you get that from?


Ed Williams
Ed Williams

@MallOfGeorgia See HR4  It was introduced in 2015 Georgia General Assembly .  You really should study history more.  Our history is littered with good intentions and bad consequences. A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality in the State of Georgia to establish by local law an independent school system; to provide definitions; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.


http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/en-US/display/20152016/HR/4

DekalbInsideOut
DekalbInsideOut

DeKalb is considered a property RICH school district paying $100 million in equalization across the state.  Is there so much corruption in DeKalb that it can't survive becoming property "average"?  I take it back, it is all about the money ... just not for education.

AvgGeorgian
AvgGeorgian

@DekalbInsideOut


Could we please see a push from all citizens to hold politicians accountable for their lack of legislating that 75% of school funding be spent in the classroom?

Ed Williams
Ed Williams

Here is another article I wrote September 2014 on the likely hold of a hidden agenda of creating new schools districts.


- Ed Williams.  

ccegdeKalb.blogspot.com  and facebook.com/ccegdekalb

" A charter school district is a Trojan horse. There are several school districts, including New Orleans, which is a charter school district since Katrina, and it is not any better than before the governance structure was changed. The rich and powerful will do well, and the poor will be left behind.
There will likely be a move to create several new school districts that will shift property tax funding to municipalities. This will not be good for students in South DeKalb, where many of the schools are not supported by businesses and have little parent participation." http://crossroadsnews.com/news/2014/sep/26/no-evidence-charter-district-will-improve-achievem/

Ed Williams
Ed Williams

I also believe that the new cities could cause the formation and the split of DeKalb county into Milton and Campbell counties, with North DeKalb joining with North Fulton, and South DeKalb joining with South Fulton.


- Ed Williams.  

ccegdeKalb.blogspot.com  and facebook.com/ccegdekalb

 "It seems that shotgun cities are appearing all over DeKalb County. Who will pay the county bills once all the local communities become cities? Will the county file bankruptcy and then North DeKalb merge with Milton? " http://crossroadsnews.com/.../cityhood-would-not-benefit.../

Ed Williams
Ed Williams

One of my first articles, August 2015, I wrote against cityhood in DeKalb; I mentioned this possibility of the hidden agenda. "I think Central and North DeKalb would like South DeKalb to separate itself from county government, particularly since a disproportionate number of nonwhite students attend the school system. Next there would be an effort to create separate school systems by changing the state constitution." 


- Ed Williams.  

ccegdeKalb.blogspot.com  and facebook.com/ccegdekalb

http://crossroadsnews.com/.../cityhood-would-not-benefit.../

bu2
bu2

@InvisibleMan 

Counties aren't designed to be cities, but are trying and failing at it.


County-wide school districts are at least designed to be school districts.


New cities and annexation are different issues than splitting up school districts.

Cere
Cere

There's one very big thing we have all skipped over -- the Governor needs this old amendment to the State's Constitution forbidding new school districts thrown out or changed in order to form his state takeover district of failing schools like the one in Louisiana, to be called, "Opportunity School District".  Totally different argument there. Heavily supported -- statewide.  You all have no idea how important this issue is in places like Macon. This isn't just about metro Atlanta or DeKalb. No way. This has a whole lot of statewide support - beginning at the Governor's office.

Starik
Starik

We have education policy dictated by a state constitution written in 1945. Things have changed in Georgia since then. Let's amend.

jarvis1975
jarvis1975

@Starik The current State Constitution has been in place since 1982.

ScienceTeacher671
ScienceTeacher671

@Starik Well, it's not like the State is really behaving as if education is its primary responsibility.

Starik
Starik

The school provision dates from '45. Things have changed since '82 as well.

dcdcdc
dcdcdc

It is insane that massive, local public schools basically dictate property value in their district.  Once the schools start failing, anyone who cares about their kids moves out.  And those who don't care can move in and purchase the "now cheaper" housing.  And thus the landslide starts - ending with the destruction of that entire district.  


The only areas where this doesn't happen are 1) where enough parents care - which in all cases means a small district, or 2) where parents are rich enough to send their kids to private school (North dekalb, Fulton in Sandy Springs etc).  


This needs to change.  The value of one's house should not be driven by the decisions made by the local school board and local principal.  


And the only way that will change is to open up "school choice", and moving the funding with the student.  Only then will we stop seeing the destruction of large areas that were once thriving communities (i.e. Redan, Stone Mountain, Avondale, etc).

Starik
Starik

There are various issues here.  Georgia needs to rethink the structure of education.  We to think about solutions. Rural areas are starved for money and resources - why not move to state-run and funded, consolidated school districts there.  DeKalb is an awful mess, but parts of it can be helped by breaking up the district into manageable districts. 


We need schools that, regardless of their racial makeup, are largely composed of people whose culture is mainstream American. These schools should include kids who need to learn that culture, but not in such numbers that they overwhelm the school, transform it into a poverty-culture school and drive the mainstream American kids away. We need to integrate the kids from the black culture we created through slavery and segregation and the poor immigrant kids, not promote the resegregation of schools. 


Let the people vote.

anothercomment
anothercomment

Everyone became aware that their were bloods living in million dollar mansions in Sandys Springs last week when the little thug rapper's house was raided last week. This was after the thug Threaten to kill the mall cop at Perimeter mall.

4 years ago my child along with the other children of Homeowners in Sandy Springs started experiencing the effects of the children of the Baby Mama's of these rappers infiltrating our Middle School. Living in a million dollar house but a 6 th grade wanna be thug. Soon had her whole posse of section 8 apartments and the line jumpers following her. Let's beat up white girls, if they don't let us cheat off them. Then when a white parent complains to Fulton County schools, they are called a raciest. A kid living in a million dollar house. A Million dollar house populated by Bloods, convicted Felons, rappers who are shooting up each other. But I am the crazy white lady who is raciest. Even after I come back with proof from CHCOA that my child was physically assaulted by this gang of thug girls the black cop at Fulton County Schools won't even write a police report.

Then Avossa would not listen when over 200 white parents showed up to tell him their children were being bullied and beat up in school. White boys could not use the bathrooms.

I removed my child and am paying for Private school tuition so are my neighbors. If we had Sandy Springs, Dunwoody, Brookhaven independent schools, we would not have the corrupt Boards. We would not have the Southside line jumpers or transfers that do not pay our property taxes. If you want to go to our schools, then pay the property taxes. Skip the rims, the weeds, the nails, the weave ( judge Toller on divorce court yesterday chide black couples and said they need to stop the silliness of weaves, hair and nails and invest the money in education, Amen. My money goes to private school and taxes)

Rusty Paul and the Sandy Springs city council will not win reelection if they approve anymore apartments even luxury. That includes by Mercedes. Rusty you are a sell out and will not go anywhere, I hope you heard that loud and clear with those 299 apartments in planning. We want no apartments. We have to many they all become low rent within 20-30 years and destabilize our community.

I am not a Republican, but a Prochoice, Pro woman, Paul Kruegman economics follower!

Snoo Lee
Snoo Lee

It is another of those ironic situations. Let a city make their own schools and get the "enlightened" irrelevance of the Mercedes-liberals of Decatur. Prohibit the cities from caring for themselves and making their own schools, and you get the mass thuggery and rot on an astronomic level from DeKalb County where they spend FIFTY MILLION DOLLARS on private attornies to defend their incompetence while the school houses have shredded crap for textbooks. 


Yeah and if you do not pay the tax, they'll take your home from you. Maybe that should be fixed first, the tax extortion. There is at least one city in the United States where you can not pay the tax, can keep and live in your home, and they settle the bill after you die. That is a better system, but thinking outside the box in Georgia will only bring you misery. Time to go back to making a list of where to move to outside of Georgia. And yes, I am a licensed / gifted / certified / highly trained / middle / high school teacher with probably one of the higher student pass rates achieved in the state. This place is horrible. Owned by Comcast. Just go outside of Atlanta and see, not that any of the enlightened would dare a road trip to relevance.

Snoo Lee
Snoo Lee

There is really two things going on here: Equitable and fair distribution of monies, and the persons demand to say "No no no. Stop. You can not do that."


Like Atlanta really needs another person telling you what you can not do and that development is bad. This town is so shut down now Buford Highway looks derelict. It used to be vibrant and full of business. Now it has nasty looking shut down buildings. Because you can not. Because "No no no." Do not take initiative, trust the DeKalb County government to do it for you.

class80olddog
class80olddog

Sounds like the author could just as well be saying: "We can never allow charter schools to be created" or "We can never allow voucher systems to be implemented". 

Well, watch us!

jezel
jezel

@class80olddog I hope she STRONGLY says this in the future. Segregated schools and Jim Crow...should be gone for good.
 

popacorn
popacorn

You never raise folks to a new level. They drag you down to theirs. 

gactzn2
gactzn2

@popacorn Economic opportunity can raise folks to a new level.  Until economic opportunity enables those who have been excluded to make a decent wage to take care of their families- they will continue to "drag down" everyone- now or later.

newsphile
newsphile

@gactzn2 @popacorn  Unfortunately, economic development alone cannot solve all the issues.  Common sense is absent, instant gratification is priority, and treating others fairly is uncommon.  Improving socio-economic status must come with somehow improving the ethics and habits of parents and students alike.  With only improved economics, funds will be spent for more drugs, more babies having babies, more bad habits, and nothing will change for the better.  We see evidence of this daily with some of the "celebrities" that are worshipped. 

Starik
Starik

@gactzn2 @popacorn Most of the "excluded" exclude themselves, and it isn't always their fault. They absorb the culture of their surroundings. They need jobs, but what types of jobs can they do?