Local area school systems movement gains momentum.

Click to download Feasibility Study

Click to download Feasibility Study

North DeKalb County, GA - State Rep’s Tom Taylor, Mike Jacobs, Lynne Riley, Joe Wilkinson, Mike Dudgeon and Buzz Brockway have penned “The Georgia Independent School System Resolution” - House Resolution 486.

The Resolution proposes, “an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, and any municipality which is contiguous to a municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, irrespective of whether such municipalities may be in different counties, to establish individually or collectively by local law an independent school system; to provide for related matters; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.”

The movement is certainly gaining momentum right out of the gate; with a feasibility study released last week showing an annual surplus of $30 million for a Dunwoody feeder school model and advocacy groups have been formed around high levels of community interest.

The report on the financial feasibility of forming a Dunwoody Independent School District was commissioned by the City of Dunwoody, through the Dunwoody Parents Concerned about Quality Education, a community group formed in 2013 to explore opportunities to improve public education in Dunwoody.

An advocacy group, Georgians for Local Area School Systems (GLASS), led by Erika Harris and Allegra Johnson, is committed to promoting the passage of HR 486 in the Georgia General Assembly and then through Referendum vote.

GLASS says its mission is to make the choice available to form local independent school systems and a high quality education for every student through effective and accountable local school systems that maximizes the potential of every student. They say they will push for local school systems that are accountable to students, parents, teachers and their community resulting in: better student outcomes, maximizing of resources, and strong financial management – school systems are responsive to and recognize the needs of the students, parents, teachers and their community.

House Bill 486, if passed, could have an effect that would enable municipalities formed after 2005 (and contiguous municipalities), to form an independent school district – such as City of Decatur and City of Marietta schools – on their own collectively.

To become involved and to learn more, attend one or all of the upcoming events near you.

Upcoming Events for the week of December 9th-15th:

Monday, December 9th: 
9:30-10:30am: Chamblee/Dunwoody Meet and Greet at Cafe Intermezzo (4505 Ashford Dunwoody Rd, Atlanta, GA 30346)

Tuesday, December 10th: 
GLASS as Guest Speakers on Pep Talk with Nancy Jester on America’s Web Radio (9-10am)

11am-12pm: Sandy Springs/Roswell Meet and Greet with Nancy Jester and GLASS at Uncle Julio’s
(1140 Hammond Dr NE Bldg K, Suite 100, Sandy Springs, GA 30328)

Wednesday, December 11th: 
9:30am-10:30am Brookhaven Meet and Greet at Town Brookhaven, Keller Williams Offices

Sunday, December 15th:
GLASS Community Event – Education and Take Action Meeting, St. Lukes Presbyterian Church in Dunwoody, 2pm
GLASS to follow Dunwoody Parents Concerned About Quality Education Community Meeting – Independent School District Feasibility Study Presentation

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64 Responses to Local area school systems movement gains momentum.

  1. Would Brookhaven and Chamblee be willing to agree to form a regional school system in north DeKalb county? The bitterness and distrust created by the attempt of Brookhaven to annex Century Center might just prevent that. The Chamblee city council has passed a resolution requesting that Brookhaven rescind the vote to annex Century Center. The mayor of Brookhaven responded "No comment." If Brookhaven would rescind the annexation vote, that might go a long way to restoring the trust between the two cities.

  2. Local funding of school systems is almost entirely predicated on tax digest and corresponding property taxes. Dunwoody's assessed tax digest for 2013 was $2.6 Billion. Brookhaven's tax digest wasn't far behind…$2.2 Billion. Whereas, Chamblee was "only" $775 Million…(prior to the annexation). A Brookhaven school system would be more than feasible on its own….there are good reasons to think about a joint school system, too. What is exciting is the possibilities with this bill…they are endless.

    Dunwoody's cluster is pretty clean…there are certainly more challenges in figuring out what a Brookhaven or collective Brookhaven/Chamblee (Dunwoody? Lakeside?) district would look like…but it's exciting to think about and hopefully folks are ready to engage.

    • I think the smart thing to do is to see how our city finances pan out and our cities ability to live up to the promised services our area is to receive. If after five or six years taxes remain reasonable, services are provided as promised and there is a budget that allows for local education funding then we can have this discussion. Anything else is just too premature.

  3. A school system would be a separate entity from the city with a completely separate budget.

    Our school taxes, which in Dekalb are some of the highest in the state and close to the legal maximum, are producing little in results. Premature? I would respectfully disagree…this discussion is way overdue and can not wait.

    • This 'discussion'?

      A closed group of people who have already decided 'what's best for us' has taken aside the usual suspect supposed legislative representatives to pen legislation that has NO overwhelming support (but will probably be forced through the current rubber stamp General Assembly).

      To what end?

      Don't like taxes, move to Somalia, otherwise, accept that Civilization has it's costs!

      • What solution do you suggest for public education in Georgia if this is not one for you? In particular, what do you suggest as an improvement regarding the super districts that are showing themselves incapable to successfully educate their entire student population their each student's greatest potential?


          Did you live in GA when we last had a real Governor with a real education plan?

          • Education taxation is capped at 20 mills in Georgia unless you get an exception (by law or vote)…DeKalb can go up to 25 mills because of an exception granted for running Perimeter College…which it no longer runs, but details, right?

            The current millage rate is 23.75…higher than Gwinnett, Cobb, Atlanta, Decatur, etc.

            The idea that there isn't adequate local taxation is a farce with no basis in the actual numbers.

    • WAH, I am well aware that education funding comes out of a different taxpayer pocket. My concern is the bottom line tax expenditure. Starting another governmental entity is a large undertaking for a city that may not have the leadership available on short notice to successfully guide it. The last thing we want it to replicate the DeKalb County School System of today.

      The city of Brookhaven was hastily assembled and from my observation much of the Governor’s Commission’s sound recommendations were not followed. The city emphasis appears to be on the desires of elected officials and not the wishes of the citizens and taxpayers. Once Brookhaven becomes better focused and is operating as promised we can consider additional city financial responsibilities. I would rather home school than have school administrators and a BOE imitating the mayor and city council.

      The more I think about it maybe it is time to home school regardless of what happens with education in Brookhaven. As it is public education is pathetic.

      • Leave it to Eddie to make a snap judgment based on who wrote the bill rather than what's in it.

        Here's the bottom line…if you're satisfied with student-teacher ratios of 1 teacher to 26 students, if you're satisfied with not being able to reward good teaches with raises, if you're satisfied with a bloated central office that wastes money on legal fees, redundant positions, and the rest…then I can totally see why you wouldn't want to have the 'discussion.'

        It's just hilarious that some folks are so set in their political mindsets that they can't even look at an issue through any other lens.

        BM- if you were concerned about the bottom line tax expenditure, then you should be taking a serious look at the benefits of an independent school district. The Dunwoody study shows that they can cut the millage rate and still have funds to cover reduced class sizes, teacher raises, and other necessary items (like police to help with traffic)

        DeKalb's school millage rate is 23.98. That is the second highest millage rate in the state.


        • WAH, would love to discuss this with you. Can you contact me at skeefe9@gmail.com?

        • WAH,

          I most certainly am not satisfied with 21/1 ratios or classrooms populated to anywhere near 26 students. I would solve that by reinstating the State educational funds that have slowly been stripped away over the last decade and RAISE THE STATE INCOME TAXES as necessary.

          I'm sorry that people have this misguided concept that somehow Dekalb County Schools are irreparable. While there may be problems, it is absurd to assume that a 'startup-school district' would be the best of most cost effective solution to this problem.

          Based on WHAT?

          A 'feasibility study'?

          I believe in Brokehaven have a much greater understanding of the value of feasibility studies than we did s couple of years ago.

  4. As my name suggests, I'm up to here with more government. This so-called separate entity would require a dedicated funding stream as well as a new bureaucracy to administer it. WAH, don't we have too much government as it is?

    • In a word, YES!

      • enuf-

        It would require a dedicated funding stream…but not a new funding stream. We pay the second highest millage rate in the state for education and have very little to show for it. It takes much less 'bureaucracy' to run a small district…more $$$ left over for the classroom, where it should be being spent.

    • Ironically, super sized districts create a much more complex and proportionately larger administrative level than local school districts. So, if you are for smaller government that is closer to home, this will fit the bill. Not only that, you'll know better what you are getting.

  5. Will the lunacy ever cease?

    The City doesn't work.

    Wasting money to invent a new 'Area School System' has no probability of improving overall educational product.

    But wait, by the upcoming legislative session, it will somehow become imperative to form a new 'milton county' to help bring the circle of insanity to a close.

    Who votes for these people?

  6. By looking at the comments, we might have needed this 40 years ago. Like with presidents, radical change is necessary. Woman president, new school model, lets give something new a try. Goodness knows it can't get worse!!!!!

    • To get a better idea where this 'new idea' comes from check out the 'ALEC Exposed' website and look at the Education pages.
      Nothing new here but the package.

      • Or you could look at the city school systems that are already in place like Decatur, Marietta, etc. This isn't 'new' or from some ALEC website…. many Midwestern states would laugh at the idea of county school districts. Local education needs to be local.

      • Completely disagree with this connection. Localizing school districts and bringing them down to a level where you can actually build tangible and meaningful relationships between ALL levels of education is the only goal I can see. The charter and voucher agenda does not have any direct connection to local school districts, in fact, is seems as if it may fly in the face of that argument.

        • Nice dodge!

          Now read all he ALEC Education specimens to get a grip of why this is just another stab at 'downsizing' to strip schools of revenue and place them under a more 'business friendly' control structure.

          • Dodge? I read quite a bit and still see no direct correlation between a city being able to decide if they want to form a local school system and what you speak of. But, I'd love to avoid a fishing expedition and have you share ALEC facts with direct links to HR 486.

  7. If this bill passes the State is going to need to figure out a way to provide more funding to areas with a lower tax base. I think there is a lot to be gained from more localized control of a school district. However I am concerned about what happens to those left in the DeKalb System in areas that don't have a large commercial tax base.

    The most glaring illustration of what the commercial tax base does is Dunwoody. Because of the Perimeter Center CID area they have a huge tax base from corporate offices that provide funding but no expense to their proposed school system. The Perimeter CID area is a regional employment center and it was made possible by massive regional funding in MARTA, Interstates and Sewage systems. Is it really fair for a relatively small population to lay claim to all of that funding? Will they set up a zoning system that makes residential development in the Perimeter Center difficult if not impossible which would then just exacerbate traffic problems since this should be a Work and Live area.

    I have to think if Dunwoody gets all that revenue our School Taxes in Brookhaven will go up.

    So that justifiably will lead to a greater efforts or reasons for a Brookhaven School District though Chamblee High is a Magnet School, so we would seemingly need to include Chamblee.

    Bottom line. I think the DeKalb School System is inefficient, But I also think the parents push for too much spending also. I like the Idea of local control of Schools. But I think we need to address funding mechanisms.

    • Eric, I agree that the funding of schools is confusing. I took a look at the Dunwoody City website to learn more about what it would look like if Dunwoody pulled out of DeKalb (they ran a feasibility study that just came out.) It shows a loss of 3% to DeKalbCSD as a whole. Having been in DeKalb for a few years now, I can guarantee you that they can close that deficit by running a more efficient central office and off loading some administration and their support on the top level. What I also understand about school funding is that when one area with a higher tax basis rolls off, the state and federal government equalizes the dollars going to the area with the lower tax basis through specific funding equations.

      That being said, I don't see Brookhaven's taxes going up.

  8. WAH: I want to be perfectly clear that I do not support the establishment of a new school district in north DeKalb county. I refuse to pay more taxes to support another bloated bureaucracy. We don't need this. If you want to improve education in DeKalb county, then fix the existing school system. I'm against expanding government in this county. We have enough government and DO NOT NEED ANY MORE. If I have to bring in the Tea Party to stop this, then I will.

    • enuf – what platform does the Tea Party run on that would support the continued bloated central office that is a super sized district, promoting over sized administration and top down decision making?

      And I am confused… You are paying these taxes you speak of already. And your taxes are being used as inefficiently as possible if you live in DCSD. If you are going to spend the money, why not advocate for their management in a way that you can actually see and understand and have influence over?

      The larger an river, the more difficult it is to find where that stone landed when you tossed it in. Make it a stream, and you'll be able to see it at the bottom and know where it made it.

      Plus, more importantly that anything, is that HR 486 is providing the option to consider a local school system. It guarantees nothing. That is up to the local cities to determine that path. You may not support it for your area, but your stance against it prevents others from having the right to make that choice for themselves.

  9. What problems do you see as DeKalb's shortcomings?

  10. WAH,

    The STATE portion of education funding has been incrementally gutted since 2003. Raise the STATE INCOME taxes necessary to make up the gap (including the back taxes) and the 'funding problem' disappears.

  11. Too-large class sizes.

    Inadequate parental involvement.

    Lack of adequate para-professional support staff.

    Possibly a slight excess of central administrative staff.


    An inexplicable tendency to grasp at unproven 'shiny object ideas' with little factual basis in improved educational output.

  12. I thought the Board was the problem.

    I thought the Superintendent was the problem.

    Those problems were solved but not in the fashion that suits those who first poked the hornets nest.

    By the way, I can't find the peer review citations for the 'feasibility study'.

  13. DeKalbParent: We don't need another school system in DeKalb county. If you don't like the one we have, then I suggest that you get off your rear end and start working to improving the situation. What have you done thus far, except for campaigning for another governmental bureaucracy? Have you even spoken with a member of the DeKalb school board? I doubt it. You must think that more government is the solution of all of your ills. The taxpayers in this county just can't afford that anymore. We've had ENUF!

    • Some of us have spent a lot of our time off our rear ends trying to make a difference in our school system. Hours speaking with BOE members, system administrators, school leaders, teachers, and other stakeholders. Making this into a "more levels of government" argument shows that you have not a) been paying attention to what has been happening in Dekalb schools, b) read the proposed legislation, c) read the Dunwoody feasibility study, and d) stopped to think how a smaller, more lean school system would result is LESS government. Bring on the Tea Party if you think that's what you need. I am sure those who are paying attention would see the merits of these efforts as quickly as Eddie dismisses them. But please, read HR 486 and the Dunwoody study first before rushing to judgment.

      • Shawn,

        I did the same when my daughter was in school, PTA, Governance Council, sponsorships of Orchestra, teams and events as well as paying taxes for decades.

        It will always be up to the current parents in each generation to make things work the best possible as they see the daily results.

        I NEVER considered a new 'district' because I have never read about ANY location where that worked, and hey, I took my kid out of private school because I thought the Dekalb Magnet options were much better (they were and are).

        Have the feasibility document adequately peer reviewed (probably by the University of Tennessee where the most accurate, replicable and demonstrative educational research is and has been going on). Get realistic input from the taxpayers and then see if there is interest.

        Otherwise, this is just another 25 page document and another one of 'mikey's' bills and a hurried attempt to shove it down our unsuspecting throats. (by the way, which Dekalb County districts do the legislators other than Mikey and Tom repreesent).

        • Eddie, this is not just a DeKalb issue. This is an issue about school systems being too large to function effectively. Along with Reps. Taylor and Jacobs, there are sponsors of this legislation from Fulton and Gwinnett. Some of us want the best opportunities for our children and our neighbors' children. Some are satisfied with complacency and the status quo. I know what side of that discussion my family is on.

          • Shawn,

            The financing model for Public Education has been a source of discussion and disagreement for decades (it was our 10th grade State debate topic in 1972).

            The concept of finance and control is new to each generation facing it, but the efforts to 'burn the house down' have never provided better options in the long run.

            I believe you are doing what is best to improve the situation as it is. It works and it takes parental diligence for 12 years or so.

            Yet I ask again, where is the supporting evidence for the 'feasibility study' and why do I care what representatives from other counties think when our own Mikey can't get support from within our own county?

          • Sean, size is not the issue, at least not in this instance. There was a time when DeKalb schools were rated one of the best school systems in the country. Much was due to parent participation as you have personally exhibited, the management structure of the district, and the students themselves responding to the demands placed upon them. This was with a very large county wide student attendance population.

            Is it more efficient for you to demand restructure and change to your existing school system or put yourself and your children through the time lag for funding, planning and creation of a new school system? With what could be a prolonged timeline for district development you and your children may miss the best years their educational opportunity struggling through its creation and development and resulting academic pitfalls. What looks good on Tom’s white board may not apply smoothly in the real world. You do know that Brookhaven still has potholes that have not been filled for months.

            I do not think new school system proponents are clear mindedly thinking about the ramifications and time required vs. demanding that these same HR486 advocates pressure DeKalb to immediately modify how they conduct business and streamline their structure. Sometimes rebuilding on the existing foundation is better.

    • Enuf, I said it before, that I want less administrative governance, hence the desire to have the option to have local school systems, where three levels of superintendents won't exist, not to mention all of the coordinators, directors, managers…. And that is simply in the central office.

  14. Eddie – I agree with most points. The classes are large, and have been growing. Inadequate parental involvement depends on the school. Some time this is true, other times it is not. Para support is inadequate, especially considering the class size. Grasping at the shiny objects, true, but it is an education issue across the country – not a Georgia or DeKalb issue in isolation. The administrative staff is an understatement.

    Let's add to the list though.

    You mentioned the super and the board changing below. Has it really? A significant high level admin force in DeKalb remains: Beasley and Tyson to name two – right hand persons for Thurmond. Thurmond was hand picked by Walker, ousted board member and long time friend.

    Yes the board was dysfunctional – and I argue still is. But, the power structure at the AIC is just as, if not more.

    That brings me to power structure – or rather, lack of an effective and an appropriate one. Top down decision making issues, lack of school house and classroom autonomy.

    Underpaid teachers, who have been cut in classroom autonomy, salary, retirement, and respect by the district.

    Over standardized testing.

    Lack of true programming, support services, curriculum, and instruction tailored to each schools needs.

    How do you fix this? How do you flip the power structure of DeKalb so that the county can begin to individualize their instructional practices? Because the concept of individualizing instruction is not just a classroom one, it needs to be the cornerstone of education in general – at every level. And that means an acceptance of treating each school house differently. Assess your student populations' needs and create multiple sets of action plans meant to empower each of those school's/region's needs.

    To draw one-size fit all solutions is to leave out a significant portion of the DeKalb student population. To create multiple solutions is to meet the needs of each group, there by serving the goal of providing an equal education to all. It is okay to not have a single answer for all students, because they are not all the same. We will be better off the day the district realizes that their efforts to "peg the problem" is misguided and perpetuates the problems that exist.

    • Look, I'm sorry you don't like a fair electoral process, however I do.

      Support the candidate you choose and encourage other people to vote for them.

      I cannot support shifting the rules to support people I didn't support in the first place (full disclosure, I can't help believing this has something to do with Nancy Jester realizing she can win parts of Dekalb and Cobb Counties but nowhere else in her bid for State School Super., so that MUST mean we have to invent a new school system since obviously everyone else just doesn't get it).

      I had a daughter in Dekalb County schools back when Hallford was the Super and he had relatives collecting paychecks while doing little else. That's when I decided to become more active. I realized then you can make a difference IN THE SCHOOL WHERE YOUR KIDS GO and it is somewhat foolish to believe you can hold sway over people who don't share your beliefs.

      You might want to ponder that.

  15. One might say if it ain't broke don't fix it. But it is broken. How can we in good conscience send our kids off to school everyday knowing that there could have been a better option if we just gave it a chance. No doubt the new regime wants to improve the district but sometimes you have to say enough is enough. Is that time now? Is this the right solution? Maybe not but it is encumbant upon all parties considered to go in open minded and listen and learn. After all, the kids now are the future leaders. If they are better educated and prepared then perhaps their children's children won't find themselves in this same mess. IMHO of course. PS. Thanks everyone for not turning this discussion into the stuff you might find on the Patch. Let's remain courteous and keep the dialog going. Thanks Brookhaven Post for covering Brookhaven so well.

    • Well, at least you got one thing right.

      The 'Brookhaven Post' deserves major accolades for their accurate coverage of everything we are finding under the rocks in our new metropolises.

  16. If we do end up with a school system here in Brookhaven I suggest we include a special curriculum aimed at civics and government. This could be in the regular high school course study or a part of an expanded vocational program. Some of the classes to be included in this course study should include:

    - Governmental Ethics

    - Planning and Zoning covering community planning, subdivision and land management review, zoning, zoning enforcement and zoning administration

    - GIS Training with special emphasis on how to select the correct tab for the specific GIS layer you want for your desired city mapping use. Like for zoning.

    This selection of classes should e mandatory for any elected official (mayor and city council), board or commission appointee, city employee and subcontractor to the city prior to their filling their office or performing their duties in Brookhaven. Maybe this will save the taxpayers from unwanted embarrassment and lawsuits.

  17. Well one thing we know. There is passion around this topic. Let's hope open minds can make good collective well thought out decisions.

    Thorndike – too funny but when I was in school civics was a mandatory class. So was music and art. Times gave changed. Maybe Brookhaven could be Montessori schools. Teach some real life skills.

  18. Eddie,

    Agree with Jacobs or not, calling him Mikey seems disrespectful. You make good points but perhaps you could not resort to calling names.

    Now, it's just not smart to not research better options for everything. It's a continuous improvement initiative.

    • I give respect where it is earned.

      But your reply is confusing.

      Do you want to develop an educational alternative that is based on plausible research with a strong probability for success….

      Or are you suggesting a "do this because we said so" option (that got us into the North Dekalb White Bantustan mess we find ourselves in now)?

  19. Whew. I just want the best for my kids along with others. Simple as that. Good night guys.

  20. Oh Thorndike. Get some sleep. You've become delusional. And when Brookhaven gets their schools, which they will sooner or later, you can come over and cut the grass.

    We need another alternative if nothing else for our children.

  21. I would like for someone to show me what a Brookhaven school district would look like with locations for elementary, middle and high schools. Would anyone care to pinpoint their suggestions on a map for me? If we have reached this point in the conversation someone must have thought about this.

    • The purpose of those legislation is to give cities like Dunwoody, Sandy Springs, Johns Creek and Brookhaven, along with cities like Chamblee who share common borders with those new cities, the CHOICE to form new, independent school systems. Passage of HR 486 does not mean Brookhaven will have their own school system next Fall. It means that these applicable municipalities have the flexibility to pursue alternatives to systems that, in many peoples' opinion, are too large to successfully operate and properly educate our children where they can compete on a state, national and global level.

  22. BM: I agree. And where would the line of demarkation be. Chamblee would certainly need to be included in the district. I think Brookhaven and Chamblee should be together and Dunwoody can go north on their side of 285. We stay between 285 and 85 with our friends in Chamblee .

    • What schools do the language of the Amendment allow the 'new district' to poach?

      The concept of 'Cities formed after 2005' seems pretty clear.

      • Oops, reread the proposal on the 'contiguous cities' clause.

        I don't know which sparks more laughter, the 'contiguous cities' or 'whether those municipalities be in different counties'.

        Wouldn't it make sense to try and ram through the ill-considered 'Milton County' idea and have it lose first?

    • New Chamblee residen

      Please understand this: The city of Chamblee will never agree to form a school district with Brookhaven UNLESS the Brookhaven mayor and city council agree to rescind their vote to annex Century Center. There is a legacy of bad blood and visceral distrust because of Brookhaven’s past attempts to grab this commercial property.

      • @New Chamblee Resident

        Get over it. We should feel fortunate if Brookhaven is willing to include Chamblee in the discussion. Residents in the Dresden East/Clairmont Road area actively fought the creation of the City of Brookhaven. Unfortunately, when it became evident that they had to find support for Chamblee's push to annex these neighborhoods. It was hard for those neighborhoods to overcome the negative and false arguments that were aired against the creation of the City of Brookhaven (by residents within those neighborhoods). This is why the first vote failed and Century Center had time to approach Brookhaven about annexation. Don't be so foolish as to hold a grudge and miss out on an opportunity to offer our kids and community a better (managed) learning environment.

  23. Great point Shawn. That must be done first for sure. No one ever said if the legislation passes schools would be in place. That's a completely different animal. But, it doesn't hurt to think about it. Certainly clusters have been contemplated.

    • A few points of note:

      This is a Constitutional Amendment and requires Statewide Approval (not just the would-be miltonites).

      Chamblee was formed well before 2005 and would not qualify for this Amendment.

      (But then why would they want to participate, they have regularly had the highest test scores, greatest educational output, largest number of AP participants and to boot a brand spanking new building. Why would they want to risk what works to soothe a handful of egos?)

      The schools inside the erzatz Brokehaven City Limits have by and large functioned well during all conditions. Those with problems a decade or so ago are roaring back.

      To name the first and most glaring considerations.

      • Eddie, you have these strong feelings against HR 486 without even reading it. Legislation includes any cities which share common border with new cities. Chamblee included.

  24. New Chamblee residen

    People, please understand this: The city of Chamblee will never agree to form a school district with Brookhaven UNLESS the Brookhaven mayor and city council agree to rescind their vote to annex Century Center. There is a legacy of bad blood and visceral distrust because of Brookhaven's past attempts to grab this commercial property.

    • I reiterate my earlier comment.

      With the release of the new ALEC Exposed Membership List in the Guardian, it is quite obvious that every co-signatory of the proposed Amendment other than Tom Taylor and Mike Jacobs (who may have since joined) are ALEC MEMBERS. Two of them are on the dangerous and anti-American 'Education' committee of this scurrilous organization.

      Do we really want to surrender our governance to a secret, for profit organization?

  25. Sounds Just like the argument you made against the push for Brookhaven. You were wrong then (about both the revenue projections and tax base) and you are wrong on this issue too. The past decade has been a disaster for our area schools where the average class size has grown from 18 to over 28 per class. Bottom line is, you can't fix a school system when you have and administration that is willing to increase administrative overhead even while cutting funding for teachers and schools. DCSS spends significantly more on adminstration and central operations (per child) than almost any other school in the nation while revenue per child at DCSS is amongst the highest in the state. This inefficiency and wast is systemic and it won't be addressed by parent involvement, activism, voting in new board members. When we do away with that wast and inefficiency we can redirect that money back to the classrooms and to reducing class sized back to managable levels… without increasing taxes. Read the study that was prepared for Dunwoody… it is pretty compelling.

    • Read the Brokehaven budget proposals carefully, see what services are lacking and what real 'cushion' exists and then tell me again who is wrong.

      Where did you pull the numbers from to support the per-capita expenditure comparison from? You might want to check multiple sources before making such an inaccurate assertion.

      Class size increase (across the State) is directly related to reductions in State funding since 2003.

      I find your notion that parental involvement would not help to be more than a little uninformed. How do you think Chamblee Charter High School became the beacon of the Dekalb County School System other than through rigorous parental involvement?

      The notion that starting a school system from scratch 'without raising taxes' and still providing the level of services required for public schools even in this state is ridiculous.

      Also, it should be noted, if this idea is the greatest thing since sliced bread, why are only TWO members of the Dekalb County delegation on board, and how can ANYBODY be comfortable when the remainder of the House co-sponsors represent the tentacles of ALEC?

      Also, again, I read the 'study', where is the peer review?

Have something to say? Well, say it! Please be respectful and on topic.