DeKalb Schools on Druid Hills annexation: ‘Innocent students will suffer’

This just in from the ajc.com

Speaking of annexation, the DeKalb County School District released a report tonight on the impact of losing the Druid Hills neighborhood to Atlanta.

If annexed into Atlanta and APS, Druid Hills High School would lose some of the communities that now call the school their own.

The report is one long list of losses to DeKalb taxpayers and students. For example, the report says the transfer of Druid Hills High School to Atlanta Public Schools would result in “1,075 disenfranchised and displaced DeKalb students.”

Of the students left behind if Druid Hills High became an APS facility, the report says 58 percent would be African-American.

Here is the summary provided by the district. Here is a link to the full report:

Today, Superintendent Michael Thurmond issued a report on the impacts of the proposed annexation of the Druid Hills neighborhood into the City of Atlanta. The proposed Druid Hills annexation plan is supported by “Together in Atlanta,” a local group of residents advocating for annexation.

The proposed Druid Hills annexation plan will be a forced transfer and result in significantly higher taxes, disenfranchisement and displacement of 2,922 students, and districtwide loss of instructional opportunities, athletic programs, instructional staff, and funding potential.

“Innocent students will suffer under this proposed annexation plan,” said Mr. Thurmond.  “With this proposal, the focus and priority for public education will be on the wants of adults and not the needs of children.”

Highlights of the annexation’s impact on the DCSD include:

  • Property taxes for senior citizens over the age of 70 years with incomes of less than $82,000 will see their property taxes increased by $4,000, or more than 200 percent.  All other property tax payers will experience increases in taxes by the City of Atlanta.
  • Approximately, 3,000 students in the District will be disenfranchised and displaced by the annexation with the largest impact being 1,075 students at Druid Hills High School.  Similar impacts will be seen at Druid Hills Middle School, Fernbank Elementary School, Briar Vista Elementary School, Laurel Heights School, and the International Center.
  • 1,626 students and parents in 37 schools will no longer have access to DeKalb school choice options.
  • 100,000 students will no longer have access to the Fernbank Science Center resulting in the loss of a STEM Training Center. (DeKalb County has four of the 11 statewide STEM certified schools with 48 schools working on certification.
  • The old Briarcliff High School, a long-term fixed asset for the DCSD with a potential value of $50 million, could be forced from the District.
  • One of five District stadiums that serve 18 high schools and 18 middle schools will be lost resulting in a possible loss or reduction of junior varsity soccer and lacrosse.

For a full copy of the report go to: http://www.dekalb.k12.ga.us/www/news-and-events/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/2014/12/annexation-impact-2014.pdf