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Factors Few Considered on Coan Middle School Redistricting

With the victory of Coan Middle School not to be closed by APS, there were other factors that few considered with the ideal of redistricting Coan, Inman and King MS.

Before APS decided not to close Coan MS, there were many factors for redistricting. Some say the redistricting of Coan was based on race; for others it was lack of enrollment with school’s capacity to hold more.  There were five factors that few considered, before APS choose not to close Coan and redistricting King and Inman.

The first was the factor of race for Coan, Inman and King MS, which had clear differences.  As of 2011, Coan MS was 96% black, 2% white, 1% Hispanic, and 1% multiracial.  Inman MS was 46% black, 43% white, 2% Asian, 4% Hispanic, and 4% multiracial. King MS was 90% black, 1% white, 7% Hispanic and 1% multiracial.  As the statistics show, Coan-King was predominately black, but Inman was mostly black with white students as a second majority.  If all three MS are predominately black, then race was not the main factor.

Second factor to justify redistricting the three MS districts, was based on enrollment and capacity.  As of 2011, Coan has 307 enrolled and holds 902, Inman has 867 and holds 770, and King has 551 and holds 880.  In the 23rd March meeting at Coan, APS stated that consolidating Coan-King would bring more services to the students and the “utilization rate” would be 91% with a projection of 804 enrolled.

Another justification was capacity, which AJC’s Maureen Downey stated a problem for Superintendent Erroll Davis was “to deal with a system that has seats for 62,500 students but only 49,000 children enrolled.”  49,000 students for 62,500 seats, an enrollment factor with a large gap to fill.  How can APS bring 13,500 more kids, unless they ship them in or create incentives to parents, which would cost money?  Downey also stated, the 49% of the three MS that were suggested to be closed had misleading enrollment numbers, like Parks is 81% full, while Kennedy is 33.1% empty and Coan is 34% empty.

Other than race and enrollment, the third factor was where does the money comes from to pay for contractors involving new and remodeled schools?  At the 23rd of March Coan meeting, APS said that King MS would get $15 million to build a more “friendly” and “brighter” building.  Also, by consolidating Coan-King, APS would save $500,000 per school, but could not give the cost of busing children to King with the higher fuel costs.   Where are the savings, if money is being spent on construction and busing?

The fourth factor was the miles the three districts cover.  Using Yahoo Maps to compare the districts and the mile radius they cover:  Coan is 4.02 miles long and 4.84 miles wide, Inman is 6.91 miles long and 8.24 miles wide, while King is 8.05 miles long and 5.65 miles wide.  Coan is the smallest of the three, while Inman is the largest. Covering more miles, equals more people and enrollment.

The last factor was the population that lives in those school districts.  As the 2010 Census data shows, there are 7 Census blocks that make up Coan with:  10,492 Black, 7,330 White, 243 Asians, 474 Hispanic, 32 American Indian Alaskan(AIA), 8 Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander(NHPI), 120 Other, and 400 multiracial; for a total of 19,099.  Inman covers 29 Census blocks with a population of:  26,094 Black, 62,510 White, 7,234 Asians, 5,782 Hispanic, 243 AIA, 33 NHPI, 2,171 Other, 2,719 multiracial; for total of 106,786.  King covers 21 Census blocks with:  31,904 Black, 17,871 White, 1,190 Asians, 2,639 Hispanic, 155 AIA, 19 NHPI, 1,086 Other, 1,321 multiracial; for a total of 56,185.  If APS did combine Coan-King, the total population would be 75,284, but would still be 31,502 less than Inman.

In the three MS districts, more whites live in Inman, than Coan-King combined. Inman is mainly commercial in the downtown, Midtown, Virginia-Highland and Ponce areas, with residential housing; while Coan-King is mainly residential with some commercial. Clear differences based on income and population, not race.  Since, people choose where they live not base on their neighbor’s race, but what they can afford.

The suggestion of closing Coan MS was not based on race and enrollment, but other factors:  like the gap of empty seats versus enrollment, building contractors, the local population, and the radius that each district covers.  To consolidate partly empty schools with others may increase funding for kids programs, but would have broken up corporate and nonprofit partners, like Emory with Coan.

Building more schools and hoping kids will come, does not mean they will.  Children stay for 3 years in MS and need constant replacement to stay in business.  Income and class are factors that some Americans refuse to talk about, even with redistricting.  Race and enrollment with redistricting Coan and Atlanta schools, is just two factors of many.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

TooBusytohate April 11, 2012 at 12:25 AM
What is a 2nd Majority?
Marko Robinson April 13, 2012 at 02:16 AM
The 2nd majority is that at Inman MS whites were 43% of the population of the school, while African Amercans were 46%, with Asians being 2% Asian, Hispanics at 4% Hispanic, and multiracial at 4%. Second majority.
TooBusytohate April 14, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I see. I guess I am more accustomed to majority meaning a subgroup that represents over 50%, so that there would really only be 1 majority. In this case, no one sub group is over 50%. African Americans represents a plurality. I guess the other subgroups would be minorities. This may seem like splitting hairs, but there is a misconception by some that Inman if predominantly Euro-American, when in fact it is not.
Marko Robinson April 15, 2012 at 02:27 AM
Dear TBTH, I agree with you of the term majority & subgroup, but why I said "second majority" I was meaning the 2nd largest group in Inman MS. I could have picked a better word. Just when I have heard from others mention Inman at meeting, they call it a "white school," but the numbers show that it is not. I hope that clarifies?
Chris Murphy April 15, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Figures used are incorrect; white kids= 49.2%, black= 42% http://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.display_proc
tamara.jones1@att.net April 16, 2012 at 03:54 AM
I have a hard time understanding the point of this article. Is there one?
Marko Robinson April 16, 2012 at 05:06 AM
Dear Chris, I cannot find the link to your DOE page below? http://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.display_proc Every time I click it, it says page “not found on this server” & when I try to find it on Yahoo, it only has the following to document pages: "Contemporary Perspectives on Hispanic and Latino Education" from KSU. & “The Effect of Two Reading Programs on Kindergarten Student’s Reading Readiness” Also someone else using the same webpage, but does not open at: http://dekalbschoolwatch.blogspot.com/2010/05/north-vs-central-vs-south-whats-deal.html In the comments page that says: “Dunwoody Mom said... Here is what I did. I took the March 2010 FTE report from the State and came up with these enrollment figures for the schools that Cere identified as "North" schools: Hispanic 5,616 Black 2,788 American Indian 60 2 or more Races 328 Pacific Islander 20 Asian 1,197 White 4,603 As you can see, the schools in the "North" end of the county are extremely diverse and by no means "white". http://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.display_proc May 13, 2010 9:35 AM” So, where are your statistics coming from Chris? Mine come from Governor's Office of Student Achievement (GOSA) from Governor Deal: http://reportcard2011.gaosa.org/%28S%28spsz5k55wtwgadbrrpjb4rif%29%29/k12/demographics.aspX?ID=761:1563&TestKey=EnR&TestType=demographics Sincerely, Marko
Chris Murphy April 16, 2012 at 10:58 AM
GA DOE- Office of Technology Student Enrollment by Grade Level http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_enrollgrade.entry_form
Marko Robinson April 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM
Dear Chris, Thanks for reading & feedback on the statistics. I have no problem changing my piece, if I can (I never have & if not, I will put the change in the comments, since I am human), since different locations from US DOE to GOSA, when I did the research, had different numbers. When I punch up Inman MS on your GA DOE, page, I only find the number per grade, not the races. This is what I found: Atlanta Public Schools 1563 Inman Middle School Total is 878, 6th grade total is 284, 7th is 302 & 8th is 292 http://app3.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_enrollgrade.display_proc Also, here is another location with Civil Rights Data Collection with US DOE the following from 2009-10: INMAN MIDDLE SCHOOLDistrict: ATLANTA CITY NCES ID: 130012000027 ________________________________________ Grades Offered:6,7,8 Total Enrollment 760 Student Demographics Asian 2.6% Black 48.0% Hispanic 4.0% Two or More Races 4.0% White 41.5% Female 48.0% Male 51.3% Free and Reduced-price Lunch (FRPL) 37.3% SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, 2009-10. http://ocrdata.ed.gov/Page?t=s&eid=235458&syk=5&pid=1 Can U give me the direct hyperlink with your numbers? I have no problem to change my numbers with other statistics. Thanks, Marko
Marko Robinson April 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM
Dear Tamara, Thanks for reading & feedback. My point for this article is that few news sources like AJC, Patch etc are covering other issues or factors to why people live in one part of Atlanta and not the other. When it comes to the 3 MS that were going to be redistricted, it seemed few were mentioning. Race was mentioned, but few looked at the % at each schools & their difference. Enrollment and capacity was used to justify closing schools, but few news sources were giving the numbers of each MS. Then Downey article makes point about the statistic numbers, which Chris points out. Then the issue about the money to remodel and build new schools is not being discussed. Where is it coming from, other than freeing up money by closing, now 7 schools? Lastly, was the % of people by race not discussed that live in each of these MS school districts. Showing more whites living in Inman area from downtown to V-Highland to Candler Park vs King/Coan MS that are more African American. Hope that helped summaries the point of the Op-Ed. Sincerely, Marko
Chris Murphy April 16, 2012 at 12:02 PM
Whoops! Sorry, I have a number of bookmarks for DOE and hit the wrong one; here is the breakdown by race and by grade: Enrollment by Race/Ethnicity, Gender and Grade Level (PK-12) http://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.entry_form
Chris Murphy April 16, 2012 at 12:04 PM
The money for building and capital costs comes from the SPLOST sales tax; SPLOSTs can only be used for those purposes. The money spent/saved for operating those buildings mainly comes from property taxes.
Marko Robinson April 17, 2012 at 02:16 AM
Dear Chris, Thanks for the info of SPLOST sales tax, I will do research on for money on buildings. I knew about property taxes that pay for operating buildings, which I get a form every year from the city on where my taxes go to. Have you found that exact website with your numbers that Inman MS has more whites than African Americans? Just send me a direct hyperlink. Thanks again for reading & comments. Sincerely, Marko
Chris Murphy April 17, 2012 at 02:33 AM
http://app.doe.k12.ga.us/ows-bin/owa/fte_pack_ethnicsex.entry_form I posted that up above earlier, too. I sent the states' webmaster a question, Why do the numbers vary depending on the site I visit (I was after graduating #'s)? He replied, Depends on what you are looking for(???). He invited me to inquire with the folks who compile the numbers, and I'll do that at some later date.
ESL April 29, 2012 at 01:18 PM
Interesting that some of the Kirkwood leaders rallying to save COAN have just enrolled their rising 6th grade children at Drew. Could someone verify that Kirkwood, Eastlake and Edgewood children get enrollment priority at Drew? What again is the point to keeping COAN open? What was the kirkwood leaderships point in trying to send children in from another neighborhood to schools they are not attending? APS please watch the enrollment at COAN. When it goes down with another 50 kids going to Drew in two years is Kirkwood going to rally to save Coan (again) and be the biggest hypocrites in the entire school system? Will APS have the cojones to stop this complete waste of resources? Stay tuned.....

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