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Video: Sparks Fly At Southwest Atlanta School Redistricting Meeting

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APS Superintendent faced an auditorium full of angry parents Monday night who are upset at his .

“Did you actually go out into the community and research the schools to see exactly how your plans are going to affect the community?” asked southwest Atlanta resident Haskell Brown. “Were you just looking at saving money when you developed these recommendations?”

The meeting, held at , was the first of a series this week being held throughout Atlanta's public school system.

“We have 13,000 empty seats in our system,” Davis said. “Yes, it costs money to heat and cool those seats, but that’s money that could be used in serving our children, and we are not currently serving our children.”

Davis’ current redistricting recommendations include closing and elementary schools in the Cascade and southwest Atlanta community. He is also recommending closing 11 other schools.

“We have a lot more schools than we have children,” Davis said. “I’d love to keep every school open, but we can’t do that and serve our kids.”

But many parents argued that south Atlanta schools are being unfairly targeted for closure, and that northside schools are being left alone.

“What these northside schools have are stable clusters,” Davis countered. “What we have down here are kids being shuffled from one location to another. I’m trying to give southside schools that same level of stability.”

Davis also said plans are being developed for a renovation of , which will be the primary feeder school into the cluster.

The Atlanta Board of Education will vote on Davis’ final redistricting recommendations on April 10.

Aisha Lumumba March 13, 2012 at 01:20 PM
I think it is a sin and a shame to close neighborhood schools. That seems to have been the only alternative looked at by the school board. Could there have been other ways of saving the schools. It also seems that the schools in the cheating scandal are the very schools being targeted. The residents in my neighborhood are not happy to see F.L. Stanton closed. It is so unfair to the students and the parents. What are they going to do on the mornings that Sam misses the bus? They have no car. No money for cab or Marta. Keep him home, watching Barney and Friends. Only to bring the truant officier to the home because Sam has missed many days of school. Add insult to injury for the struggling homes in South Atlanta.
Atlanta Public Schools March 13, 2012 at 01:39 PM
@Aisha Cheating has nothing to do with the superintendent’s recommendation to close schools. Closing a school as a consequence of the cheating scandal would send the wrong message to children when it is the adults who were accused of misconduct. Schools are under consideration for closing based on their enrollment, academic performance, geographic location or a combination of all of the above. By closing schools, we can put the savings to good use. We can fully staff schools and pay for better coordinated academic programs, extracurricular activities, student support services, etc. A strong, streamlined cluster with invested parents has been proven in this city to produce strong schools.
Erica Morris Long March 13, 2012 at 02:26 PM
Closing the schools is a painful, but necessary, step in the right direction. APS misses out on $27 million in state funding for teacher salaries at severely underenrolled schools. Superintendent Davis says that with our schools reorganized, this money will be used to hire more school counselors, nurses and others who will serve our children daily. We are missing out on opportunities to give our children important educational services because we are too wedded to empty buildings.
Concern Parent March 13, 2012 at 07:57 PM
If you close F.L.Stanton were would my child go to school I have a kid thats about to be in the 1st grade and a kid thats about to be in the 5th grade. If schools were to be split up with K-2 and 3-5 and both get out at 2:30 how will I be able to pick both of my kids up without bring late picking them up. Frank L.Stanton is a good school and it should remain open for the kids sake.
Atlanta Public Schools March 25, 2012 at 12:58 PM
@Erica - you are right. Karen Waldon, the district's new superintendent for curriculum and instruction was the moderator at one of the 76 community meetings being held this month and she said it best as she explained to Coan Middle students and parents what all of this means academically. Sutton has accelerated math, she said...Inman has accelerated math...but because of your enrollment, you don't have an accelerated math teacher. We are doing you harm, she said, by not providing you with the classes and tools to be successful. We are not giving you what you need to compete in high school and college. There is a direct link between programs and services offered to students and student enrollment. During this past week, parents WILL be happy to know, that the superintendent has plans to give an assistant principal to every school, no matter the enrollment. @Concerned Parent - Keep in mind that this decision is PRELIMINARY and changes are being made daily, based on feedback from the community. Please email apsredistricting@atlantapublicschools.us and give us your feedback. Explain why a split school doesn't work for you and propose what would work better.

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