Rep. Oliver preps bill for APS/DeKalb Schools contract

Posted by March 21, 2015
The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

The Georgia State Capitol. Photo by Ken Lund, obtained via Wikimedia Commons

By Dena Mellick, contributor

Decaturish has learned Georgia House Representative Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, will soon file a bill to allow Atlanta Public Schools (APS) to contract with the DeKalb County School System if an annexation goes through.

In an email, Rep. Oliver told Decaturish she anticipates filing the bill Monday. She said it would provide the ability for the DeKalb School Board to collaborate with APS in order to allow elementary school children in the feeder pattern to Druid Hills High School to continue going there.

Decaturish asked Oliver if such an agreement would need to go through both the Atlanta and DeKalb delegations. Rep. Oliver said it only requires the vote of the City of Atlanta delegation to submit a referendum to voters.

Last week, HB 586 was introduced, an annexation bill filed by State Rep. Pat Gardner, D-Atlanta.


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  • concerned_parent

    The article says that the bill will allow elementary school students in the DH feeder pattern to continue going there. Does anyone know if it would also allow high school students to continue attending Druid Hills High School?

    • Ned

      And what of the considerable number of AYP transfer students at DHMS and some of the elementary schools?

      • Guest

        Are there anymore AYP? Hasn’t it been several years since AYP stopped?

        • Ned

          Apologies for the very late reply.
          “AYP” may no longer be the right term, but yes, there are a number of kids who, for example, went through the IB lottery to get into DHMS.

  • Anonymous

    This bill is so stupid. Creating a path for this collaboration does not compel the collaboration. DCSS will never agree to do this. This is an obvious attempt to pacify those who would lose access to DHHS so we won’t lobby against TIA. Any indication as to whether or not this proposal would be time limited?

    • whodean

      This proposal would make it so you wouldn’t “lose” anything (pending more stupidity from the Dekalb County cabal)

      • DecaturNotDecatur

        Speaking of “stupidity”, I’m not sure you know how any of this works. Annexation means students outside of the zone will lose access to their school. Annexation means those teachers and staff employed by Dekalb lose their jobs – they have to reapply with APS. There is no guarantee of rehire or if rehired, same classes, etc.

        MMO states the bill “would provide the ability” for collaboration, which is certainly no guarantee of anything.

        • whodean

          You are right, there is never any guarantee Dekalb will do the right thing.

          Spreading FUD about the teachers is counterproductive.

          • DecaturNotDecautr

            And APS is known to always do the right thing? Okay then…

            I’m not spreading anything about the teachers. It’s a fact that they will no longer be employed with annexation. They would have to reapply with APS and there will be no guarantee of reemployment. Again, fact.

            You don’t have to trust a random reply post on Decaturish, just look into the process.

          • Herenotthere

            Their contracts are with DCSS not a specific school. The system will easily absorb displaced teachers.

          • MedlockDad

            The point is that the schools would hardly be the same without the same teachers, administrators, and staff.

  • NoMansLand

    This will address high school concerned_parent. Since the Atlanta annexation does not affect elementary that must be a typo. This is what the community has been asking for, a pathway to allow those within the Druid Hills cluster to see no interference in their matriculation through that cluster. This takes the school issue off the table and frees residents for a vote on self determination. Thank you Mary Margaret Oliver!

  • MedlockDad

    To me, MMO has this backwards. The least disruptive solution for the majority of the students in the feeder pattern (since about 80% of the students in the HS live outside the annexation area) and for the teachers, staff, and administration at the high school would be for the legislation to allow for the high school to stay within DCSS within the boundaries of ATL, if the annexation were to pass. Then, there could be an agreement to allow APS students to attend. If the school gets moved to APS, then all of the teachers, staff, and administration would need to apply for jobs within APS. Also, the school would need to go through recertification as an IB program.
    A similar piece of legislation could be considered for the Fernbank Science Center to allow it to stay within DCSS since it services the entire district.

    If the annexation push is really about municipal services and not a response to the denial of the charter cluster as many have claimed, then this should be an agreeable solution. However, MMO has a beef with Superintendent Thurmond about the charter cluster.

    • DecautrNotDecatur

      Medlock Dad, the huge problem with your suggestion is that it makes too much sense. No one involved in creating this mess has the ability to come to such a reasonable solution.

    • Guest

      Great idea!

  • An American Patriot

    WOW, the TWO WORST school systems in the Great State of Georgia dealing with one another……that’s just too much for this simple mind to comprehend. I wouldn’t deal with either one of them.

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