DeKalb school officials say they were blindsided by a financial loss of $2.25 million a year, after the Atlanta City Council voted to annex Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention into the city.
The money comes from property tax revenue that used to go to the DeKalb schools. Now, it will go to the Atlanta Public Schools.
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DeKalb Schools Superintendent Stephen Green issued a letter to officials involved, imploring them to renegotiate the deal.
Green said leaders from both regions originally agreed the annexation wouldn’t involve school boundaries. That would have left DeKalb’s revenue intact.
However, in its final vote, the City Council expanded APS’s borders. Although fewer than 10 students would be affected, commercial property tax revenue would be reallocated to APS.
Atlanta Superintendent Meria Carstarphen has said any expansion of the city of Atlanta should include APS.
However, some DeKalb legislators are looking to renegotiate the deal.
State Sen. Emanuel Jones, D-Decatur, chairs the DeKalb Senate delegation. He hopes APS officials will be willing to work with DeKalb lawmakers to modify the deal through legislation.
“We simply want the Atlanta school board to honor the agreement that was made during the original annexation,” Jones says. “Leave those nine students alone, and leave that commercial district — impact that it has on the school board — alone.”
Jones says any legislation would also ensure the school district is protected in any future annexations.
A note of disclosure: The Atlanta Public Schools holds WABE’s broadcast license.