Politics

Some Ga. Cities Ready To Renew Push For School Systems

A bill that would let Georgia cities create their own school districts is still alive in the state Legislature.
A bill that would let Georgia cities create their own school districts is still alive in the state Legislature.
Credit NICK NESMITH / WABE

A bill pending in the Georgia Legislature would create a constitutional amendment allowing Georgia cities to create their own school districts. Cities like Brookhaven and Dunwoody, both part of the DeKalb schools system, have strongly supported the plan.

The city of Dunwoody seems ready to take on that fight in the Legislature next year. The city’s mayor, Mike Davis, defended the bill recently on WABE’s “Closer Look” with Rose Scott and Denis O’Hayer.

“It’s not just for cities; it’s for any community that wants to do better than the county which they reside in,” Davis said. “Gwinnett County has 160,000 students now, and state law says you cannot form a new school. So, at what point does this become insanity?”

DeKalb County Superintendent Stephen Green thinks the plan would hurt everyone involved — DeKalb and the individual cities.

“At the end of the day, it’s going to be more costly than it is going to be more productive,” Green said. “So, until someone presents to me a case where it is not going to be ‘I’ve got mine,’ and then let everyone else struggle, I have reservations.”

Davis argued smaller school districts are easier to manage. Green, who came from a district about one-fifth the size of DeKalb, said that’s not necessarily true.

The proposal to let cities form their own school districts has twice failed to make it through the Legislature.

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