Ok, so we have had a very lively discussion on the recently published proposed redistricting plans put forth by Dr. Bill Carnes & Mr. Ed Humble, consultants at MGT Consultants of America.
Questions have arisen in the discussion that we feel have validity. Questions such as:
- Were transfer students counted when the current enrollments were calculated for schools? If so, shouldn't they first be removed before deciding if a school needs redistricted due to "over-crowding"? Is it fair to ask neighborhood students to move to another school to retain room for transfers?
- Why has Arabia been set aside completely? The other magnets were consolidated and effected, but Arabia was not even part of the discussion. Enrollment and capacity numbers for Arabia are not even part of the report.
- Arabia, Miller Grove and Lithonia High Schools are not even indicated on the maps, however, there are indications of students being redistricted into SW DeKalb. Some of those students are actually located closer to Arabia, should they not be sent there, since Arabia has plenty of space and SW is severely over-crowded?
- What are the real rules for state funding for schools? Dunwoody Mom reported on the workshop presented by Lynn Jackson from the state DOE. (Read her notes here.) However, some of the rules are muddy and confusing. Will we really recover millions from the state? Do we have actual projections on how much will be returned for funding construction and "extras" like art, music and PE teachers?
- How much money will be saved by the actual consolidation of schools? How much will we save by merging redundant staff in some of the magnets? How much in transportation? How much in utilities?
- Why did so many enrollments at area schools seem to increase dramatically last May? The enrollment and capacity numbers have been changing fairly radically over the past year. Please explain how these numbers were calculated.
MGT did an excellent job of dispassionately gathering data, calculating attendance and carefully redrawing lines. This presentation, as they stated, is the first recommendation resulting from their outsider's look. Continuing in the spirit of the charrettes, schools and communities will have an opportunity to add input before the final decision will be made by the superintendent and then voted on by the board.
As far as the rest of the schedule - here's the plan.
public input workshops (Updated!)
Miller Grove High School, Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Druid Hills Middle School (Shamrock Middle School), Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Chamblee High School, Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 6:30 PM
McNair High School, Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Bethune Middle School, Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 6:30 PM
Stone Mountain Middle School, Thursday 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM
January 31, 2011
special called board meeting—Superintendent presents redistricting and school consolidation recommendations
February 22 & 24, 2011
formal public hearings, Administrative and Instructional Complex auditorium at 6:30 PM
February 28, 2011
special called board meeting—approval of school consolidation and redistricting recommendations
Please add your own questions to the comments section of this post and then gather and bring them to the workshops. Don't just come to complain, bring valid issues along with suggested solutions and your own data to support it.
Below are jpgs of the proposed redistricting maps from the DCSS website. Click on them to view larger and then right-click to download.