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27 February 2013

Sandy Springs & Dunwoody Could Create Their Own Local School District Under Proposed Constitutional Amendment

House Resolution 486; a resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution so as to authorize any municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, and any municipality which is contiguous to a municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, irrespective of whether such municipalities may be in different counties, to establish individually or collectively by local law an independent school system.

This proposed constitutional amendment started as a reaction to the school accreditation crisis in DeKalb County.

There are many DeKalb County parents angry that their child's educational career may be damaged due to no fault of their own. As it stands, if the DeKalb County School System loses its accreditation, every high school graduate --from Lithonia to Brookhaven-- would have a diploma not worth the paper its printed on.

State Representative Tom Taylor (R - Dunwoody) told several news outlets he intended to drop legislation allowing the new City of Dunwoody to separate from DeKalb County Schools, and create its own school system. That legislation is House Resolution 486.

H.R. 486 reads, on page two, "any municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, and any municipality which is contiguous to a municipality created on or after January 1, 2005, irrespective of whether such municipalities may be in different counties, may establish individually or collectively by local law an independent school system."

Since 2005, seven new cities have incorporated in Georgia; Brookhaven, Chattahoochee Hills, Dunwoody, Johns Creek, Milton, Peachtree Corners and Sandy Springs. If House Resolution 486 passes both houses of the legislature, and gains voter approval, these seven cities could create their own school systems independent of the county.

Cities like Sandy Springs and Dunwoody, who share a border but are located within two different counties, could create the Dunwoody-Sandy Springs Independent School District.

H.R. 486 is an interesting piece of legislation. I'd like to see where it goes.