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11 November 2015

Atlanta Appeals Ruling Regarding the Future of Schools in Annexed Areas

The question of what happens to schools annexed by a city with an independent school district is back on the table.

After being handed a defeat by Fulton County Superior Court Judge John J. Goger, the City of Atlanta filed a notice that they planned to appeal Judge Goger's ruling.

In a 29-page opinion, Judge Goger wrote, "the General Assembly intended to and did make the City of Atlanta's and [Atlanta Public Schools'] boundaries coterminous upon annexation of land into the City and provided that school property in annexed areas would go to the entity operating the City's schools."

This argument is at the center of an ongoing debate over annexation.

The communities of Sandtown, Loch Lomond, and South Oaks all submitted petitions to Atlanta requesting annexation into the city earlier this year. The area proposed to be annexed includes A. Philip Randolph Elementary and Sandtown Middle schools. Both schools are currently operated by Fulton County.

There are some parents who oppose annexation because they do not want their children to attend Atlanta Public Schools.

Judge Goger's ruling ran contrary to what City of Atlanta attorneys wanted; having the court declare that either the Georgia General Assembly or the City of Atlanta "may determine whether any annexation by the City within Fulton County extends the boundaries of Atlanta Public Schools."