A legislative proposal to allow “new cities” to create school systems was approved by an education subcommittee Feb. 4 and is now headed for a hearing before the full House Education Committee Feb. 5.
HR 486 is a resolution that would amend the Georgia Constitution to allow for the creation of school districts in new cities incorporated since 2005 and the cities adjacent to them. The measure would potentially affect 16 cities in the metro Atlanta area, including Sandy Springs, Dunwoody and Brookhaven.
Erika Harris, representing Georgians for Local Area School Systems, told the committee that most of the state’s highest performing school systems have fewer than 10,000 students, compared with large school systems like DeKalb County, which has nearly 100,000 students. She said there needs to be flexibility for school systems to reorganize as the metro Atlanta area continues to grow.
Brookhaven City Councilwoman Rebecca Chase Williams told the committee her city would support the measure.
“Our high school is Cross Keys, which had a 42 percent graduation rate. We think we can do better than that,” Williams said.
In order to amend the constitution, the resolution must be approved by two-thirds of the House and Senate and then voted on by a majority of voters in a referendum.