New city residents support proposed new school districts - CBS46 News

New city residents support proposed new school districts

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

A state lawmaker wants to give newly established cities the right to create new school districts.

The measure would let voters decide whether to amend the state constitution and grant cities like Dunwoody, Sandy Springs and Brookhaven more power over their children's education.

Ann Hudson, whose daughter attends Ashford Park Elementary School, which operates under the umbrella of DeKalb County Schools, said Brookhaven should be allowed to break away from the county school system and establish an independent district.

"I think that's a good idea," Hudson said. "DeKalb County has had issues. The city of Brookhaven is acting in their own best interest."

Hudson supports a move at the Georgia Capitol to let voters decide whether to amend the state constitution and give cities created after 2005 the right to establish their own school systems.

"If they have the opportunity, I think that's going to be good," Hudson said.

State Rep. Tom Taylor. (R) Dunwoody, who introduced the resolution, said recent scandals at Atlanta and DeKalb County Schools prompted the measure.

"Frankly, we've had some challenges," Taylor said. "APS cheating scandal, the DeKalb School Board being removed, now the superintendent is in prison."

A DeKalb-County judge last year sentenced former superintendent, Crawford Lewis, to a year in prison on obstruction charges and former chief operating officer, Patricia Reid, to 15 years on racketeering charges.

Taylor said such scandals scare away businesses and squash economic development.

"When companies are looking to relocate the first thing they look at is ‘okay we're going to move families in here?' Well we're on probation. That's the kiss of death," Taylor said.

The resolution still has some major hurdles to clear.

The Georgia House and Senate each have to approve it by a two-thirds vote.

The proposal would then go to the public for a vote in November.

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