Today ends all the speculation and lobbying about which schools to close in Atlanta.
The school board votes on the recommendations of school chief Erroll Davis this evening. The AJC’s Jaime Sarrio will be tweeting live from the meeting. You can follow her here. https://twitter.com/#!/ajcschoolsK12
Here is our discussion last week of the school closing list, which did not include Coan Middle, the beneficiary of a strong community lobbying effort to save it. The final recommendations resurrects Coan and calls for new investments in it.
The report begins with the problem: APS serves 47,000 students, but has seats for 60,000. Too many schools are under capacity and costing millions more to operate as a result. The solution is clear: Close and consolidate.
But, of course, the challenge is where to send the students from the closed schools and how to redraw lines to ensure that schools are not overcrowded as a result of the consolidations. The overlay is that many parents do not want their children sent to new schools, especially if those schools have historically lower performance than where they are now assigned. There are wide disparities in performance in Atlanta, a problem that DeKalb also faced when it considered closing schools.
The report still recommends closing 10 schools.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog