Hold your fire: DeKalb school board delays vote on facilities plan until early January

Update from DeKalb County:

At tonight’s meeting, the DeKalb County Board of Education is expected to delay its first vote on a working draft of the 2016-17 Proposed School Organization until Jan. 7. A second vote on the final draft will take place on Jan. 23 as previously reported.

The delay allows the DeKalb County School District staff time to incorporate already received public suggestions and refine the working draft. The Board vote on Jan. 7 is to share the revised draft for public comment. The public information sessions will run from Jan. 8 through Jan. 17 across the five academic regions of the district. Additionally, the public may email ideas, comments and suggestions.

After the public information sessions, the working draft will be put into final form for the Board’s approval on Jan. 23. That document will be sent to the Georgia Department of Education for its initial review.

The “proposed school organization” records the schools a school district expects to operate in the coming years. The document forms the basis for development of a very detailed plan called the “Local Five-Year Facility Plan” or LFP. The LFP provides the district’s justification to participate in the state capital outlay program. Currently, DCSD is eligible to receive up to $40 million in additional funds dependent upon the state approval of plan.

Back to the original  post:

The DeKalb Board of Education votes tonight on a controversial draft five-year facilities plan from Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson.

You can read the AJC story about today’s 6 p.m. meeting here. The story quotes a parent from Midway Elementary School who was upset that her south DeKalb school is slated to close in the plan. And the story talks about unhappy parents at Evansdale Elementary in north DeKalb whose children shift from Lakeside High to Tucker under the plan.

The public has until mid January to comment on the plan, which goes to a final vote later that month.

The plan has alarmed many parents, although one of the more controversial aspects — closing three south DeKalb middle schools to save money and sending the students to high school campuses — has already been scratched.

But some parents remain unhappy with the proposed school closings and redistricting in the draft that will be voted on tonight.

Here is an op-ed by two DeKalb parent leaders from the Evansdale Elementary community:

By Jennifer Hatfield and Robin Malinovsky

As a parent, there is little that ranks above a solid education for your child. When choosing a home, we also choose the schools in which it resides because the school impacts home value, taxes, and most of all, the education of your child. The neighborhood then becomes a family of friendships with whom we and our children share a 12-year educational experience.

Superintendent of DeKalb schools, Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, is about to take these very same communities of nearly 100,000-plus kids and parents in DeKalb County and shatter them through a school redistricting and reorganization plan.

She presented this proposal at a November Board of Education meeting, outlining new “facilities” plans for the DeKalb County School District in the coming years. This plan includes redistricting and school closures, beyond the redistricting already endured two years ago. Dr. Atkinson wants to fast-track approval by calling for a vote today — without any public input.

Two years ago, when the system embarked on the tenuous and expensive process of redistricting, promises and assurances were made stating DCSD would get it right so we wouldn’t have to revisit the subject. We were also assured a community component, meant to respect the nuances of each neighborhood and community.

Dr. Atkinson is now reneging on all of those pledges. The district paid tens of thousands of dollars to a firm of expertise for that redistricting. Why is that result being pushed aside? How can they justify that “waste” of money while under the ongoing and watchful eye of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), which is tasked with reviewing the DCSD’s accreditation?

We were informed that, in order to maximize state funding for our schools, each needed to have no less than 450 pupils — in fact, this was the strongest justifications for redistricting. Yet, this proposed plan drops enrollment in many schools to approximately 350 pupils. The administration has also promised to maintain county buildings and facilities, regardless of whether they are in use, to protect their investment. However, dozens of SPLOST IV maintenance projects have been stricken from schools now slated for closure.

Finally, the school board approved a policy prohibiting the issuance of bonds to expedite construction. Now the board members are being asked to reverse their vote, just months later, and increase debt in order to move forward. This is fiscal irresponsibility.

Residents and parents have been told, time and time again, the district is focused on student achievement and creating high-performance learning cultures in all schools. This plan is being used to tear down what is working well simply to level the playing field. DeKalb should learn from successful schools and model those processes at other schools. Instead, the BOE wants to shift the high-performing students out of nationally ranked schools and send them to lower-performing schools. This doesn’t achieve goals, it only hurts the students.

Given this district’s track record of missteps, incompetence and recent legal woes, the fast-tracking of this ill-conceived plan (without any regard for community stakeholders or even the administration’s own cited priorities), would not be in the best interest of the taxpayers, parents and, most importantly, the children of DeKalb County. We ask that the DCSD to form a plan demonstrating the road to financial stability. We need a fiscally responsible proposal that doesn’t include increasing the debt, and belittling our schools and neighborhoods, in order to move forward.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

102 comments Add your comment

Snarkysnake

December 10th, 2012
6:37 am

Still wondering how the Charter Schools Amendment passed? It was parents like the ones that wrote the above,not the apathetic ones that carried it to fruition. They see the truth (as detailed above).

We need to elect superintendents.Then they have to look out for people other than themselves.

redweather

December 10th, 2012
6:38 am

That is some wooden prose.

Cindy Lutenbacher

December 10th, 2012
6:41 am

One thing to remember is that Dr. Atkinson is a Broad Superintendents Academy alum. Broad (as in Eli Broad, rhymes with “road”) efforts are ever and always about support for corporations, not education of children. The two have conflicting end goals.

Dunwoody Mom

December 10th, 2012
6:50 am

Far be it from me to take up for Dr. Atkinson, but the MGT Consulting company, during the 2020 Vision project, did suggest that the school district revisit redistricting and consolidation on a yearly basis. Many school district around DeKalb do this yearly, but because DeKalb has, in the past, just put redistricting together “willy nilly”, we are having a hard time with the redistricting process. I do have some concerns with this plan but there are schools that are terribly over-crowded and some that are very under-enrolled. I’m not sure there is any plan that won’t make parents unhappy.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
6:58 am

The request to issue bonds is very problematic. For all the reasons listed in the article, PLUS the system is saying if they expedite the projects there will be a need for FIVE more staff people. Five people paid for 5 years.

Wilbur

December 10th, 2012
7:00 am

So since all parents will be unhappy with any school redistricting plan, let’s ignore them and do we like?

Yep, that’s moving schools in the right direction.

Mom of 3

December 10th, 2012
7:02 am

Dunwoody Mom- you speak the truth. Redistricting is a realty of public school. Unless you choose to live in a very small district, you can not be surprised when it comes up. There will always be someone who does not like it. At leat Dr. A is making an attempt at getting funding that is desperately needed.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
7:13 am

Dunwoody Mom

MGT recommended tweaking not redoing their work on a yearly basis. This plan essentially redoes their work. We have a report due to the state — use the MGT plan and move on.

The major challenge in DeKalb is that the population center has shifted. Where once the central and northern DeKalb schools had lots of empty seats and the south DeKalb schools were way overcrowded, for the most part this has reversed.

However, because the DeKalb school board is so political both the MGT plan and the current SPLOST list were put together with getting 5 board votes in mind. Therefore, each board member gets a little something, even if it it didn’t make sense.

When all the plans in the current proposal are completed, there will be about 1300 EMPTY high school seats in what DeKalb calls Region 4 which includes SWD, Lithonia, MLK and Miller Grove. Three of the four (MLK, SWD and Miller Grove) have just broken ground on long promised additions. However, the additions aren’t really needed anymore given all the excess capacity in S. DeKalb. Finally, just to the north of this cluster Redan High School is getting 500 more seats.

What a mess.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
7:19 am

Mom of 3

Do you understand why this plan is needed? It is because the state penalizes systems for empty seats when it comes to receiving state assistance for capital improvements. If DCSS was really serious about catching as much of that money as possible, really radical changes are needed. And not some silly 6-12 model, but rather the closing of high schools. It is distasteful, but what is needed.
DCSS currently has 2000 empty high school seats or there about, with this plan, the number actually grows to 5000 empty seats because we are adding thousands of new seats! In the end, I imagine the state won’t be so eager to help fund new construction. Would you be?

Dunwoody Mom

December 10th, 2012
7:19 am

@Concernedmom30329…below is the link to the Master Presentation. There is nothing about “tweaking”. It specifically states :Annual evaluation of enrollment data to determine redistricting and consolidation needs”. I have a different view than you do, I don’t claim things as “political” if they don’t reflect my vision. I do have some disagreement with the 2020 Vision, but I feel that it is a good guideline for the district. Perfect? No. Nothing is.

Dunwoody Mom

December 10th, 2012
7:20 am

Tucker Mom

December 10th, 2012
7:22 am

Well said!

Our school in Tucker is being consolidated with an elementary school in Stone Mountain. Three other elementary schools are much closer. This plan doesn’t make much sense to me.

Dunwoody Mom

December 10th, 2012
7:28 am

@Conceredmom, re-reading my post, it sounds as if I were a little snarky in my response, I apologize.

I don’t disagree with you about the “empty seats”, but then again the school district decided to get “specific” with the projects slated for SPLOST IV, rather than leaving some wiggle room to be able to address needs as they come up. I was against this specificity, but was told it was so that the district could be “transparent”.

The “extra” seat issue due to construction projects is not just in Region 4. The new Chamblee High School is slated to hold 1600 students. Today, there are a litle over 1,260 enrolled at CHS. Cross Keys also has about 200 available seats. Where is the plan for these 2 schools?

Mountain Man

December 10th, 2012
7:43 am

That is a good example of the intricacies of the English language that makes it hard:

How do you pronounce “road”? – now add a “b” to it – how do you pronounce “broad”?

Atlanta Mom

December 10th, 2012
7:52 am

Seems like a lot of the problem can be identified in the first sentence of this article. The board is voting on a FIVE year plan??? When it comes to education most parents are looking more than FIVE years down the road.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

December 10th, 2012
8:03 am

Dunwoody Mom–in conversations with DCSS staff two years ago, when my community was torn apart by redistricting, staff assured me–and others–that after such dramatic changes, only tweaking would be necessary every 2 years or so. And interestingly, “tweaking” was the word that was used with me, too…curious that some of us were told the same thing, regardless of the language in the MGT plan.

This new plan is nonsensical in some parts of the county. Fernbank receives a new elementary school but cannot come close to filling it. Some students in Dunwoody are asked to double their drive times to elementary school and bypass schools clearly closer to them. Some Livsey students are asked to become part of a school that is miles and miles away from where they are right now. These are not insignificant nor logical changes.

Truth in Moderation

December 10th, 2012
8:06 am

“Residents and parents have been told, time and time again, the district is focused on student achievement and creating high-performance learning cultures in all schools. This plan is being used to tear down what is working well simply to level the playing field.”

This is the hidden agenda of public schools. Parents, wake up!

“The Dark Intentions of Public Schooling”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFlvkwXCQco

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
8:08 am

Also, this plan has Laurel Ridge closing, but still Fernbank is only three quarters full. It appears that Fernbank gets the most demographically desirable parts of Laurel Ridge with everyone else sent to McClendon or Sagamore Hills. Isn’t that strange? In other parts of the system students are going to be bussed up to 6 miles to get to school, but Fernbank is being protected with Sagamore and McClendon end up being pretty over crowded?

Something stinks on Mountain Industrial?

Truth in Moderation

December 10th, 2012
8:21 am

“Compulsory Schooling – Mass Manipulation History”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7bYy-VHKkg

Another Voice

December 10th, 2012
8:48 am

And they plan to rebuild Austin Elementary to house 900 +/- students – instead of finding a way to re-use the facility on Chamblee-Dunwoody Rd. that has been used as temporary space (such as housing Chamblee Middle School students when it was rebuilt).

How about this instead: reopen the Chamblee-Dunwoody property, make it the annex for Austin and have the 4 and 5th grade classes there. Don’t spend to build another TajMahal facility. Sure it’s not an ELEGANT solution, but a heck of a lot more cost effective.

And why do we need to continue construction on high schools in South DeKalb if those are already under capacity?

It appears that DCSS can’t figure out which end is up. They close schools two years ago, but build more onto schools that have open seating capacity.

Yeah, I’m thrilled to keep paying taxes in this county for a school system that is not only broken, but too dumb to educate children.

Hamilton

December 10th, 2012
8:49 am

I think the Superintendent is rushing this through before the Board changes in composition. If the Board tended towards majority ethical behavior, they would say “wait until January” for any new policies and decisions.

I’m asking a little too much. Heck, I ask too much of this Board of Directors charged with the oversight of nearly $1B of spending and seeing that 95,000+ students are given an “adequate” education. They have clearly not been up to the task. They haven’t been for years.

It’s high time this “District” was broken up and that may be next on the General Assembly’s radar.

Dunwoody Mom

December 10th, 2012
8:59 am

re: the Chamblee-Dunwoody school site…Last year there was talk of demolishing the school site as the building is uninhabitable. Now, it appears, based on comments from Mr. Wilkins from the October board meeting that the district is looking into “repurposing” the property. I have not been able to find out any further info on this.

Concerned DeKalb Mom

December 10th, 2012
9:11 am

The Chamblee-Dunwoody school site is completely unusable as is. Millions would need to go into making it anything other than a storage facility for the school system. They would need to completely tear down and completely rebuild. How many years has it sat on that site now without anyone moving in or out of the building? Disgraceful. They should sell the property to the City of Dunwoody and move on.

worried about the numbers

December 10th, 2012
9:15 am

I understand the need to make sacrifices. I get the point that there is state money to be had. And if someone told me that closing Livsey and Evansdale and all the other changes would result in significant improvement in the classrooms, I’d be ok to make that sacrifice. But I have NO REASON to believe this plan is well thought through. It’s poorly written, there are no real cost data, data on the impact of these moves on the tax base (home values around the good schools that are being redistricted and eliminated will go down, no doubt about it).There are no data on transportation – fuel is not going to be any cheaper and kids who currently walk to school will need to be bused far away. Is the state funding and the increased cost of accellerating buildings really going to offset these other costs. Heck, this time around the plan doesn’t even have goals! Last time we were given some goals (like the 450 students per school, minimizing transportation distances, keeping feeders intact). Now? Not one goal, no mention of how the proposed actions will improve learning. Nothing. This plan needs to be opposed because it is ill conceived, and being pushed through with an outgoing board at a time when the adminstration hasn’t even answered the questions about whether they really cut central office staff. That’s why the old plan needs to stay in place. Yes, we need to revisit redistricting on a periodic basis, but it needs to be done carefully. This is nonsense.

alm

December 10th, 2012
9:41 am

Concernedmom30329, Fernbank is the golden school and will always be protected.
DeKalb is squeak wheel system and some schools know how to work it.

The Cross Keys district has the most overcrowding at the elementary level with no relief in sight. Cary Reynolds 124% capacity, Dresden 124% capacity, Montclair 145% capacity, Oakcliff Theme 97% capacity, Woodward 124% capacity.

alm

December 10th, 2012
9:43 am

That should say squeaky wheel system.

Private Citizen

December 10th, 2012
9:53 am

Hey folks, just to say: this looks like the new madness sweeping the land, and not just in Dekalb County:

closing… middle schools to save money and sending the students to high school campuses

Private Citizen

December 10th, 2012
9:55 am

First they got rid of 4,000 teachers in Georgia. Next, they thinned the main office staff in districts. Now, it is consolidating and combining upper / lower schools for the purpose of saving money.

[...] While the DeKalb school board will vote on a controversial five year plan that includes school closings and redistricting, the Atlanta Board of Education will take up superintendent Erroll B. Davis’ contract extension at 3 p.m. [...]

Private Citizen

December 10th, 2012
10:08 am

Americans are getting farmed / harvested like cattle by centralised power, and Obama is their good corporate manager. The joke is the propagandists have people thinking Obama is a socialist and have the ignorant brainwashed public going around repeating this. Spoke to a friend via telephone yesterday. Him and the corporate-manager wife go over to Scandinavia every couple of years and charter a sailboat and captain for a week. He commented how healthy, wealthy, well-adjusted the people were there, and the children well behaved. They practice a combination of social public services combined with competitive free-enterprise private wealth business. Here in the U. S., its like we’re penned up chickens on the chicken farm, being exploited and harvested by the corporate power interests and the Americans are walking around telling each other that they’re better than the Scandinavian system. They’re sure not consolidating any upper / lower schools over there because they’re so desperate to maintain basic functioning. Meanwhile, we’re being deranged by propaganda and incoherence.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
10:42 am

@Concerned
If you believed they weren’t going to do some significant changes in the future you weren’t paying attention. They are moving to 900 student elementary schools as they replace schools, which is going to continue to require significant, if not major, changes. There were several schools that were initially going to be closed, but they changed their mind, basically, because they didn’t have a rational plan to deal with the students. Livesy and Rock Bridge were two of those. It was obvious those would be closed at some point (not that I am saying sending the Livesy students so far away is good, but at least there is some coherent idea behind it-building a new school for Smoke Rise).

Your comments reflect the all too common blind bias of 30329. Sagamore Hills doesn’t need to be overcrowded. They could simply move students to neighborhing Briar Vista and Laurel Ridge. But then those students would go to “inferior” elementary schools and to Druid Hills HS & MS instead of Lakeside/Henderson Mill. Yet somehow in your mind its someone else’s influence that creates the situation.

As for Fernbank, they have grown from 430 to 700 students over the last 10 years, so it would be silly to build a 900 student school and put 900 students in it the first year. You need to allow for some growth unless there are reasons to think it will stop.

I do agree its strange they are continuing a 600 seat addition at SW Dekalb HS which they project will leave them with 600 empty seats when it is done. And its strange they talked about combining middle schools with high schools when 1 out of McNair, Cedar Grove, Columbia or Towers could be closed with plenty of empty seats left over.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
10:44 am

@concerned
Laurel Ridge is not closed under the plan. It looks like they made an error in their attendance figures so that may be why you think that. There are several continuing schools that have zeros in their projected attendance. It was a sloppy document.

Local girl

December 10th, 2012
10:47 am

As I read it, the new plan does not call for closing Laurel Ridge, but does call for expanding the Fernbank district to include some areas currently served by Laurel Ridge and Briar Vista.

RCB

December 10th, 2012
10:53 am

The only reason Dr. Atkinson could be called successful is because she hasn’t been indicted yet. That’s the norm in Dekalb. I’m just resigned to the fact that my property taxes will go up with no results. Again.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:00 am

Regarding the borrowing to accerlerate projects:
They believe construction prices are low and it will produce some savings while allowing the projects to be in service, in some cases, two years earlier.
Almost all the interest will be covered by cancelling projects at schools they are closing. Their initial budget included $5.6 million for things like HVAC and roofs on schools they are planning on closing. That would be a waste of money.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
11:05 am

bu2

You are right there are errors, but go look closely at the numbers for McClaren and Sagamore Hills (as compared to the first proposal from the week before) and you can see that the zeroing out of Laurel Ridge is apparently not a mistake. In the Nov 27th proposal, Sagamore has a projected enrollment of 520 and in the December proposal the projected enrollment is 672. McClendon has a projected enrollment of 491 in the Nov 27 plan and a projected enrollment of 854 (!) in the December plan. And Laurel Ridge is zeroed out. It is clear that someone made a decision to leave the less desirable parts of Laurel Ridge out of Fernbank.

Are you a Fernbank parent or former parent by any chance? Fernbank actually shrunk this year. Just by a few percent but it was in kindergarten and that can be significant.

Livsey absolutely needs to close. It is too small, but too build a new Fernbank at the expense of all the surrounding schools is just crazy.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
11:07 am

Bu2

If we don’t need to do those projects, how about simply not doing those projects and spending the money, not on interest, but on classroom additions for the students in the Cross Keys cluster who sit in the most overcrowded schools in the district.
Do you also support the hiring of 5 more people for the construction department to oversee the acceleration?

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:18 am

@Maureen
Midway being closed wasn’t shocking. It was pretty predictable if you followed redistricting closely last time. At the time they closed Peachcrest they talked about that being a logical site for a new 900 seat school. Midway and Knollwood are being closed and the students moved into the new school.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:21 am

@concerned30329

If we still have students in those schools, we can’t leave them with leaking roofs and inadequate HVAC systems. But roofs are for 20 years and HVAC for 5-10. Its a waste if you are going to close them in 2 years.

As for the hiring, they don’t seem to do things efficiently at DCSS.

bootney farnsworth

December 10th, 2012
11:25 am

except for the impact on the students and the community, its funny to watch APS and DCSS race to the bottom

concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
11:30 am

bu2

Do you see that Laurel Ridge is closing? Even if the system doesn’t say it.

Maureen Downey

December 10th, 2012
11:31 am

@bu2, That is true, but I think the Midway parent at the meeting was still quite surprised that the plan recommended closing the school. After the last attempt at redistricting and the board retreat from the lengthier list of closures, I think parents thought that they had won a reprieve.
Maureen

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:36 am

Regarding Laurel Ridge:
There is nothing in the document about closing Laurel Ridge. I think you are inferring something from the sloppiness of the document that isn’t there. There are LOTS of obvious errors in the attendance. In many cases they have the attendance clearly switched between two adjacent schools (you see one school go from 500 to 900 and the next school go from 900 to 500). Maybe that is the case at Sagamore Hills. Maybe they expect growth there. The undertone seems to me like you don’t want “undesirables” from Laurel Ridge coming into your school.

What is getting zoned into Fernbank is part of the Medlock neighborhood which already was split between Fernbank and Medlock/Laurel Ridge. One side of the street was one school and the other side the other school. If you are going to move students to increase the number in the school, that would be the logical place.

Married with (School) Children

December 10th, 2012
11:40 am

Maureen,

Per public statements made by SACS, the latest SACS accreditation report was due *last* Monday, December 3. When is that report going to be shared with the public?

When a student does not turn in his/her homework on time, they get a zero. Why aren’t professional educators held to the same standard?

Concerned Lakeside Mom

December 10th, 2012
11:43 am

If this was really about overcrowding, then DCSD should shave kids off ALL areas of the grid – not target a select few. In our district, Sagamore Hills elem. is a prime example. It is no longer a “split feeder” school … all the students now attend Lakeside, and DCSD even expanded the reach of who would be included in the Sagamore zone. This is an example of why we have overcrowding. Why do a few of the high-achieving schools have to take on the burden of overcrowding for all by being sent to worse school districts? All feeder programs in this district need to stay intact, as they pledged they would do. This is not about overcrowding, this is about keeping state money, no matter how it affects the kids; and this is about “leveling the playing field” as in the letter above. Send the smart kids to the bad schools, raise the bad schools’ test scores, lower the good schools’ test scores, and all is right with the world because it is “balanced? It’s preposterous. How about being proud of the high-achieving, high-demand school areas – put some money in them and help them continue to grow and thrive instead of tearing those communities apart and negatively impacting these kids’ educations.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:45 am

@Maureen
I can understand why they thought that. But it was a stay of execution, not a pardon.

bu2

December 10th, 2012
11:51 am

The disturbing thing about this is that it was apparently due a year ago in order to qualify for state funding, but the district has gotten a reprieve. That is why it is being rushed now. It is being pushed through at the last minute without time for the board to thoroughly review, just like the budget was. Its also a really sloppy document. It doesn’t appear that it was reviewed by anyone. All of that is a bad reflection on Atkinson.

Concernedmom30329

December 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

bu2
Not a Sagamore mom. I am just pointing out the fact Laurel Ridge is being shuttered. Looking at the other zero outs, no where else does it impact attendance at other schools. (look at Vanderlyn for example)
Also, no other new school, even growing ones like Austin, gets to open with space. Why should Fernbank? If we don’t need a new 900 seat school there, perhaps Fernbank needs to be rebuilt in a different location?

bu2

December 10th, 2012
12:52 pm

Every school that is being closed is clearly identified both in the text and on the attendance spreadsheet. Again, I think you are just reading something into the document that isn’t intended. Laurel Ridge is not mentioned in the text except for the 69 students moving to Fernbank. There’s no closing of Laurel Ridge on the map nor are any students shown as moving to McClendon or Sagamore Hills. There is no comment in the section where they identify all the schools being closed or rebuilt. Its just sloppy work of which there is plenty of evidence in the document.

Anonymous

December 10th, 2012
1:11 pm

@Concernedmom30329,7:13 “When all the plans in the current proposal are completed, there will be about 1300 EMPTY high school seats in what DeKalb calls Region 4 which includes SWD, Lithonia, MLK and Miller Grove.”

Actually, there are MORE empty seats in Region 4. There is no mention of Arabia Mountain High School, which currently has about 300 empty seats. According to the projections in the 100+ page proposed redistricting plan, in 2016-2017 Arabia Mountain High School will only have 995 students.

I’m hoping that is a mistake.

Nevertheless, the empty seats at Arabia Mountain High School MUST be considered. Why we continue to build seats down there instead of expanding the supposedly fantastic programs at AMHS is beyond me.