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Intown Atlanta and Buckhead schools to be rezoned

03 Dec 2011, by Tina McGee in Atlanta info, Neighborhood Info, Schools

As mentioned in a previous blog post, Atlanta has some fine public schools. But, like most other cities, there are also those that are underperforming. This has a predictable effect on people’s behavior, both in terms of real estate as well as the attendance of the schools. Home buyers are attracted to the Intown Atlanta and Buckhead neighborhoods that have the best schools in Atlanta. This bolsters home values in those neighborhoods, but also leads to overcrowding in those schools. This overcrowding is exacerbated by the 61% surge of young professionals living in Intown Atlanta. In decades past, most young couples would move to the ‘burbs when they settled down. Now many of them are staying intown. Meanwhile, other schools end up under capacity. Simple solution; just move kids from the overcrowded schools to those that are under capacity, right? Not so fast.

A portion of one of the proposed options

The Atlanta Public Schools district is in the early stages of studying how to remedy this situation. The demographers have come up with 4 options on how to redraw the school districts to tackle the overcrowding issue. All of the options include building a new North Atlanta High School, moving Sutton Middle school to the site of the existing North Atlanta High School and building a new Midtown Middle school. Two of the scenarios also include the building of a new North Atlanta Elementary School. All plans include variations of expanding some schools and closing others.

Some of these options will have certain neighborhoods moved from highly-rated schools to underperforming schools. The mere sight of these scenarios has injected fear into the hearts and minds of many local parents. Even non-parents have cause for concern, because the changing of school district lines can have a deleterious effect on property values. So, many local residents look at all four options and think, “None of the above!”

However, while there is cause for concern, it’s too early for alarm. All of these scenarios are based on demographics alone, i.e., they are population driven only. As such, no community input has been considered … yet. These options are very preliminary, and APS fully expects that the final district lines will likely look nothing like any of these scenarios.

So, now they are at the phase of seeking community input. Your first opportunity to voice your concerns is through this survey, which APS is asking local residents to complete. As this is important to all homeowners in the area, I encourage everyone to fill out the survey and let their thoughts be known.

To see a map of current school district boundaries, click here.