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PROPOSED PLAN OF STUDY FOR THE LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
Purposes of the Study: "To study the desirability and feasibility of combining
the school systems of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta, including the
“portion thereof lying in DeKalb County; to provide that said Commission
may draft a plan or plans for the combining of such school systems and
submit same to members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeKalb
Counties." (Taken from H.R. 505-126, as passed by House and Senate.)
The legislation creating the local Education Commission of Atlanta and
Fulton County clearly defines two specific and closely related major tasks
and assigns these tasks to the Commission, The two tasks are:
1. To recommend whether or not a single school district would be better
for Atlanta and Fulton County than the present separate districts
of Atlanta and Fulton County.
2. To draw up a plan or plans for creating a single school district
to take the place of the present Atlanta and Fulton County districts.
The work of the Commission would be simplified if it could first deter-
mine the answer to the question of the desirability and feasibility of a
single school system. Should the answer be negative, the Commission might
logically consider it unnecessary to propose a plan or plans for creating
a single school system. On the other hand, the most practical answer to
the first question is necessarily based on the results of an inquiry into
the various factors which would be involved in the dissolution of the two
existing school districts and in creating in their stead a single district.
Obviously, the consideration of feasibility demands the identification
and careful analysis of the requirements for establishing a satisfactory
single school district.
Therefore, the proposed outline is based on the assumption that a
thorough exploration of what the creation of a new school district means
is desirable if the most satisfactory answer to each of the two questions
is to be achieved. The steps which are listed and discussed below are
based on this assumption.
Describe the new school district which might be created.
What would this district look like? What would it include?
This description should include an identification of the geographical
area the new district would include, the total population of this area,
the school age population and the actual school enrollment. The number
of teachers and other professional personnel, and the number of other em-
ployees would be listed. The number, size, types and distribution of
schools, a general description of the educational program as contemplated,
an analysis of available facilities, instructional materials, transporta-
tion, and other supporting services would be included. Wealth, sources of
wealth, and the nature of the economy of the district would be a part of
A general overview of the organization and government of the district
and relationships to other units of government would be included. This
statement would stress the fact that the new district would be made up
of schools now in existence located on their present sites and function-
ing essentially as they do now and with the same personnel.
Identify and describe the legal steps which would be necessary in order to
create a single school district in place of the two existing districts.
What would be required to dissolve the present districts of Atlanta and
Falton County? How would the new district be created?
A complete listing and the precise definition of the various legal actions
necessary in order to discontinue the present school districts are essential.
For example, what would be done with the debts of these districts would
have to be spelled out. The laws necessery for creating a new district
would be set forth. The required constitutional exnsndment would be drafted.
Plans for the organization and administration of the district would be
stated with provisions for creating a board of education, specifying the
number of members, eligibility for membership, type of representation
(district-wide or by areas), term of office, method of selection, powers,
duties, and responsibilities. In addition, a plan for organizing and ad-
ministering the school district should be set forth, including provisions
for a chief administrative official, and the spelling out of his powers,
duties, and responsibilities.
The necessary legal steps would also require the setting forth of a tax
plan for financial support of the district, the kinds of school taxes to
be levied, provisions for tax leeway, and provisions for debt and debt
services. The statement on legal requirercnts would take into account the
impact of the proposed new State Constitution on creation of the new dis-
trict and relationships of the district to ovher units of government.
some attention should be given to the broad gersral problem of metropolitan
government in the Atlanta metropolitan are,
Decisions, recommendations, policies, regulations, and operational pro-
cedures which would be essential to creating the new district and getting
it into operation, (Not necessarily an inclusive list.)
What are the specific steps required to bring the new district into
being? to set it into operation? to assure satisfactory operation?
The autonomy which local school districts in Georgia are free to exercise
is considerable, The Atlanta and Fulton County school districts have freely
exercised this autonomy. Being entirely separate districts, they have de-
veloped their own policies, procedures, and operational patterns, While
many similarities exist in these matters, there are also differences.
Creation of a new district would require careful attention to such guides
and practices, Changes which are necessary must not work injustices on
school personnel or reflect unwisely on educational programs, Careful
and tedious study are required which will result in the development of
policies, procedures, and operational patterns needed by the proposed new
district and which may or may not currently exist in either of the present
Some of the several aspects of this problem are listed below with types
of needed action indicated. As the study advances, additions to this list
are likely to be necessary.
1. Development of a system of personnel records for professional and
other school personnel,
2. Development of a system of records for pupil accounting.
3. Development of necessary guides and procedures for budgeting.
lk. Development of purchasing plans and procedures.
5. Development of plans for appropriate financial accounting.
6. Development of a salary schedule for professional and other personnel.
Development of a retirement system, or systems,
Development of policies concerning employment practices, professional
Development of policies regarding sick leave, vacations, leaves of
absence, professional growth, etc.
Development of policies regarding size of schools,
Development of general school regulations, such as length of the
school day, number of days in the school year, and holidays.
Development of a school calendar,
Reach decisions on the school program having to do with kinder-
gartens, special education, vocational education, and other program
Reach decisions on pupil-teacher ratios to be established and main-
Reach decisions on services to be provided by the school district,
such as food, transportation, and health,
Reach decisions on instructional materials and supplies which are
to be provided.
Reach decisions on special professional personnel to be provided
such as librarians, school psychologists, counselors, and reading
Reach decisions on administrative and supervisory services to be
Reach decisions on non-professional personnel to be provided, such
as lunch room workers, custodians, and secretaries.
Determine the curriculum adjustments which are necessary and suggest
how they are to be made.
Recommend policies regarding expansion of school programs with
special reference to junior college education, vocational and
technical education, and adult education.
Propose a method of combining the two central office staffs.
Propose a plan for the internal organization and administration of
the new school district, answering questions such as, Will there
be area superintendents? Will there be junior high schools?
How many grades will be in the elementary schools?
Recommend the future of the Metropolitan School Development
Council, Will it have served its purpose if the new school dis-
trict is created? If not, should it be extended to include the
entire metropolitan area?
Recommend plans for handling textbooks and instructional supplies.
Make recommendations concerning teaching loads.
Make recommendations concerning the visiting teacher program.
Make recommendations concerning organizations which exist in the
respective school districts, such as Parent-Teacher Associations,
local teacher associations, and the various student organizations.
A proposed budget for the new district.
What would it cost to finance the new school district in order to
maintain the level of present school programs?
A budget should show the total amount of revenue needed and the allo-
cation of funds to the various areas of the educational program. A com-
parison should be made of the cost of education in the two present dis-
triets and the new district calling attention to any differences in cost
and giving explanations for the differences. The budget should also
show the sources of revenue and the amounts from each source, The budget
would necessarily take into account revenues to be received from the State.
How these revenues compare with those presently received from the State by
the two separate districts should be shown,
Identify and describe the advantages and disadvantages of a single school
‘system in comparison to the advantages and disadvantages of the two present
What facts and conditions support creation of a new district? What
facts and conditions support retaining the two existing districts. What
is the proper recommendation?
The steps which have been outlined above would provide a sound basis
for answering these questions. A decision on the single district issue
would also involve bringing up-to-date those aspects of previous studies
which deal with the present questions and the identification of changes
made since these studies were completed, legal and otherwise, which have
a bearing on the problem. This statement should take account of the
problems and issues which would have to be faced in undertaking to
develop a single school district.
Propose a plan for creating and putting into operation the new school
district, if it is to be created.
This step is essentially the development of a blueprint for action to
be taken in the event a new district is desired, including a time table
for such action, A statement of specific steps to be undertaken in
creating the new school district would be drawn up. Special attention
would need to be given to required legislation. A sequential schedule
of steps should be included and assignments made of responsibilities for
carrying out each step. A time schedule should be suggested.
Design a Public Information Services Program.
Acceptance of any proposals of the Commission will depend largely on
public knowledge and understanding of such proposals. Therefore, a wide
variety of opportunities should be provided for citizens to become ac-
quainted with the proposals and to widsrstand their impact on education
in the metropolitan area, Hence, appropriate use of television, radio,
and newspapers will be in order. Individual end small group conferences
with selected persons is an extremely importent step in this program.
Provision for adequate public discussions is another important step.
July Fy 1G bf