Box 6, Folder 2, Complete Folder

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Box 6, Folder 2, Complete Folder

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MINTJ'TIS
LOCAL ErUCl\.'T'i.•:.; C0Mr1ISSION
COUNTY At l-1IIHSTRATION BUILDING
OCTOBER 2, 1964 _
The Local Education Cornmis sio;·, me i: Friday, October 2, 1964, at
2:00 p.m., in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building
with the following members present:
Mr. P. L. Bardin
Mrs. Alan Ritter
br. R. H. Brisbane
Mr. Otis M. Jackson
Mr. Wallace H. Stewart
Mr. William M. Teem
Mr. Alan Kiepper, Ex Officio
Mr. Fred J. Turner
I
Dr. John T,f • Letson, Ex Officio Dr . Paul D. West, Ex Officio
Mr. Thomas M. Mille r
Mr. James White, Jr.
Minutes of the July 31 meeting of the Steering Committee were read
and approved.
Minutes of the July 31 Local Educat i on Commission meeting were
read and approved.
Minutes of t he Sept ember 10 meeting of t he Special Committee f or
Legal Services were read and d iscussed .
Dur ing this discussion, it was
pointed out that t he Commi s s i on has an unemcumbered balance of between
$6 ,000 and $7, 000.
Concens us seems to be that a contractual agreement shoul d be
drawn between t he lawye r s and t he Corrnnission .
This agr eement should
s et forth t he dut i es , expec tat ions and obl igat i ons of each party involved.
Also, a copy of the minutes of the September 10 meet i ng of t he Special
Commi ttee should be sent t o each lawyer.
The point was made that the only financial commitment to the
lawyers is that the Commis sion wil l pay them on an hourl y rate f or
services rendered.
The total cost of their services will depend upon
the number of hours they devote to the work of the Commission.
There
are no mininrurn fees, retainer fees or other such fees involved in this
agreement.
�..
-2Local Education Commission Minutes, cont · d
Dr. Pierce was asked to identify services other than le~al which
are needed.
He stated that the legal and educational aspects of the
study are so entwined it is hard to say exactly what can be classified
specifically as one or the other.
However, it seems appropriate that
the Commission should design the desired new school system first and
then have the legal counsel describe the · legal steps required to create
the system.
The degree to which legal and educational aspects are
interwoven were pointed out by citing the retirement plan for the
new system or the amortization of the existing bonded indebtness of
the two systems. Again it was pointed out that the final report of the
Commissiofi rrrtist be a package plan which includes the totality of
dissolving two systems and creating a new one.
Mr. kiepper asked if it would be desirable or necessary to secure
the
I
servic~ or a management consultant firm to help with the organizational
I
sthibture of t~e new system.
subh s~rvice~.
He pointed ·o ut that some systems have used
The reply was that there are many kinds of services
needed ahd that this may be ope.
Nashville-Davidson County used the
service ~l ~ fuah~ge~ertt consultant firm ~hen they combined tha two school
systems.
Mr. TUrrler then made the motion that the Commissioh approve the
action of the Special Committee concerning the seledtion bf tlie two lat-lyers
on an hourly basis; however, the hourly rate must be approved by the
Commission
before services are requested.
Mr. White seconded the motibh
which was approved unanimously.
Dr. West stated that various news reporters are being advised of the
meetings of the Commission, but that apparently their schedules are
preventing them from covering the Commission meetings.
Dr. Pierce reviewed the brief he had developed as a result of the
charge received at the last regular Commission meeting.
However, before
giving a detailed analysis of the brief, Dr. Pierce stated that if the
report is accepted, the question of whether merger is desirable will be
settled.
Attention then can be focused upon describing the kind of
�-~-Local Education Commission Mi1111t c., _, C!'.,:t ' d
new school system needed.
He al~o stated that the brief in its present
form should be -treated as a tentative and confidential document.
point in the brief was then
Each
revit,·;rnd and explained in consid~rable
detail by Dr. Pierce.
Official action by the Commission concerning the brief will be
taken at a later meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at . 4:00 p.m.
ECH/dh
October 5~ 1964
�P. L. Bardin
Vice Ch.:iirn~n
S12c ty-Ti:'·C.:!ourc.:-
Otis H. J.::.c!c.co n
Dr. Tr~a~ n Pierce, D::!an
D(!pnrtment of Educetion - Auburn University
W. Kenneth Strit,::;<::r
E.:;ll~ce IL -St~·.::rt
lntcrn~to~al Business H.=ichireD Corp
1439 ?c~chtrcc Street, NE
30309
Thc2::,:::; M. 1·:i l ler
GcnE:r.'.ll Off:!.. c~3
Delta Air Linea
At l nntc .. ~aicipal Ai rport
Atl.:n ta, .G~
? . L. B.::?r<lin
30320
l!:1>0 Ikt:.k o f Georgis Bldg
!.tl nnta, Georgia
30303
frcd J. Turn.:ir
Hilli.:.:.1 Oliver Bld8
Atl~nt~, Geor~i~
30303
Cr. John H. Lct:::ion, Superintendent
Atl~nt ~ Publ{c Schools
Ot :.i; H . Jnd:fJ on
Dr. P;:ul D. l-:2:Jt, Su;>orint8ndent
3121 H.= plc Ddvc, m~
Atlanta, Gcorcia
30305
r\.iiton County Sci:l.oola
J. H. Cc1.'thon
W. L. Ro bin3on, PrcGidcnt
Fulto~1 County Bo ord of Education
18..';.0 2-~::i:itrooe D:-ive
n o:~ 160
E.:.ct Point, G.a
Col l c[;e P~rk, Ge
H. I'mmcth Strincer
Oby T . Brewer , Jr, Preeident
Atl3nta Bo~rd of Cducct ion
t?:; lco 3uild ins
1393 Peechtrcc .St, NE
Atlanta , Georgi.a
30309
·L,1 Pryor St , l~E
..' tl c. .. ta , Ga
30303
Mrc . -Al~n Ritter
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27~4 P~ccht!:CC P..:i .,
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A;:lL:nta a.rod Fulto~, County S.: hoole
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�4
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/
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
. MINUTES OF SPECIAL COMMITTEE FOR LEGAL SE~VICES
FULTON COUNTY AtHINISTRATION BUILDING
SEPTEMBER 10, 1964
The Special Committee appointed to detenriine legal assistance needed
by the Commission met at 10:00 a.m., September 10, 1964, with the following
in attendance:
Mr, P. L.
Dr. Johll Letson
Bardin
Mr. J, P. Groton
Mn btis M. Jackson
Mr. A. c. Latimer
Dr. Truman Pierc:e
Dr. Paul West
bb Curtis Henson
to
After the meeting was cailed
order bY Chai.nnan Bardin, Dr. Pierce
was asked to revie~ the iegal services needed DY the Conunission. He
pointed out that the present sttldy bf the Local mducation Cortimission must
be much more pointed aitd spebi}ic thah the ptevious studies~ Legal steps
necessary to aboli~h ths twb existing school systeltlS and to create a hew
one must be desoribed in detaii.
Since Mr. A. C. Latimer and Mr. James Groton have worked together
f or years and are already involved in the study, it was agreed that they
be employed as the official attorneys of the Conunission, however, the
Commission reserves the right to employ .additional legal counsel at any
future time.
The lawyers will develop a proposed budget for the legal services,
and Dr. Pierce will draft a total proposed budget for the Commission.
Financial assistance will be sought after the budget has been approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m.
ECH/dh
September 22, 1964
Recording Secretary
Approved by: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Chai rman
�METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
City of Atlanta and Fulton County B oards of Education
224 Central Ave., S.W.
Atlanta 3, Georgia
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Oby T. Brewer. Jr. co-chairman
\V. L. Robinson, co-chairman
COUNCIL STAFF
September 28, 1964
E. Cur tis Henson
Coordinator
Gilbert E. Tauffner,
Executive Director of
Educational Broadcas tin g
John \V. Letson
Paul D . West
Glenn Frick
L. MJtvin Rivers
REMmDER
To:
Members o f the Local Education CoIILrnissi on
From : · Curtis He'J.son, Recordi:1.g Sec retary
This is t o remi n d you
t: at
-t
11:-i
Lo c al Educati on Com.rnis sion
will meet on F rid y, October 2 , 1 964 , at 2 : IJO p .m ., in the
Fulton County School Bo a rd Roo~, Count y Administ ratio~
Building.
ECH/d.1-t
�Tentative
'
i
ONE DISTRICT FOR ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOI..5?
,.
t
i
i
Studie~ of public education in the Atlanta and Fulton County school districts have been underway most of the time since the early years following the
close of World War II.
The continuous and rapid growth of the Atlanta metro-
politan area and the character of this growth have focused attention on problems
and issues many of which strongly influence the public schools.
The desire of
citizens to provide educational programs of high quality has stimulated constant concern for the satisfactory resolution of these problems and issues.
The quest for better schools is a thread which runs through all of the various
special studies of education during this period.
Some of the studies were authorized by one or both of the local school
boards, while others were authorized by the General Assembly of the State of
Georgia.
in
The latest of those initiated by the General Assembly was authorized
1963. It created a Local Education Commission composed of nineteen citizens
from the two school districts.
The Legislature empowered the Commission 11 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."
This Commission can profit from previous studies by taking into account
their findings and conclusions as they relate to consolidation.
�2
BRIEF REVIEW OF PREVIOUS STUDIES
The question of whether or not the Atlanta and Fulton County school districts should be combined into a single district has been debated for a good
many years.
The Local Government Commission of Fulton County gave considerable
attention to the consolidation issue in a report of its studies which was issued
in 1950.
The Commission did not recommend merger of the two school systems be-
cause of (1) the "huge cost that would be involved in raising the county system
up to city salary and kindergarten standards", (2) the "vast physical job involved in consolidation."
However, the Local Government Commission did not set forth educational
reasons as a justification for not recommending consolidation.
The report stated
that its proposals should not stand in the path of ultimate unification of the
two school districts and expressed the view that it would be easier to effect
ccnsolidation after changes had been made which minimized the differences in
the two school systems.
The Commission f urther expressed the view that combin-
ing of the schools would be made easier "if in the meantime the tri-ci ties and
the rural areas would assume a larger share of their school costs."
However, the Commission did recommend certain changes which have had a
profound effect on education in the Atlant a-Fulton County school districts.
The report, known as the Plan of Improvement, recommended greatly enlarging the
city limits of Atlanta and the consolidation of certain city and county services.
This plan, as later put into effect by the General Assembly, resulted in the
transfer of about
40 Fulton
County schools and nearly half of the school en-
rollment in the County district to the school district of Atlanta.
Furthennore,
72 per cent of the taxable wealth to support schools in the County district was
included in the annexation.
These changes took place in 1952.
�3
Even though the two separate school districts remained in reality, a substantial step toward consolidation took place because of the reduction in the
number of schools and in enrollment in the Fulton County district and the subsequent increase in the Atlanta district.
Unfortunately, severe financial
problems were created in what was left of the Fulton County school district
because of the l arge proportion of taxable wealth to support schools which was
· transferred into the city district.
The financial woes of the Fulton County
schools have increased steadily since that time.
The General Assembly of Georgia created a Local Education Commission of
Atlanta and Fulton County in 1958 to make a study of their educational systems
and to draft a plan or plans for their improvement, submitting the plan or plans
to the members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeKalb counties.
Act stated that
11
The
such study shall give f ull consideration to the position of
such systems within the total educational syst em of the State of Georgia, and
t he plan or plans shall include any changes i n political and administrative
and fis cal structure of either or both of such systems which t he Commission
deems desirable and feasible. 11
Thus, concern for consoli dation appears in
this legislation and in t he assignment of dut ies to t he Commis sion.
This Commission first gave at tention to the legal problems which would be
involved in consolidation.
Mr. G. Stanley J oslin, Professor of Law at Emory
Universi ty, was commissioned t o study the legal considerations which woul d be
necessary if consolidation were undertaken.
Mr . Jos l i n prepared a mem9randum
for the Commission on t hese matter s .
The memorandum emphas ized an important t echnical distinct ion between merger
and consolidation, thus indicating two distinct ways in which unification might
be achieved.
Merger would involve one system becoming a part of the other,
thus taking on all the powers and limitations inherent in the system which absorbed it.
Consolidation means a completely new school system which would be
�4
created from the present Atlanta and Fulton County districts.
would cease to exist when the new district crune into being.
These districts
The newly-created
district would be new in every respect, including provisions for a board of education, school truces, debt limitations, administrative officials, and operational
procedures. Mr. Joslin stated that the new system could be constituted in a way
that would permit the addition of other :.;chool systems or parts of such systems
when ·and if the citizens affected so desi red.
No major legal difficulties need be involved in consolidating the t wo
systems according to Mr. Joslin.
He r ecommended that if a decision is made to
combine the two systems, consolidation would be better than merger.
If merger
were to be decided upon, fewer legal difficulties would be involved if the city
system joined the county system rather than if the county system joined the ci ty
system.
The Commission then tUined its attention to other aspects of the consolidation i ssue .
Considerable r esearch was conducted to deter mine the economic and
financial advantages and disadvant ages of unifying the t wo dist ricts.
The
Commission becrune greatl y interested in the educational implicat i ons of consolidation.
Thereafter, it viewed consoli dation primaril y in terms of opportuni-
ties which could be provided for improving education in the met ropolitan area.
After a careful study of the advant ages and disadvantages of consolidation,
the Commission decided that "consolidat i on is neither desirable nor practi cable
at this t ime . 11
I t went on to st ate that "consolidation will be much more feas-
ible , in our judgment, if and when (a ) the two separat e syst ems have adopted
s:iJnilar policies with respect t o kindergartens, (b) t eacher pay scales of the
two systems are either ident ical or at l east much closer together than at present,
( c ) citizens of the Fulton County school district have voted to eliminate the
Homestead Exemption for school operating true purposes, and (d) the Atlanta-Fulton
�s
County area has successfully passed through the impending school desegregation
crisis. 11 Stated another way, the Commission found itself favorably disposed
toward consolidation but did not believe the time was right for the transition
which would be required.
It stated that mere consolidation of the two school
districts~~ would be neither good nor bad.
The values of such a move lie
in whether or not better schools could be provided for the metropolitan area
than could be provided by two separate systems, and as economically.
However, the Commission did not. drop the idea of improving schools in the
metropolitan area by means of improved organizational arrangements.
It concluded
that a number of the advantages of consolidating the school systems could be
achieved through the creation of machinery for joint action and for the development of joint programs by the Atlanta and Fulton County boards of education.
Separate and independent action of the two boards on matters involving common
interests lack the strength of joint action and would be less economical in cost.
The search for ways to improve schools convinced the Commission that continuous
research and experimentation were necessary if the improvement program it recommended was to be successfully executed.
Furthermore, the demands on education
are such that continuous research and experimentation are essential for a
school program which is suf'ficiently up-to-date to meet current needs.
These
are examples of undertakings which would be more productive if engaged in j ointly
by the school systems rather than if each system developed its own separate
programs.
To achieve these purposes, the Metropolitan School Development Council was
created as a separate entity to serve both school systems and to be controlled
jointly by them.
The Council is the instrument through which many recommenda-
tions of the Local Education Commission have been achieved in full or in part.
Its success is a demonstration of the ability and willingness of the two boards
�6
of education and their professional employees to work cooperatively for better
schools.
The Council was viewed initially as a poss1ble intermediate step
toward eventual consolidation.
This assumption is supported by the success of
the Council.
The financial position of the Fulton County Board of Education rapidly deteriorated following the annexation program .of greater Atlanta which was completed in 1952.
After annexation was complete, only 28 per cent of the former
taxable wealth remained for the education of Fulton County public school students,
while the number of students remaining was
nexation.
50 per cent of the total prior to an-
School population in the County continued to increase at the rate of
about 7 per cent each year, thus creating capital outlay problems as well as
the necessity of increasing operational budgets.
By 1963-64, the Board of Edu-
cation found it necessary to reduce school support because there was no longer
tax leeway for increasing the school budget.
All bonding capacity for building
p"rposes had been utilized, also. · This dire situation prompted the Fulton County
Boa=d of Education to appoint a Study Commission of ten citizens of the County
to find ways and recommend ways to the Board for alleviating the financial crisis
whfoh gripped the schools.
The Commissi on projected school enrollments, capital outlay needs, and
operational budget needs for the Fulton County schools through the 1972-73
school year, assuming that schools of at least present quality were to be maintained.
Eleven different possibilities of financing the schools were considered,
all of which proved to be inadequate, if taken singly.
It recommended a combina-
tion of alternatives for financing the schools of Fulton County, but it expressed
grave concern for the future and recommended that the "study of what would be involved in merging the Fulton County and Atlanta school districts should be continued with a view to effecting such a merger when it is feasible."
�7
All of these· studies gave serious attention to consolidation and without
exception th0y concluded that the directions toward which the two school systems
should move lead to consolidation.
As stated in one of the reports, the question
seemed to be not whether there should be consolidation, but rather when should
consolidation be effected.
DIMINISIIDJG BARRIERS
In the meantime, certain of the barriers to combining the t wo school districts which were identified earlier have been either overcome or minimized.
The State Minimum Foundation Program has been modified in ways which will not
require a .financial sacrifice in state aid should the two districts be united,
as would have been t he case earlier.
The only loss would be the state alloca-
tion for the salary of one superintendent, about $6,700, and there may be gains
which would offset this loss, depending on the kind of new district to be created .
The level of financial expenditures of the t wo districts has been brought
cl oser · together, although troublesome differences r emain.
Questions concerning
kindergartens are perhaps t he most difficult.
The trends in school desegregat i on appear to be clearl y established. Whil e
citizens generally seem to accept desegregation as a reality, pr oblems which
accompany the actual integrat i on of schools a.re prof oundly complex and their
solutions a.re unclear.
However, whether one or two school districts exist in
Fulton County may be viewed as largely immaterial with reference to desegregation.
Perhaps the most important change is the growth of the two systems toward
the same basic assumptions concerning education and the increase in productive
cooperative efforts between the two systems.
This is progress toward the kind
of unity which is essential to physical consolidation.
�8
NEW Il1PERATIVES
Meanwhile, other transitions of great importance have been taking place.
Foremost among these is the widespread recognition that the provision of education of increasingly high quality is an essential requirement of all districts
if its people are to remain in the mainst ream. of modern civilization.
Neither
the schools of yesterday nor the schools of today will be adequate for tomorrow.
Cultural transitions are taking place ~ta rate of speed which quickly render
obsolete much of current education.
Intensive efforts to find the best ways of
providing the needed education are underway in many school districts.
The
national government is keenly aware of these needs as is evidenced by its increasing support of education at all levels.
Education is now recognized as the
only effective way of eliminating poverty, achieving worthy personal objectives,
and developing more satisfactory communities, states, and nations.
The continued rapid growth of the Atlanta metropolitan area is another major
f or ce which deepl y i nfluences the schools and how they should be organized.
A
population of three mill i on people i s pr ojected for the area by t he year 2000.
The basic structure of l ocal gover nment in t he area has thus f ar been relati vely
unaffected by this growth, except f or t he annexation program completed in 1952.
These units of government, including t hose f or schools, become increasingly
archaic as the metropolitan area continues its growth and development .
A major aspect of urbanization is the fact that as size increases so does
cultural diversity.
This complexity of interests and abilities necessarily in-
creases interdependence because a metropolitan area permits many kinds of specialization which are supplementary to each other and when taken together constitute
the entire area.
the whole.
Hence, the status of a given unit in such a complex affects
�9
This is why no part of a metropolitan area can afford a second-rate school
system.
Therefore, the present fiscal condition of the -Fulton County school
district is a concern of the entire metropolitan area and not simply of the
Fulton County school district alone. As pointed out above, a major imperative
is the inability of the present Fulton County school district to sustain an adequate progr am of education.
Since nothing has been done to alleviate the crisis
in school finance underscored in the 1963 study, this imperative becomes more
compelling.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT
Before taking a closer look at the question of consolidation, a brief discussion of school districts and their proper functions may be in or der.
The American concept of public education includes provisions for substantial
control of schools by local communities.
The local school district, a creature
of the state, was invented to enable people s erved by the schools to have a
voi ce in their purpose and government.
dist ricts in America.
There are thousands of local school
These district s vary greatly in size and i n population.
They are easily classified into different t ypes accor ding t o the kinds of schools
they provide.
Much study of school di stricts by authorities suggests the f ollowing criteria for an adequate district :
1.
I t should have enough children to educate to enable schools to funetion
effectively and economically.
2..
It should be a reasonably complete social and economic unit.
3. It should have taxable wealth adequate t o provide healthy .local support.
4.
It should have adequate bonding power for needed and anticipated capital
outlay.
�10
5.
It should have tax leeway for both current operations and capital
outlay.
6. It should have reasonable fiscal independence.
These criteria were applied to the Fulton County school district in the
1963 study. It was found that the district could meet only the first criterion.
It, therefore, by no stretch of the imagination could be judged as an adequate
school district~
On the other hand, the Atlanta school district meets all of
these criteria to a reasonable degree.
Atlanta has already recognized a degree
of responsibility for the Fulton County school district by supporting al½ mill
countywide 'tax for support of Fulton County schools.
If the two districts were
combined, the single district would be a sound and adequate district, if established on the basis of proper legal provisions.
REASONS FOR CONSOLIDATION
The foregoing discussion traces the historical development of consolidation
as an issue and reviews the findings and recommendations of previous studies as
they bear on the question.
Current developments and trends are also identified
and interpreted in relation to their impact on the structure of education in the
Atlanta metropolitan area.
These facts point clearly toward a single school
district.
But the really persuasive reasons which should be considered in making a
decision a.re concerned with consolidation as an instrument for achieving better
educational programs for the metropolitan area, a more equitable support basis
for the schools, and the provision of structural and procedural arrangements
which will facilitate the economic use of personnel and financial resources in
the ongoing development of more adequate education, and finally with the provision and stimulation of the research and experimentation which a.re essential
�11
in the continuous improvement of education in the metropolitan area.
These
educational advantages to consolidation are listed and briefly discussed in the
following pages.
A Better School District
Will Be Provided
The discussion above concerning the proper functions of a school district
and the characteristics of a sound district clearly justify this conclusion.
Furthermore., sound principles of political science as they relate to units of
local government support this conclusion.
In addition., maintaining and foster-
ing good relationships with other units of local government would be enhanced by
a single district.
These factors are obviously related to the ease and conven-
ience of governing the local schools.
Educational Opportunities~~
Equalized~ Easily
The American dream has long stressed the right of every individual to secure
an education. We now believe that every individual has the right to an education
appropriate to his purposes., interests., abilities., and needs.
Equality of edu-
cational opportunity., therefore, does not mean the same education for all., but
it does mean the same level of quality for all insofar as is possible.
The
extreme diversity of cultural interests and socio-economic backgrounds which .
are found in the metropolitan area of Atlanta., and in a..~y other metropolitan
area, require a wide range of educational programs adapted to these basic differences in people.
The
current nationwide concern for providing more realistic
educational programs for children in slum areas is an indication of this kind
of need.
The Atlanta district is vastly heterogeneous in composition., while
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,..
12
the Fulton-County .district is more homogeneous.
Combining the two would make it
possible to provide the variety of educational programs needed in a more economical and efficient manner.
The equalization of educational offerings in the present school districts of
Atlanta and Fulton County seems virtually impossible. A single district would
contribute much to making this a manageable taak· with minimum difficulties,
~
and Needed Edupational Programs Could
Be Provided More Economically
Neither school district has yet provided post-secondary education programs
for which there is great need.
Perhaps the fastest growing trend in American
education is the development of comprehensive junior colleges.
These institu-
tions provide two yea.rs of academic ,-rork either for terminal purposes or for
transfer to a senior college.
They also usually offer programs in vocational-
technical education and in adult education.
It is increasingly clear that con-
tinuing -education is a must for the adult citizen of tomorrow.
Furthermore, the
kind of world in which we live requires increasing amounts of education..
A
recent Educational Policies Commission report takes the position that we must
provide two years of education beyond the high school at public expense for all
high school graduates.
Fulton County is not financially able to provide junior colleges.
It would
not be tha most economical plan for each district to provide its own junior col•
leges.
A program for the metropolitan area would provide the best means of meet-
ing this emerging educational need.
The two districts have already found it
profitable to cooperate in the provision of vocational education as reflected by
the new vocational school which is to serve both districts and provisions for a
second such institution.
�13
~
Adequate 0,irricula
~
Special
Student Groups Can Be Provided
The variety of curricula required to meet the diverse edu,ca.tjooaJ. needs referred to abov.e means special -educational offerings for -small groups of selected
students.
Reference is made to groups o! children with serious physical handi-
caps, those suffering from severe mental retardation, children with extreme
emotional difficulties, the exceptionally bright, and those with unusual talents.
Since such programs are needed for only small numbers of children, they can be
provided more economically if the student population to be served is drawn from
the entire metropolitan area rather than if the two present school districts offer
duplicate programs.
Furthermore, the educational quality of offerings can be more
readily improved in a unified district.
Certain Educational Programs and Services
~ ~ Provided ~
Satisfactorily
The richness and depth of both t eaching and l earning are being enhanced by
new discoveries concerning human growth and development .
The cont ributions of
science to the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes is increasing at
a r apid r ate.
Integrating into curricula the accelerating flow of new and use-
ful subject matt er which the modern school program must offer if it is to remain
effective is an i ncr easingly difficult problem.
The modern school must be st affed by prof essional personnel who keep
up with
these continuing developments that affect their pr oductivity. Systemwide continuous career development programs for personnel have become a necessity.
This
is one type of educational service which can be provided better on a metropolitanwide basis rather than in terms of the present separate districts.
The develop-
ment and use of various learning resources and the appropriate utilaation of
�r·
14
technological advances in teaching can be stimulated and fostered better t hrough
a single school district.
Required Improvements in Educational Quality
~~Achieved~ Readily
The search f or better schools is a common thread running through all considerations involved in deciding the consolidation question.
Unless the ultimate
consequence of unifying the two school districts is a better quality of education,
there is little need to pursue the issue.
Improvements in financing schools in
administrative and supervisory services, and in the scope and variety of educational offerings can be justified only in terms of their educational impor t.
The concept of a metropolitan area which is basi c to the considerations of this
paper demand an educational program for the Atlanta metropolitan area and not a
seri es of separate and structurally unrelated programs.
The s earch f or educational quality is now both universal and continuous .
The pursuit of quality is compl ex in that i t i s concerned with everything that
has a bearing on t he educational programs offered by a school district.
The
unification of such efforts would certainly strengthen t he opportunities and
resources for enrichment of educational offerings.
Comprehensive, Long-Range Planning
Can Be More Effective
The increasing magni t ude of educational r esponsi bi lity has been st ressed.
The quantitative aspects of t his problem will cont inue t o increase.
Project ions
which have been made through the next several years show no letdown in the rate
of population growth.
The indicated increase in the educational load calls for
the most intelligent planning of which the people responsible are capable.
�Since this growth ignores school district lines, adequate planning for new enrollment must also ignore these lines insofar as actualities permit.
Compre-
hensive, long-range planning cannot be satisfactory if it is segmented on the
basis of school district lines which have no con.st.ruct.ive significance in the
context of the metropolitan area as a whole.
-
More Effective Solutions to Common
Educational Problems Are Possible
Educational problems are not confined to areas marked off by school district
lines, as has b~en emphasized. Some educational problems are unique to certain
types of districts, a.sis true of Fulton County and Atlanta.
But many such
problems are common to the districts of a.n area, state, region, or nation.
which are common seem to be on the increase.
Those
The school district which embraces
as nearly a self-sufficient socio-economic unit as is possible provides the best
structural framework for the consideration of educational problems.
Solutions
t o these pr oblems should not be restricted by artificial district lines which
i gnore t he facts of life.
A unified district would provide for a more construc-
t ive approach to problem solution than does the present dual appr oach.
This is
all the more important since most of the educational problems to be faced are
common to the two dist ricts .
~
Effective Research Programs Can
Be St imulat ed and Executed
As good schools have become more central to per sonal and community advancement, the place of research in education has become more apparent.
Sound analyses
of existing programs, the identif'ication and description of strengths and weaknesses, and the determination of grounds for change require research.
Planning
�16
ahead so that there will be adequate classrooms and teachers for the children
in school at the beginning of a given year rests back on sound research.
School
systems without strong research programs cannot achieve their maximum effectiveness.
The complexity of a metropolitan area and the interrelationship of roles
of its different segments require comprehensive research programs based on trends
and needs of the entire area rat.her than of subdistricts which are separate school
districts.
Furthermore., economy and wise management dictate the metropolitan-wide
approach to research.
Needed Experimentation~ Educational
Invention~ Be Achieved~ Readily
Major advances in our society depend heavily on invention and experimentation .
This fact is well recognized in the world of science and technology.
The role of
invention and experimentation in the improvement of social institutions such as
t he schools is equally critical. Schools like the world in which they exist
must change as their clientele changes . New cuITiculum materials must be developed
and t ested on experiment al bases. New knowledge of human gr owth and development
must be appl i ed t o teaching and l earning on experiment al bases. New teaching procedures and methods must be t ested through tryout and evaluation.
Heavy reliance
upon invention and experimentation are crucial to needed educational advancement.
There is no need for the school systems within the metropolitan area to engage
in separate programs of this nature.
The interests of both can be served .better
by unified programs., to say nothing of economies which could be effected.
�17
More Extensive Use of Selected Educational
Facilities and Lea.zning Resources Are Possible
Centers for acquiring, creating, distributing, and servicing curriculum
materials, filmstrips, video tapes, films, and the necessary equipment for appropriate use of these materials are becoming common.
The creation of teaching
materials for local use and on the basis of needs unique to the local situation
is an important function of these centers.
The use of television in teaching
and in professional development programs is increasing.
The needed facilities
for extensive television programs in the metropolitan area can be centered easily
in one location.
It would be foolish to duplicate the above in different school districts
serving the same metropolitan area.
A single center can provide a constant flow
of materials far richer and more comprehensive than would be possible with duplicate facilities in the separate dist ricts.
Equity and Balance of Financial Eff ort
and Support Can Be Achieved
An axiom of educational finance which is accepted universally is that wealth
should be taxed where it is i n or der t o educate children where they are.
The most
glaring deficiency in the structure of p1;_b lic education in the Atlanta area violates this axiom.
The center f or commerce and industry is the City of Atlanta.
Contributions of most Fulton County citizens to the economy of the metropolitan
area are made largely in the City of Atlanta where they do their work.
This
wealth enriches Atlanta primarily, although the earnings paid to the individual
may be spent wherever he chooses.
The contribution of the city to support of
s chools in the Fulton County district is al½ mill property tax.
The industrial
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18
wealth of the metropolitan area which is a major source of school revenue lies
largely within the City of Atlanta.
No equitable system of financial support and effort is possible which does
not take into account these economic facts.
A single tax program for schools
in the metropolitan area with the revenues distributed according to educational
need is the only satisfactory answer to t he financial dilemma of the Fulton
County schools.
This is Atlanta 1 s problem as well as Fulton County 1 s problem
because of the previously stressed interdependence of the metr opolitan area.
A s ingle school district would be the most simple and prudent way to achieve
this goal.
It should be pointed ouG that a new tax plan would be needed, for
Atlanta is approaching the situation of Fulton County under its present tax
system.
Greater Financial Stability is Possible
The disadvant ages of heavy r eliance on the property t ax f or the suppor t of
schools are well known .
The primary advantage is that revenues from property
taxes fluctuat e l ess than do r evenues f r om more s ensit i ve baromet ers of economic
health.
Desirable stability in the financial structure of a school system in
the final analysis is related to the s oundness of the economy and the fairness
of the system of taxation.
The better balanced the t ax pr ogram, the more stable
the financial base of the schools.
The more complet e the economic district or
area served by the school district as an economy in its oi-m right, the more
stable the local tax base for schools.
It goes without saying that combining the Atlanta and Fulton County districts into a single school system would provide a far sounder economic base for
year-to-year stability in school support.
�19
Economies are Possible
Consolidation cannot be justified as an economy measure, if this means an
actual reduction in expenditures.
Any plan for immediate unification of the
t wo districts would really cost more than the sum of the current budgets of the
t wo systems because cost s would be equaliz.ed upward instead of downward, assuming
the same quality of education is to be provided in the entire district.
Neverthe-
less~ some financial economies are poqsible because of the elimination of duplicate programs and services which can be handled better through single systems.
In this connection, special reference is made to experimentation and invention,
research, certain district- wide programs and services, specialized curricula for
small student groups , and others enumerated in the listing above.
These programs
could be pr ovided at higher quality levels on a unified basis at a lower unit
cost than would be possible in dual pr ograms.
However, t he gr eatest economic gain to consolidation would be in the creation
of opportuni ties to purchase more with the educational dollar rather t han i n the
utilization of f ewer educational dollars.
This kind of economy i s certainly t o
be sought and is of much greater :importance t han t he mer e saving of money .
A
good test of a s chool district is not how little money i t spends, but how much
education it buys for its expenditures.
The above i dentification and description of advantages t o consolidation
are predicated on certain assumptions concerning the new s chool district.
these assumptions are the following :
~mong
an adequate legal base for the new district
will be provided; an administrative structure which will make possible the necessary leadership for educational advancement in the metropolitan area will be
created; an adequate plan for financing the new school district will be adopted,
and emphasis on continuously improving educational quality and extending educational services will be continuedo
Consolidation as such is of no value.
It
�20
is valuable only as it results in educational advancement , but i t will not
guarantee such advancement.
EDUCATIONAL DISADVANTAGES OF CONSOLIDATION
Educational reasons why consolidation is not desirable must be viewed against
the backdrop of advantages.
It will then be possible to weigh the two sets of
reasons and detennine the course of action which offers the most promise for educational advancement in the metropolitan area.
It will be noted that reference
is made to educational disadvantages rather than to other disadvantages or
handicaps .which might have to be faced in effecting consolidation.
A careful study of the educational problems which might result from consoli~
dation indicates that such problems are related primarily to the factor of size
of the district.
Some of these problems are discussed below.
Difficulties~ Maintaining ~
Contr ol
The capacity of schools to make needed adaptations which t alce i nto proper
account t he educational needs of their neighborhoods is related to the size of
dist rict s.
Considerable uniformity of educational programs ,n t bin districts
has been traditional.
As a rule, the l arger districts off er a gr eater variety
of educational needs which r equire much variation in of ferings .
uniformity particularly undesirable in t hese di strict s .
This makes
Current efforts to
devel op more realistic school programs f or chil dren in slum areas of cities
is an example of the need f or differ ent kinds of pr ograms according to community backgrounds .
A r easonable degr ee of contr ol mus t be vest ed in the local
school community if these variations in educati onal needs are to be met.
Neigh-
borhood control gener ates local r esponsibi l ity, inter est and initiative which are
essential to good schools.
�21
Unhealthy Reliance on Bureaucracy
Where local control is missing, decisions are removed from the local scene .
Instead of the healthy exercise of community responsibility for schools , directives from the central office take the place of local initiative.
Thus , bureau-
cratic controls a,row up which inevitably stress uniformity and discourage the
community autonomy which has been one of the great strengths of public education
in America.
There is evidence to show that the larger the district the more ·
dependence is placed on unhealthy contr ol f r om central offices which are f ar
removed from the people.
Inadequate Invention and Experimentation
Many very large school districts have been notably l acking i n educati onal
invention and experimentation.
Some of the major current educational ill s of
our country are in the slums of large city distr icts wher e unt il r ecentl y littl e
effor t was made to creat e and t ry out school programs which would s erve these
areas more r ealist ically .
Innovation is difficult in situati ons which do not en-
courage the exercise of i ndivi dualit y .
patible.
Uni f ormity and invention are not com-
Excessive use of rules , regulations, and directives inhibit creativity.
Poor Communication
The diff i culties of maintaini ng s atisfacto ry channels of communicati on increase with the size of a school dist rict.
The threads which hold a school system
t ogether become tenuous as the di str i ct grows l arger.
Greater dependence must be
placed on formal and impersonal means of communicat ion in large districts.
Oppor-
tunities for misunderstanding and conflicting opinions are greater where personal
and informal contacts are missing.
�22
- - ----- ---- --Too Much Centralized Decision Making
-
The disadvantage of bigness in utilizing democratic participation in reaching decisions stems partly from the lack of an adequate structure to permit such
participation and partly from the slowness of action characteristic of large
units of government.
The fact that both the soundness of decisions and an
adequate understanding of their meanings are enhanced by participation in their
making is of great importance in effective teaching.
~£!Personal Identity
Many studies have shown that a close relationship exists between the productivity of a person and the degree to which he feels himself to be an integral
part of the enterprise which provides his employment.
The more he is made to
feel that he is but a mere cog in a machine, the more he acts as though this
were true.
There is no substitute for maintaining warm and personal relation-
srips in achieving satisfaction and success in one's work.
This kind of environ-
ment is very hard to maintain where large numbers of persons are involved.
The Atlanta and Fulton County school districts, if combined, would be
about eleventh in size among all districts in America.
In 1963- 64, the total
school enrollment in the two districts was 157,140, about one- sixth the enrollment in New York City which has more thar one million pupi:s and enrolls more
pupils than any other district in the Nation.
Both the Atlanta and Fulton County
districts have already reached the size of school systems which have suffered
from the ills described above.
Therefore, combi-:.t..ing the school districts would
scarcely create problems of bigness beyond those which already exist, if the
proper safeguards a.re observed in the creation and establishment of the new
district.
�23
Just as creating a single school district would not guarantee the educational
advantages discussed in this paper, neither would the ills described inevitably
follow.
Knowing the disadvantages to avoid should be sufficient forewarning to
assure the provision of an adequate legal base for the new district, satisfactory
administrative leadership, and sufficient financial support.
DIFFICULTIES IN ACHIEVING CONSOLIDATION
Transitions in political and civil structures are painful and tedious at
best.
Existing systems cling to life tenaciously and carry with them the strong
support of tradition and custom.
Creating a new school district is simple com-
pared to abolishing existing districts.
Basic difficulties fall into three classes:
standings, and operational.
legal, attitudes and under-
There may be numerous variations in each type of
difficulty in a particular situation where consolidation is undertaken.
Legal difficulties inhere in the necessity for making changes within the
limits of legal freedom to dissolve a given district and to create the necessary
legislation for establishing and setting into operation the new district.
This
problem is one which members of the legal profession must solve with the aid of
the General Assembly of the State in passing the legislation which has been determined as being necessary.
The handicap of conflicting attitudes and understandings is probably the
most difficult to overcome.
The question of consolidation must be resolved by
the electorate, in the final analysis.
Any move to consolidate will be inter-
preted in many different ways by citizens who already hold varying points of
view on the issue.
Any plan advanced to effect consolidation will be subjected
to abuse without understanding by interests who think their purposes will be
served best by maintaining the status quo.
Consolidation will be viewed as a
�•
scarcely know the difference after consolidation is achieved.
Children~
attending the same schools, which will be operated essentially as before and
~
taught by the same teachers.
Overcoming handicaps of this nature depends largely on the widespread dis- ,.
seminatioh of ad.equate information and the stimulation of discussion and examination of relevant facts.
One of the great strengths of our democracy rests in the
fact that people when properly informed on problems and issues will make wise
decisions.
Therefore, major tasks, if consolidation is undertaken, will be the
--
planning and carrying out of public information programs and arranging __for public,.___
. ._ _____
·---.
discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed plan.
The third difficulty is creation and implementation of needed operational
plans and procedures for the new school system.
The responsibility for this phase
of consolidation necessarily lies with the prof essional staf~ of the school system
and t he boa.rd of education.
The function of t he board of education will be t o
provide adequate pol i ci es f or bringing the new dist rict into full bl oom and continuing its operat i on on a sound basi s .
The professional staff will have many
separate but related tasks to undert ake in effecting a smoothly functioning new
\
district where two separate districts existed before.
While the two districts have drawn closer together in recent years and
have worked cooperatively on numerous projects and programs, there are still
differences in operational patterns and policies of the two school systems:
Some differences a.re in pension systems, retirement provisions, leave provisions,
sick leave policies, employment practices, salary schedules, pupil-teacher ratios
and, as pointed out earlier, differences in educational programs and services.
The new district would have ·to develop new policies on these and many other
matters.
These policies would have to be put in.to practice before the
\
\ ',
�consolidation move is completed and a success.
This constitutes a -tremendous-
professional job for the staff and requires ..infinite patience and careful
planning.
None of these difficulties are insurmountable. Good will, good judgment,
an<;l hard work are the essential ingredients of success,
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE NEW DISTRICT
The Atlanta district consists of 128.395 miles of which B. 420 miles lie in
DeKalb County.
territory.
The Fulton County school district includes 420 square miles of
Therefore, the two districts, if consolidated~ -would make a single
district of 548.395 square miles of which 539.975 square miles would be in
Fulton County proper.
The new district would have had a population of 632,600 an April 11 1964,
of whom 126,400 were in Fulton County and 506,200 in Atlanta, including 43,900
who live :in DeKalb County. School enrollment for the f all of' 1964 would be about
145,000 pupils.
Professional personnel in the <lis-trict would number nearly
5,500 individuals. Other s chool employees would add up to just under 3,000 persons,
The district would contain 170 elementary schools and 35 high schools, plus
two night high schools.
The elementary schools are now located as follows,
118
in Atlanta, and 52 in Fulton County. Of the regular high schools, 24 are in
Atlanta and 11 in Fulton County.
The school budget would be nearly 60 million dollars per year, based on
bringing expenditure levels of the present Fulton County School District up to
current Atlanta levels, including the provisions of kindergarten.
The school tax digest would be $1,355,500,000.
as follows:
This is currently divided
$151,500,000 in the Fulton County district and $1,203,500,000 in
the City of Atlanta.
'.IMP:jp
September 29, 1964
�PROPOSED BUDGET
FOR
ATLANTA-FULTON COUNTY
LCCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
Items of Expense
Total
Yeat
196-5
Legal and Consultant Services
$ 20,000
1966
I
2b;Od
()
$ 40,000
Secretarial Services
4,5d0
4,
sbo
9,000
Coordinator for Commission
6,000
6,000
12,000
Research Coordinator
9,000
3,000
12,000
Travel and Subs i stence
2,500
2,500
5,000
Printing a nd Supplies
1,000
2,000
3,000
240
240
480
2, 500
2,500
5,000
$ 45,740
40,740
$ 86, 480
Telephone
Contingencie s
T0rALS
November 19, 1964
�MINUTES
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
DECEMBER 11, 1964
The Local Education Commission met Friday, December 11, 1964,
at 2:00 p.m., in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration
Building with the following members present:
Mr. P. L. Bardin
Mrs. Alan Ritter
Mr. Otis Jackson
Mr. Wallace Stewart
Mr. Allen Kiepper
Mr. Kenneth Stringer
Jvtr. Earl Landers
Mr. William Teems
Dr. John W. Letson
Mr. Fred J. Turner
Mr. Thomas Miller
Dr. Paul D. West
The minutes of the October 2, 1964, meeting of the Local Education
Commission were read and adcpted.
The report entitled, "ONE DISTRICT FOR ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
SCHOOL SYSTEMS? ;' , which was presented by Dean Pierce at the October 2
meeting was discussed briefly.
Mr. Otis Jackson moved that the
report be accepted and thereby place the Commission on record as
endorsing the position that the two school systems should be combined .
Mr. Turner seconded the motion which carried unanimously.
The question was raised concerning the number of Commission
members required to constitute a quorum .
Mr. Bardin read the following
portion of Section 2 of the House Resolution No . 505-12 46, "A majority
of the persons serving as members of the Commission shall constitute
a quorum to do business but a less numbe r may ad journ from time to
time. " · He then ruled that t en members would constitute a quorum
whether they were all voting members or not.
A letter from Mr . L. H. Newsome stating that he had moved f r om
Atlanta was read .
Dr . Ruf us Clement was unanimous ly elected to
r eplace him.
Mr . Otis J ackson gave a br i e f r eport of the trip made to Char lotteMecklenburg, North Carol ina , School Sys tem on Novembe r 4, 1 964.
Bardin and Dr. Le t s on made t h is tri p a l so.
Mr.
Mr. Jackson r eported that
�-2-
all of the people contacted in Charlotte s eemed to be well pleased
wi~':t the new s chool organh:ation and would not exchang·e -it for the
old structure .
Mr. J acks on point ed out that comb ining the North
Carolina systems did not require as many changes in l egal and
financial structures as wilJ. b e required for Atl anta and Fulton
County.
Financi al expenditure s h ave not been decreased thr ough combining
the systems because salari e s and othe r s e rvices have been adjusted
upward.
Although operat:ng t he new system required more money than
was required for the two s yst emG , t he represent at ive s contacted
be lieve that much better s e r vi c es a re now be ing provided and that
in general, the educati ona l o;)por tuni t i e s a re of a higher quality.
The publ'c r e l ations a sp ect of the cons olidation was very important.
Considerable ef f ort was devoted to f orming small discussion groups
and other structures through whi ch c it i zens wer e informed about
combining the systems.
A compl ete wr i t t en r eport of the p r ocess of
combining the two systems is not availabl e .
A t entative budget for the yea r s 1965-66 fo r the sum of $86,480
was submitted to the Comrnission.
It was pointed out that $10,000 of
this amount had been appr opri ated by the At lanta and the Fulton
C01.at y School Sys t ems .
Howeve r, app roxi mat e ly $4 ,000 was spent for
oper ating expens es duri ng 1 964 .
Mr. Turner expressed an opini on that every ef f ort possibl e should
be made by the County and the City to finance t he Commission's study
and that if funds are not avai l abl e loca lly , then financial assistance
should be sought elsewhere.
Mr. Teem moved that t he budget be adopted as presented and that
it be entit l ed a tentative operating budge-:t.
The motion was seconded
by Mr. Stewart and carried unanimous ly.
Places to secure f unds for the budget were ident ified and the
urgency for contacting foundations early in the year was stressed.
Mr. Teem made the motion that the Ford Foundation be approached as
a first step in a~tempting to obtain finances for the operation of
the Commission.
If t he proposal i s not r e ceived favorably by the Ford
�,
-3-
Foundation, then other sources should be contacted.
seconded by Mr. St ewart and passed unanimously.
The motion was
It was agreed that
in the meantime, the respective local governments and agencies
should be notified that the C;orrmi_ .:; .,:i. on m2.y e.sk them for funds to
complete ~he st,~dy.
Mr. Eardin stated that Corrunission funds are now handled by the
Comptroller of the Atlanta School System.
He stated that Mr. Holley
could continue to handle the funds but that Mr. Stringer, as SecretaryTreasurer of the Cornmission,would authorize expenditures and make
financial reports to the Comrnission.
The Commission would approve all
1-:i. rge expenditures but out of pocket funds could be authorized by
Mr. Stringer or, in his absence by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman.
Mr. Thomas Mil l er moved that this procedure be adopted.
Mr. Stewart
seconded the motion which passed unanimously.
Dean Pierce then gave a report on the Interim Report whir.his to
be filed with the Representatives of Fulton and DeKalb Counties and
the Senators of the 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd
and 43rd Districts in the General Assembly of Georgia and with che
Clerks of the superior courts having jurisdiction in Fulton ,md DeKalb
Counties and with the City Clerk of the City of Atlanta on the first
day of the next session of the General Asse:mJ:;ly following January l, 1965.
Mrs. Ritter moved that the report be accept ed.
The motion carr~ed
unanimously.
It was agreed that legal services be delayed until after monies
to fund the budget have been obtained.
The meeting was ad journed at 3:40 p .m.
ECH:dh
December 30, 1964
�-

~
~
JAC K ETHERIDGE
F"ULiON COUNTY
ll!l26 F"ULTON F"ED. BLOG.
- - · - ~ ,;n, I
A T LANTA;- GEORGI ,___ _ _ _ _
-'-- - - --"-
MEM BER COM MITTE E S:

---·
I AdO ::J LJ
EOUCATION
~ - -, ~}:.,~ - iJOOICIARY
VICE-CHAIRMAN
LOCAL AF"F"AIRS
Sue-COMMITTEE
(EDUCATION)
COM M ON SCHOOLS
i;nusr nf iltrµrrsrntatiur.a
ii.nu.at C!!(Jttmbtr
Atlanta
Janu ary 29 , 1965
M r . P . L. Bardin
Ban k o f G e o rgia Building
Atlanta, Georgia
Dear Mr . Bardin:
R e: Interim R eport of the Local E d ucati on Co mmi ss ion
I have read the Commission ' s Interim Report with great interest and encouragement.
One concludes that little question remains as to the need to move promptly toward
consolidation of the Atlanta and Fulton County systems .
As I understand it , there is a great need to co ntinue the w o rk of the C ommission
during the coming year for the purpose of preparing appr o priate legi s lation
and making additional necessary studies.
Whatever might be proposed by this Commission must be of n e cessity pre sented to
the Fulton and DeKalb l egislative delegations. My experience has been that it is a
mistake for legislation as complex as this, to be presented to the delegation within
only a few days or weeks of the session . For that reason, I am writing not only to
congratulate you and others upon this interim report, but to urgently call your
attention to the absolute need to have l egislation prepared well in advance of the •
nex t session.
It would seem to me that unless th e drafting of the appropriate legislat ion can be
completed by at least Septem ber or October of this year, the Commission might well
risk the loss of an entire additional year in seeing these statutes enacted. I am
quite certain that you are conscious of this problem, yet as one who has had some
exper i ence in seeking to deal with legislation that is either hastily prepare d or
presented to the d e legation a t the eleventh hour, I feel it is important for all of the
�A
...
~
-
- - - , Ad00;-
IJ
0~3 X 1
Mr. P. L : Bardin
Page Two
January 29, 1965
members of the Commission to be aware of this important consideration for the
planning · of the Commission's work.
Permit me to express to all those having a part in this important study my
genuine appreciation.
Sincerely,
Q~
V
ack Etheridge
JE:lr
cc: Members of the Local Education Commission
,.. .
�MINUTES
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
FEBRUARY 26, 1965
The Local Education Connnission met Friday, February 26, 196~ at 2
P. M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with
the following members present:
Mr. P. L. Bardin
Dr. Rufus Clement
Mr. Alan !U :!pper
Dr. John Let son
Dr. James }filler, Jr.
Mr. Thomas Hiller
Mrs. Allen Ritter
Mr. Kenneth Stringer
Mr. William Teem, III
Mr. Fred Turner
Dr. Paul West
Dr. Rufus Clement was introduced and welcomed as the new member of
the Connnission.
Minutes of the December 11, 1964, meeting were read and approved.
Mr. Stringer presented the bill from Dr. Truman Pierce for consultant
services and expenses f rom July 1, 1964, through January 1, 1965, which totaled
$2,585.60($2,400 consultant services, $185.60 expenses). Mr. Stringer moved
that the bill be pai d. Hr. Fred Turner seconded the motion which passed
unanimously.
Mr. 3ardin briefly reported on a letter from Representative Jack
Etheridge concerning the Interim Report . He also read a portion of t he
letter from Mr . Leonard Robinson expressing apologies for being absent as
much as has been necessary and sugge sting that the Connnission reconnnend that
the present Fulton County and Atlanta Schools be divided into two equal
district s.
·
Mr. Turner expressed disappointment that the Connnission had received
only two letters since the approval of the Interim Report. He said he had
hoped that there would be considerably more interest in the work of the
Connnission than the two letters reflect.
Mr. Kiepper stressed the b r:portance of completing the report of the
Connnission in time for the legislators of Fulton County and DeKalB County .
to become thoroughly familiar with it before the first meeting of the next
General Assembly. He st a t ed that his experience has been that legislators do
not have t ime for very many meetings and discussion periods after the General
Assembly convenes.
Dr. Letson reported t hat Hr . Ed Meade, Jr . from the Fund for the
Advancement of Education had been contacted to ascertain interest in
financing the current study of the Local Ec ucation Connnission . It was
Mr . Meade's opinion that the foundation would not be interested in such a
project. No formal request has been made but could be if the Connnission
de sires.
�:V.ir. Bardin reported that Dr. Pierce 1 s original contract expired in
January of 1965, and recorrnnended conti nuing it. Mr. Thomas Miller r.~oved that
Dr. Pierce 1 s services be continued until the f i rst meeting date of the 1966
General AssenbJ_y at a fee not t o e1:c eed $3, 000 plus expenses. The motion
was seconded by Mr. r ennet h Stringer and passed unanimously.
It was agreed that if Dr. Pierce I s servic.es are needed beyond that
date this could be arranged by m·tual consent.
Mr. Bardi n stated that during the past month or so some questions
and points have been raised concerning whether the Commission should continue ·
with the same course of action. There ·seems to be considerable agreement
that, if voted on today, the voting public would turn down the proposal to
combine the two systens. This raises questions concerning how the Commission
should proceed. He then suggested that t he Conunission deviate somewhat from
earlier plans and develop only a broad general outline for combining the two
systems. This skeleton outline will be presented to the representatives as
soon as this session of the General Assembly is over. Suggestions from the
representatives will be included in the final draft of the report of the
Connnission.
Hrs. ~i tt er asked what has happened to cause the Commission to consider
c';,eviating from its preYious position. It was pointed out that the people
must decide whether the systems will be co1:ibined and, currently, it is believed that they vould defeat such a proposal. Also, funds to finance an
elaborate s tudy have not been forthcoming; some teacher groups are speaking
out a gainst combining the systems; and, the amount of work involved i n developing a comprehens ive detailed outline would be somewhat meaningless
unless there wa s some assure.nee that the plans could be in.plemented. It
seems bes t to get approval of the i dea bef ore some of the specifics ar e
developed. For exanple, to draft all of t he bills required to merge the
respective ret ireoent sys tems would be an unnece ssary expenditure of funds
and energy unle ss agreement had been reached t hat the two systems would be
combined.
hr . Turner pointed out that we need to discuss t he entire i ssue wit h
t eachers in both systems so that they will be well informed. Dr. Letscn
stated that before these di scussion grovps can be meaningful., certain
questions oust be answered. For e:;~nple, it should be det ermined if adequat e_
finances wil l be available on a long range basis to operate n combin3d
system equal to or better than what each system now has.
Dr. tvest said that in his discussion with County teachers he had
focused attention upon the need of cor.1bining the two systems, the need f or
additional finances and the point that t he City was not trying to usurp the
County's prerogat ives. Also, he had pointed out that it would require several
years to develop all the details for combining the systems into an entirely
new system. One sys t em would not be absorbed into the other.
(2 )
�It was agreed that a skelet on report should b~ developed which would
outline the steps to be taken t o combine the two systems and provide adequate
information necessary to ~~ke intelligent decisions. This report should
anticipate pertinent questions and atte:-:1pt t o answer them. For example, the
report should st a t e that the pens~on pl2~s currently in operation are not
actuarially sound. If the syst ems cor~ined, the retirement benefits for
any teacher will not be reduced because of joining the two systems. Other
points which must be presented pertain t o the salaries, financing the new
system, addi tiinal non-ad valor em taxes, t:L-:.1e tables for certain phases of
the program to be completed, the selection of ~card Me:obers and other pert5~ent infon,ation.
After this report has been complet ed the Corrnnission will review it
and make suggestions. Then the report will be reviewed by the two Doards
of Education and by the representatives fror.1. Fulton and DeKalb counties.
Suggestions fron the various groups will be incorporated into the final
draft of the Cor.nnission's report.
Hr. Fred Turner then made the mo·cion that the skeleton outline with
appropriat e information be developed and presented to the Commission for
approval and to the two Boards of Education and the representatives from
Fulton and DeKalb count ies f or suggestions. The motion was seconded by Mr.
Teem and passed unanir.1ously. Mr . Teem ' s suggestion that the report also
show the cos-: for operating a cor.1bined system for a period of time, the cost
for operating the two syst ems separately for the same period of time and the
combi ned cost of operating each syst em separately was accepted.
Mr . Bardin di scussed a letter from Dr . Jerry Hiller requesting that
a talk outline concerning combining the two systems be developed. Mr . Alan
Kiepper stat ed that all of t he pertinent decisions of the Commission to date
were included in the Interim Report which he had used as a basis for speeches.
Dr. Pierce surmnarized his i nt erpretations of the decisions made during
the meeting. They are as follows:
a.
b.
c.
The earl ier decisi on of t he Commissi on in favor of a single
school dist rict is unchanged but procedures and next steps are
t o be modified according to the discussion today;
A skeleton plan for conbining the two school systems shot'l d be
developed which will give attent ion to the :r.iany vi tal quest ions
which shocld be answered before the vot ers can mke an obj ective
decisi on on the i ssue, and
This plan will be revi ewed by t he Commission, the boards of educat i on, and the members of t he General Assembly from Fulton and
Der~l b c ounties. Thei r suggestions will be sought and gi ven
consideration i n the f inal repor t of the Commission.
The meeting was ad journed at 4 P. H.
ECH:cw
March 4, 1965
Recor ding Secr etary
Approved by: ___________
Chairman
(3)
�MINUTES
LOCAL EDUCATION CO:MMISSION
August 23, 1965
The Local Education Corranission met Monday, August 23, 1965, at
2:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building
with the following members present:
Mr. P. L. Bardin
Mr. J. H. Cawthon
Dr. Rufus Clement
Mr. Otis Jackson
Mr . Alan Kiepper
Mr. Earl Landers
Dr. James L. Miller, Jr.
Mr. Leonard Robinson
Mr. Walley Stewart
Dr. Paul West
Mr. James White, Jr.
Mr . Otis Jackson, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order and
stated that the purpose of the meeting was to take action upon the
report mailed to the members since the meeting on May 27.
Dr. Pierce said that the revised report included suggestions
presented during the last Commission meeting. He then asked for
reactions to the report, suggestions which would strengthen the overall
report and editorial conunents.
Mr. Robinson stated that he wanted to go on record as opposing
combining the two systems. This position is based upon his experience
as a member of the Fulton County Board of Education and the National
School Boards Association. He stated that many advantages of merger
could be realized through expanding the coope~ative efforts of the two
systems through the Metropolitan School Development Council, but that
each system could maintain its identity.
Mr. Bardin conunented that the Commission had studied the evidence
and had arrived at the conclusion that merger would be best for the two
systems involved. It is possible that there are many individual points
which may not be enhanced, but the overall picture for both systems wo\]ld
be improved if they were combined.
Dr. Jerry Miller stated that it was his understanding that the study,
Financing Education in the Fulton County School District 11 , pointed out
that the Fulton County School System could operate only for a few more
years at the present level of quality and effectiveness without additional
revenue. Efforts must be started now to combine the two systems or Fulton
County may suffer many years before the two systems could be joined.
11
�- 2 -
Mr. James White called attention to the fact that the Commission
must take a position and moved that the report, which recormnends that
the two systems be combined, be accepted as presented. The motion
was seconded by Mr. Walley Stewart.
After discussing many points pertaining to the pros and cons of
combining the two systems, the Commission passed the motion by a vote
of six to one. Those voting for the motio~ were Mr. P. L. Bardin, Dr.
Rufus Clement, Mr. Otis Jackson, Mr. Walley Stewart, Dr. Jerry Miller,
and Mr. James White; opposed, Mr. J. H. Cawthon; Ex Officio Members
not voting were Mr. Alan Kiepper, Mr. Earl Landers, Dr. J. W. Letson,
Mr. Leonard Robinson, and Dr. Paul West.
The question was again asked if the Fulton County School System
could afford to wait until it was faced with a serious financial crisis
before starting action to merge the two systems. If this occurs the
situatio~ may be beyond the control of local leadership.
It was pointed out that the Commission recognizes problems faced
by the two school systems and has made the recormnendation which seems to
be best for both. Whether or not the systems are merged will depend
upon the local leaders and the voters.
Mr. White stated that the Commission could go no further with
specific recormnendations pertaining to new finances and other related
problems without extensive legal advice. This would require additional
funds. The wishes of the Legislature will dictate if this is accomplished.
It was agreed that Dr. Pierce would edit the report in terms of the
suggestions presented during the meeting; that a copy of the revised
report be sent to all members of the Atl~nta and Fulton County Boards
of Education and to the members of the Local Education Commission; and
that a meeting of the Boards of Education and the Commission be held at
2: 00 P.M. on Monday, September 20, 1965.
Minutes of the May 27 meeting were approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 P.M.
ECH:cw
August 31 , 1965
Recording Secretary
Approved by:.. . .,___________
a.
_
�E~ OPO IT AN SCH OL D::=VEL P _ENT COU TCI
C ity of Atlanta and Fu lton Co un y B oards of Education
22 4 Central A ve., S.W.
Atlant 3, Georgia
EXECUTIVE CO:'½MITTEE
COU1 ' CIL ST/,F F
Oby T . Brewer, Jr. co -chairman
W . L. . obinson , co -chairman
John \V. Letson
P.1u D. West
Glenn Frie
L. Ml rvin Rive rs
E. Curtis Hc:i so::i
C oo rc!:r. c !., ~
G i. crt E. T l t: f. :i e: .
Executive D ir.-c : :,c c.f
Educational Broa casr in g
Augus t 27, 1965
To :
Membe s of t he Local Education Commi ssi n
From :
Curtis Henson, Recording Secreta y
The ne_xt meeting of the L cal Educati on Commiss ion will
be held on Mor day , September 20, 1965, at 2 :00 P. M. in
the Board Room of the Fult on County Administration Building .
During this meetin the repo t of t he Commission will be
revi ewed with the Atlanta ar..d Ful t on County Bo:1.rds of Education .
0
ECH :cw
�Hifl.'lJTES
LOCAL EDUCATION CONMIS.SION
M-4.Y 27, 1965
The Local Education Commission met Thursday, May 27, 1965
at 2:30 Pi M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration
Building with the following members present:
Mr. P. L. Bn.rdin
Mr. Leonard Robinson


V.r. Otis J-'."1~!~son


Mr. Wallace H. Stewart
Mr. Alan Kiepp'::r
Mr. Keru1eth Stringer
Dr. John Letson
Hr. William Teem, III
Dr. Paul West
Dr. Jaines Miller, Jr.
YII's. Alan Ritter
}fi.nutes of the February 26th meeting were read and approved.
Mr. Bardin stated that during the meeting on February 26th,
the Commission asked Dr. Pierce to develop
skeleton plan for
combining the two school systems and to present it at the next
Connnission meeting. ·
a
Dr. Pierce said he had prepared a rough draft which he thought
could serve as the bases for the final report of the Conunission and
as a resource document for speeches, discussion groups, news releases
and related purposes. He invited Commission members to ask questions
or. make comments as he reviewed the draft.
After many points which might be included, omitted or changed
in the report had been discussed, 11r . Bardin called attention to
the purpose of the meeting. He stated that the Commission was to
· receive the report and take appropriate action so that it could be
reviewed with Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education and t he
repr esentatives from Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
Dr. Jerry Hiller, Jr. then made the motion that the Commission
express its confidence in the work Dr. Pierce has done t hus f ar;
that Dr. Pierce take i nto account the many points discussed during
the meeting and rewrite the draft and that a copy be sent t o the
member s of the Commission before t he next meeting and if approved
by t he Commissi on, the r eport will t hen be discuss ed with the
Atlant a and Fulton County Boards of Education and t he representatives
from Ful ton and DeKalb Counties.
The motion was s econded by Mr . Walley Stewar t and pas sed
unanimously.
The meeting was ad j ourned at 4:30 P. M.
ECH:cw
June 7, 1965
Recording Secretary
Approved by: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __
Chairman
�..... . -
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36
TABLE II
ESTIMATED ANNUAL SCHOOL BUDGETS OF THE ATLANTA
AND FULTON COUNTY DISTRICTS
1965-1970
Atlanta
Years
Fulton County
Total
.
1965-66
~~
$46,713,125
$13,891,184
$60,604,309
1966-67
51,104,159
15,002,479
66,106,638
1967-68
55,907,949
16,202,677
72,110,626
1968-69
61,163,297
17,498,891
78,662,188
1969-70
66,912 , 647
18,898,802
85,811,449
-i~
Actual
�,,
.
·
ROUGH
DRAFT
SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION FOR EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT
IN THE ATLANTA METROPOLITAN AREA
Tentative Report
of the
Local Education Commission
of
Atlanta and Fulton County
Georgia
�t
-"
...
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
Thomas M. Miller
. P. L. Bardin, Chairman
Otis M. Jackson, Vice Chairman
W. Kenneth Stringer, Secretary
Mrs. A. L. Ritter
&
Treasurer
Wallace H. Stewart
Dr. R. H. Brisbane
William M. Teem, III
J. H. Cawthon
Fred J. Turner
Dr . Rufus E. Element
James White, Jr.
Dr. James L. Miller, Jr.
EX-OFFICI O
Dr . John W. Letson
Dr. Paul D. West
Oby T: Brewer, Jr.
W. L. Robinson
Earl landers
Alan Kiepper
STAFF
Dr . Truman Pierce, Co-Coordinator
Dr. Curtis Hens on, Recording Secretary
�r
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I.
IL
III.
IV.
v.
VI.
VIL
VIII.
IX.
x.
XL
INTRODUCTION.
.....
. . .. .
1
WORK OF THE COMMISSION
2
REVIEW OF PREVIOUS STUDIES
3
ADVANTAGES OF A SINGLE DISTRICT
.....
5
DISADVANTAGES OF A SINGLE DISTRICT .
16
DECISION OF THE COMMISSION
20
NEXT STEPS.
....
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
.....
....
....
....
21
22
AFTER THE REFERENDUM?
29
DEVELOPMENTS SINCE CREATION OF THE COMMISSION
32
APPENDIX.
.. ................
34
�SCHOOL DISTRICT ORGANIZATION FOR EDUCATIONAL
ADVANCEMENT IN THE METROPOLITAN AREA
INTRODUCTION
The present generation is witnessing a revolution in education.
Underlying causes of this revolution include social and economic changes
of unparalleled speed and magnitude, the development of an immensely complex
society and a rapidly accelerating accwnulation of useful knowledge.
No
useful role for the uneducated remains and the cost of ignorance is more
-
than society can afford.
The necessity for all persons to secure more edu-
cation of higher quality than ever before and to continue the quest for
learning throughout ·life becomes more apparent with each passing year.
Major characteristics of the educational revolution are:
enrolling
children in school at an earlier age, extending the upper limits of formal
schooling, providing programs of education adapted to the cultural background
of the student in order to equalize educational opportunity, an enormous increase in the kinds and amounts of instructional materials, use in school of
a larger nwnber and variety of specialists, technological advances which enhance the effectiveness of teaching, improvement in organization for teaching
and improvement in the quality of teaching.
Fast growing dimensions of
school systems include junior colleges, vocational-technical schools , early
childhood education programs and adult education programs.
Additions and improvements in schools are greatly increasing the cost of
education.
Upward trends in cost will continue into the indefinite f uture if
schools are to meet the demands placed upon them by the public.
�2
The revolution in education places a premium on wise, long-range planning by school districts.
Metropolitan areas with their population growth
and diversity of educational need pose difficult problems which require
much study.
Careful long-range plans for educational advancement are essen-
tial in these districts as in others if schools ar e not to suffer in the
future.
School personnel, members of boards of education and other citizens
in the metropolitan area of Atlanta are well aware of these conditions and
are giving thought to the further advancement of education in the area.
Such planning for the future was given official status by the General
.
Assembly of Georgia in 1964 when it created the Local Education Cormnission
of Atlanta and Fulton County.
The Cormnission was authorized,
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 Cormnission 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.
WORK OF THE COMMISSION
The tasks a ss igned by the General Assembly to the Cormnission were both
formidable and complex.
After considerable study, a plan was adopted through
which the responsibilit ies of the Cormnission were to be discharged.
This
plan was revi s ed fr om time to time as the study progr essed and modifications
could improve t he study.
Ther e follows a description of the work of the
Cormniss ion organi zed into a ser ies of steps.
1.
A review of pr evi ous studies relevant to the functions of the
Cormnission.
2.
A study of social, ec onomic and educational t r ends in the met ropolitan area of Atlanta .
�3
3.
A study of developing educational needs and programs.
4.
A study of the Atlanta and Fulton County schools with particular
attention to finance.
5.
An analysis of the educational reasons which support the creation
of a single school district.
6.
An analysis of the disadvantages of a single school district.
7.
The identification and description of steps necessary to create
a single school district.
8.
Tasks which should be completed in effecting a transition from
the present districts to a single district.
9.
Deciding on whether to reconnnend a single district.
Throughout the entire course of the study the overriding concern of the
Connnission has been to reach the decision that would serve the best interests
of those to be educated in the Atlanta and Fulton County school districts.
The deliberations of the Connnission and the more relevant information
considered in these deliberations are sunnnarized briefly in the following
pages.
REVIEW OF PREVIOUS STUDIES
The charge of the General Assembly to the Connnission springs from a
background which spans years of citizen concern for good schools in the
Atlanta metropolitan ar ea .
During these year s , several special studi e s·
of the metropolitan area have paid attention to the schools and their problems of advancement .
The Local Government Connnission of Fulton County recommended in 1950 a
Greater Atlanta Development Pr ogram.
The r eport of the Connnission i ncluded
�4
reference to the schools and the possibility of merging the Atlanta and
Fulton County school districts.
It took the position that merger was ulti-
mately desirable, but not at that time because of differences in expenditure
levels and school programs of the two districts.
The General Assembly created a Local Education Connnission in 1958 to
study the two school systems and to submit a plan or plans for their improve-
ment to members
of the General As~embly from Fulton and De"Kalb Counties.
This Connnission also studied the question of merging the two school systems
and concluded that while this would be desirable in the future, it was
neither desirable nor practicable at that time.
It ·recommended the creation
of a Metropolitan School Development Council which would make it possible to
achieve some of the advantages of consolidation.
The proposed council was
established and has become an effective instrument for carrying out joint
programs of the two school systems.
Among these programs are the following:
the- Juvenile Court School, Educational Broadcasting, Public Information
Services and In-Service Education.
The Fulton County Board of Education appointed a study connnission in
1963 to find and recommend ways to the Board for overcoming the financial
crisis in which the Fulton County Schools found themselves because of the
Atlanta annexation program recommended by the Local Government Connnission
in 1950 and carried out in the early fifties.
As a result of the annexation
program, 72 per cent of the t axable wealth of the Fulton County School
District and nearly 50 per cent of the students were annex ed by Atlanta.
The report of this Commission also took the position that merger of the
school districts should take place when feasible and recommended that steps
be taken to determine what would be involved in bringing about a single
district.
�5
Thus, all studies of education or which have concerned themselves with
education in Atlanta and Fulton County since 1950 have given serious consideration to the creation of a single school district in place of the two
existing districts.
All studies have taken the position that this step
should be undertaken when feasible.
Meanwhile, the two districts have
grown closer together in levels of financial support and in educational
programs.
Furthermore, there has been a marked increase in the number of
cooperative undertakings in pursuit of common interests.
However, differ-
ences remain which would have to be reconciled if a single district is
created . ..
ADVANTAGES OF A SINGLE DISTRICT
Major advantages of a single district over the two present districts
number fifteen.
There follows a statement of each advantage and a brief
discussion of its meaning.
A Better School District
Will Be Provided
Adequate criteri a for det ermining t he soundnes s of a school dist rict
have been developed by educational authorities .
These criteria are con-
cerned wi th such thi ngs as a suff icient number of children in the di str ict
t o be educat ed
to a s sure reasonable educational effectivenes s and cost
economy, adequacy of the distr ict as a unit of local government , availability of a n a dequat e local tax ba s e , a dequate bonding capacit y, r eas onabl e
tax leeway and some degree of fiscal independence.
When these criteria are
applied to the present districts of Atlanta and Fulton County, neither is a
�6
satisfactory district.
Fulton County meets only- one of the six criter±a,
the number of children to be educated.
When the two districts are combined,
the resultant district is much more adequate than is either when considered
separately.
./
In addition, maintaining and fostering good relationships with other
units of local government would be enhanced by a single district because its
boundaries would correspond to those of the county.
These factors are ob-
viously related to the ease and convenience of governing the local schools.
Educational Opportunities Can Be
Equalized More Easily
The right of every individual to secure an education is inherent in a
democracy.
The modern definition of this right• is that every individual
must secure an education appropr iate to his purposes , interests, abilities
and needs.
Equality of educational opportunity, ther ef or e, does not mean
the same education f or all, but it does mean the same level of quality f or
all ins ofar as t his is possible.
The extreme diversity of cultural i n-
terests and backgrounds which are f ound i n the metropolitan area of Atlanta ,
and in any other metropol itan area, require a wide range of educational
programs adapted to these ba sic dif ferenc es in people .
Current nationwide
concern for providing more realistic educat i onal pr ograms f or children in
slum areas is an indication of this kind of need.
.
The Atlanta district is
heterogeneous i n composition whi le the Fulton Count y dis trict is more homogeneous.
Combining the two would make it possible to provide the variety of
educational programs which are needed in a more economical and efficient
manner .
�7
The equalization of educational opportunities in the Atlanta metropolitan area is virtually impossible under the present district organization.
A
single district would contribute much to making this a manageable task with
minimum difficulties.
New and Needed Educational Programs
Could Be Provided More Economically
Neither school district has yet provided post-secondary educati on programs f or which there i s great need.
Perhaps the fastest growing trend in
American education is the development of comprehensive junior colleges.
These institutions provide two years of academic work either for terminal
purposes or for transfer to a senior college.
They also usually offer pro-
grams in vocational-technical education and in adult education.
It is in-
creasi ngly clear that continuing education is a must for the adult citizen
of t omorrow.
Fur thermore, the kind of world i n which we l ive requires i n-
creadi ng amounts of education.
A recent Educational Polici es Connnission
repor t takes the position that two years of education beyond the high s chool
should be pr ovided at public expense f or all hi gh school graduates .
Fulton County is not financially abl e • t o pr ovide junior colleges under
its pres ent t ax st r ucture.
It would not be the most economical plan for
each di st rict to pr ovide its own j unior col l eges.
A pr ogram to serve the
metropolit an area woul d provide t he best means of meeting t his merging
educati onal need .
The two districts have a l ready f ound it prof itable to
cooperate in the provision of vocational education as shown by the new
vocational school which i s t o s erve both distr icts and ~revi sions now being
made for a second such institution.
�8
More Adequate Curricula for Special
Student Groups Can Be Provided
The variety of curricula required to meet the diverse educational needs
referred to above means special educational programs for small groups of selected students.
These programs serve children with serious physical handi-
caps~ those suffering from severe mental retardation, children with extreme
emotional difficulties, the exceptionally bright, and those with unusual
talents.
Since such programs are needed for only small numbers of children,
they can be provided more economically if the student population to be served
is drawn from the entire metropolitan area rather than if the two present
school districts offer duplicate programs.
Furthermore, the educational
quality of offerings can be more readily improved in a unified district.
Certain Educational Programs and Ser-vices
Can Be Provided More Satisfactorily
The richness and depth of both teaching and learning are being enhanced
by new discoveries concerning human growth and development.
The contributions
of science t o the effectiveness of tea ching and learni ng processe s is i ncreasing at a rapid rate .
Integrating into curricula the accelerating flow of new
and useful subj ect mat t er whi ch the modern school program must offer if it
is t o remai n ef fe ctive i s a n increas ingly difficult pr oblem.
The modern school must be sta ff ed by professional pers onnel who keep
up with t hes e continui ng developments that a ff ect their productivi ty.
System-
wide and continuous career devel opment programs f or personnel have become a
necessity.
This educational service can be provided better on a metropolitan-
wide basis rather than in terms of the present separate districts.
The
�9
development and use of various learning resources and t ~e appropriate utilization of technological advances in teaching can be stimulated and fostered
better through a single school district.
Needed Improvements in Educati onal Quality
Can Be Achieved More Readily
The search for better schools i~ a common thread running through all
considerations i nvolved in deciding the consolidation question.
Unless the
ultimate consequence of unifying the two school districts is a better quality
of education, there is little need to prusue the issue.
Changes in financing
school s , i n administrative and supervisory services and i n the scope and
variety of educational offerings can be justified only if they bring about
better education.
The educational advancement which is essential to sound
progress of the Atlanta metropolitan area requires a unified approach and
not a series of s epar ate and str ucturall y unrelated s chool programs.
The search for educational quality is now both universal and continuous.
The pursuit of quali ty is complex because it is concer ned with ever ything
that ha s a beari ng on t he educa tional pr ogr ams offer ed by a school distric t .
The unification of efforts to improve quality would certainly maximi ze both
opportunities and res ources for enrichment of educational of f er ings .
Compr ehensive, Long- Range Planning
Can Be More Ef fective
The i ncrea sing magnitude of educational re sponsibility ha s been stressed
in earlier statements .
continue to i ncrea s e.
The quantitative demands of this res ponsibility will
Proj ecti ons which have been made thr ough the next
�10
several years show no letdown in the rate of population growth in the
Atlanta metropolitan area.
The indicated increase in the educational load
calls for the most intelligent planning of which the people responsible are
capable.
Since this growth ignores school district lines, adequate planning
for new enrollment must also ignore these lines insofar as actualities permit . . Comprehensive, long-range planning cannot be satisfactory if it is
segmented on the basis of school district lines which have no constructive
significance in the context of the metropolitan area as a whole.
More Effective Solutions to Common
Educational Problems Are Possible
Educational problems are not confined to areas marked off by school
district lines.
Some educational problems are unique to certain types of
districts, as is true of Fulton County and Atlanta.
But many such problems
are comm.on to the districts of an area, state, region or nation.
lems which are common seem to be on the increase.
Those prob-
The school district which
embraces as nearly a self-sufficient socio-economic unit as is possible provides the best structural framework for the consideration of educational
problems.
Solutions to these problems should not be restricted by arti-
ficial district lines which ignore the facts of life.
A unified district
would provide for a more constructive approach to problem solution than does
the present dual approach.
This is all the more important since most of the
educational problems to be faced are connnon to the two districts.
�11
~
Effective Research Pro~rams
Can Be Stimulated and Executed
As good schools have become more central to personal and community
advancement, the place of research in education has become more apparent.
Sound analyses of existing programs, the identification and description of
strengths and weaknesses, and the determination of grounds for change require
research.
Planning ahead to be sure there will be adequate classrooms and
teachers for the children in school at the beginning of a given year rests
on research.
School systems without strong research programs cannot achieve
their maximum effectiveness.
The complexity of a metropolitan area and the
i nter rela tionships of roles of its different segments require comprehensive
research programs based on trends and needs of the entire area rather than
of subuni ts which are separate school di stricts.
Furthermore, economy and
wise management dictate a metropolitan-wide approach to research.
Needed Experimentation and Educational
Invent ion Can Be Achi eved More Readily
Ma j or a dvances i n our s ociet y depend heavily on i nventi on and experimentation.
nology.
This fact is well recognized in the world of science and tech-
The r ole of i nvent i on and experimentation in the improvement of
social institutions such as the schools i s equal ly impor t ant.
Schools , l i k~
t he world i n which they exist , must change as society changes .
New curricu-
lum materials should be developed and tested on exper imental bas es.
New
knowledge of human growth and development should be applied to teaching and
learning on experimental bases.
New teaching procedures and methods should
be tested through tryout and evaluation.
�12
Heavy reliance upon invention and experimentatio~ are crucial to needed
educational advancement.
There is no need for the school systems within the
metropolitan area to engage in separate programs of this nature.
The in-
terests of both districts can be served better by unified programs , to say
nothing of economies which could be effected . .
More Extensive Use of Selected Educational
Facilities and Learning Resources Is Possible
Centers for acquiring , creating, distributing and servicing curriculum
materials, filmstrips, video tapes, films and the necessary equipment for
appropriate use of these materials are becoming common .
The creation of
teaching materials for local use and on the basis of needs unique to the
local situation is an important function of these centers.
The use of
television in teaching and in professional development programs is increasi ng.
The ne eded facilities for extensive television programs in the metro-
politan area can be centered easily in one location.
I t is not nece ssary to duplicate the facilities and resources mentioned
above in diffe rent school districts serv ing the same metropolitan area.
A
single center can provide a constant flow of materials far richer and more
comprehens ive than would be possible if available financial support is used
to provide center s i n the separate districts .
Equity and Balance i n Financ i al Effort
and Support Can Be Achi eved
An axiom of educational f inanc e whi ch is ac cepted uni versally i s t ha t
wealth should be taxed where i t i s in oraer to educat e children where they
are.
The most glaring deficiency in the struct ure of public educat~on in
�13
the Atlanta area violates this axiom.
is the City of Atlanta.
The center for conunerce and industry
Contributions of most Fulton County citizens to
the economy of the metropolitan area are made largely in the City of Atlanta
where they do their work.
This wealth enriches Atlanta primarily, although
earnings paid to the individual may be spent wherever he chooses.
The City
already recognizes these facts of the economy of the area by helping to support schools in the Fulton County Dist~ict through al½ mill countywide
property tax.
The industrial wealth of the metropolitan area which is a
major source of school revenue lies largely within the City of Atlanta.
No equitable system of financial support and effort is possible which
does not take into account these economic facts.
A single tax program for
the metropolitan area with the revenues distributed according to educational
need is the only satisfactory answer to the problems of providing adequate
support for the schools.
This is Atlanta's problem as well as Fulton County's
problem because of the highly complex interdependence of the metropolitan
area.
A single school district would be the most simple and prudent way to
a chieve the goal of equity and balance in financial effort and support.
Greater Financial Stability is Possible
The disadvantage s of heavy reliance on the property tax for the support
of schools are well known.
The primary advantage is that revenues from
property t axes fluctuate less than do revenues fr om more sensitive barometers
of economic health.
Desirable stability in the financial structure of a
school system in the final analysis is related to the soundness of the
economy of the district and the fairness of its system of taxation.
The
better balanced the tax program, the more stable the financial base of the
�14
schools.
The more complete the area served by the school district is as an
economic unit in its own right, the more stable will be the local tax base
for schools.
It is obvious that combining the Atlanta and Fulton County districts
into a single school system would provide a far sounder economic base for
year-to-year stability in school support.
Economies Are Possible
Consolidation cannot be justified solely as an economy measure, if this
means an -actual reduction in expenditures.
Any plan for innnediate unifica-
tion of the two districts would really cost more than the sum of the current
budgets of the two systems because costs would need to be equalized upward
instead of downward, assuming that the same quality of education is to be
provided in the entire district.
Nevertheless, some financial economies
are possible because of the elimination of duplicate programs and services
which can be handled better through single systems.
In this connection,
special reference is made to experimentation, invention, research, certain
district-wide programs and services, specialized curricula fo r small student
groups and others enumerated in an earlier listing.
These programs could be
provided at higher quality levels on a unified basis at a lower unit cost
than would be possible in dual programs.
However , the greatest economic gain to consolidation would be in t he
creation of opportunities to pruchase more with the educational dollar
rather than in the utilization of fewer dollars.
This kind of economy is
of much greater importance than the mere saving of money.
A good test of
a school district is not how little money it spends, but how much education
it buys for its expenditures .
�15
New Educational Developments
Can Be Better Accommodated
As shown earlier, the revolution in education which is underway is
composed of both problems and opportunities.
A large school district is
in better position than a small district to stay abreast of such developments because of its more complex and varied interacting elements.
Problems and needs often fall into sharper focus in a large district
where the dynamics of change appear to express themselves with greater vigor.
Opportµnities for new developments in education to be put into practice
prevail to a greater degree in the ·large district.
Many resources not for-
merly available to improve schools are now being made available.
The major
source of this new support is the Federal Government through numerous pieces
of legislation.
It is much easier to take full advantage of the funds thus
made available if a single district is created.
The complexities of govern-
ment relations to education are vastly increasing.
It is far more satis-
factory to handle these relationships for the metropolitan area through a
single agency than through two agencies.
'
The above identification and description of advantages of a single
school district ar e predicated on certain assumptions concerning the proposed new district .
Among these assumptions are the following:
1.
An a dequate legal base for the new district will be provided.
2.
An administrative structure which will make possible the necessary
leadership for educational advancement in the metropolitan area
will be created .
3.
An adequate plan for financing the new school district will be
adopted.
�16
4.
Emphasis on continuously improving educational quality and
extending educational services will be continued.
Consolidation as such is of no value.
It is valuable only as it results
in educational advancement, improved educational opportunities for children,
youth and adults, but it will not guarantee such advancement.
DISADVANTAGES OF A SINGLE DISTRICT
The Commission was as much interested in identifying and analyzing the
disadvantages of one school district ·as it was in identifying and anlayzing
the advantages.
Without weighing advantages and disadvantages against each
other, no objective way of making a decision was open to the Commission.
Concern at this point was with both real and possible educational disadvantages of a single district rather than with problems and issues which
would have to be f aced if the two present districts are dissolved and a new
one is created in their stead.
studied.
However, the latter problems and issues were
They are reviewed in a subsequent section of this report.
Possible
disadvantages of the larger distr ict ·are presented next.
Di ffi culties in Provi ding School
Programs Needed Because of
Differences i n Att endance Areas
The capacity of schools to make a daptations which t ake i nt o proper account the educational needs of t heir neighbor hoods is related to the size
of districts.
Considerable unifor mity of educat i onal pr ograms in the
various attendance centers within districts has been t raditional.
Because
of the range of soci o-economic conditions which exi st in metropolitan areas
�'
I
17
a greater variety of educational needs are present in metropolitan school
districts which require greater variations in school programs than are
needed in smaller more homogeneous districts.
Current efforts to develop
more realistic school programs for children in slum areas of cities is an
example of the need for different kinds of programs according to connnunity
backgrounds.
A reasonable degree of control must be vested in the local
school community if these variations in educational needs are to be met.
Neighborhood control generates local responsibility, interest and initiative which are essential to good schools .
Unhealthy Reliance on Bureaucracy
Where at least some degree of local control is not present, decisions
are necessarily removed from the local scene.
Instead of the healthy exer-
cise of connnunity responsibility for schools , directives from a central
office r emoved from the community take the place of local initiative.
Thus , bureaucratic controls grow up which inevitably stress uniformity and
di s courage t he community autonomy which . has been one of the great strengths
of public education in Amer ica .
There is evidence to show that the larger
t he di strict the greater the likelihood that authority over the neighborhood s chool will be centrali zed in administrative offices which are too far
away to be re spons i ve t o local interests and needs .
Inadequate I nvention and Exper iment ation
Historically, many very large school districts have been notably lacki ng
in educational invention and experiment ati on .
Some of t he ma j or current edu-
cational ills of our country are found in the sl ums of l arge city distr icts
�18
where until recently little effort has been made to develop school programs
which would serve these areas realistically.
Innovation is difficult in
situations which do not encourage the exercise of individuality.
and invention are not compatible.
Uniformity
Excessive use of rules, regulations and
directives inhibit creativity.
Problems unique to large school districts in metropolitan areas have
been the subject of much study in recent years.
Experiments with new methods
and procedures for utilizing the -. interests and abilities of citizens in
neighborhood school centers have been successful.
At present, the nature
of educational needs of the culturally deprived, curriculum materials and
teaching procedures which are adapted to their backgrounds are subjects of
important research and experimentation.
The ·Elementary and Secondary Edu-
cation Act of 1965 provides more than one billion dollars to improve education programs for socially disadvantaged children.
Current trends are
pointing to ways of stimulating innovation and experimentation in all
s chool districts.
Poor Communication
The difficulties of maintaining satisfactory channels of communication
increase with the si ze of a school district .
The threads which hold a school
system together become tenuous as the distr ict gr ows larger .
Gr eat er depend.
ence must be place on fo r mal and impersonal means of communication in l arge
districts .
Opportunities f or misunderstanding and conflicting opini ons are
greater where pers onal and i nformal contacts are missing .
Too Much Centralized Decision Making
The disadvantages of bigness in util izing democratic participation in
r eaching decisions stems par tly from the lack of an adequate structure for
�19
such participation and partly from the slowness of action characteristic of
large units of government.
The fact that both the soundness of decisions
and an adequate understanding of their meanings are enhanced by participation in their making is of great importance in education because of the
nature of teaching and learning.
It has been difficult for large school districts to avoid making many
decisions in central offices which might be made more satisfactorily in
local attendance areas.
Loss of Personal Identity
Many studies have shown that a close relationship exists between the
productivity of a person and the degree to which he feels himself to be an
integral part of the enterprise which provides his employment.
The more he
is made to feel that he is but a mere cog in a machine, the more he acts
as though this were true.
There is no substitute for warm personal re-
lationships in achieving satisfaction and success in one's work.
The kind
of environment which encourages such relationships is very hard to maintain
where large numbers of persons are involved.
The Atlanta and Fulton County school districts, if combined, would be
about eleventh in size among all districts in America.
In 1963-64, the
total school enrollment in the two districts was 157,140, about one-sixth
the enrollment in New York City which has more than one million pupils and
enrolls more pupils than any other district in the Nation.
Both the Atlanta
and Fulton County districts have already reached the size of school systems
which have suffered from the ills described above.
Therefore, combining the
school districts would scarcely create problems of bigness beyond those
which already exist, if the proper safeguards are observed in the creation
and establishment of the new district.
�20
Just as creating a single school district would not guarantee the
educational advantages discussed in this document, neither would the ills
described inevitably follow.
Knowing the disadvantages to avoid should be
sufficient forewarning to assure the provision of an adequate legal base
for the new district, satisfactory administrative leadership and sufficient
financial support.
DECISION OF THE COMMISSION
After carefully balancing against each other the educational advantages
and disadvantages of one district in place of the two existing districts,
the Commission then defined and examined the steps which would have to be
taken in order to create a single school district for Fulton County and the
tasks which would have to be completed in the transition from one to two
districts.
Neither set of undertakings appeared to be faced by insurmountable
barriers , hence the Commission was free to make its decision on strictly educational grounds.
The evidence before the Commission scarcely permitted a recommendation
other than the creation of one school district for all of Fulton County.
This is the recommendation.
The Atlanta and Fulton County school districts
should be dissolved, not merged.
An entirely new district should be created.
In this way none of the limitations of the present districts need be pre~
served and the advantages of both can be combined in the new district .
Furthermore, desirable features of a school district not present in either
Atlanta or Fulton County can be incorporated in the new district .
�r
21
NEXT STEPS
The foregoing presentation outlines some of the steps taken by the
Commission in reaching a decision on the question of merger.
Having de-
cided that in its opinion the educational programs needed by the children,
youth . and adults of Atlanta and Fulton County can be provided better by a
single district, the Commission then turned to a study of the actual steps
which would be necessary to achieve merger.
The legislation creating the Commission in addition to directing the
Commission "To study the desirability and feasibility of combining. .
11
(the Atlanta and Fulton County School Systems) also stated that the Commission "may draft a plan or plans for the combining of such school systems."
The decision on whether or not there will be a single district can be
decided only by the voters of the present districts.
Hence, if the members
of the _General Assembly from Atlanta and Fulton County accept the Commission's recommendation, their next step would be to draw up and submit for
passage necessary legislation for holding a referendum on the issue.
Since the voters are entitled to all information that can be provided
in order for them to make the best decision , legislation authorizing the
referendum should also spell out the essential charact eristic s of the proposed new district .
The Commission recommends that this legislation include
the following:
1.
A definition of the necessary legal basis for dissolving the
present districts and creating the new district.
2.
A description of organizational, administrative and tax structures
of the new district.
�22
3.
Provisions for safeguarding present commitments and obligations
of the two existing districts.
4.
The date on which the new district would come into being.
5.
Provision for setting up the machinery required to make the
transition from the two present districts.
Should the majority of votes cast in the referendum in each of the two
existing districts favor the single ~istrict, the proposed school district
would then be created in accordance with the specifications of the legislation.
The transition from two to one school district is complex and requires
careful planning.
be forseen.
Problems and issues which will have to be resolved can
Their exact nature will depend to some extent on the specif ic
provisions made for dissolving the present district and creating a new district.
But the foll owing questions may be ant i cipated , a nd satisfactory
answers to them a re pos s ible a t this time .
IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
Si nce t he is sue of merger has been discussed fr om time to t ime during
the past twenty years, opinions already have been f ormed on bot h sides of
t he i ssue.
I t may be assumed , however , that the vast majority of ci ti zens
have had no opportunity t o become pr operly informed on the bas i c facts
needed in order t o reach a wise decision.
Much public discussion of the
facts concerning the present distri cts and the pr oposed new district is
essential to reaching a sound decision.
able to all citizens.
These fac t s shoul d be made avail-
Many questions will be asked and properly so .
zens are entitled to the best possible answers to these quest ions.
CitiIt is ,
�23
of course, impossible to forsee just what all of thes~ questions will be,
but it is safe to assume the following will be of interest.
Answers to
these questions are given in light of known facts.
What Would the New District be Like?
The Atlanta district consists of 128.395 square miles of which 8.420
miles lie in DeKalb County.
The Fulton County School District includes
420 square miles of territory.
Therefore, the two districts, if combined,
would make a single district of 548.395 square miles of which 539.975 square
miles would be in Fulton County proper.
The proposed district would have had a population of 632,600 on April 1,
1964, including 126 , 400 in the present Fulton County district and 506,200 in
Atlanta , of whom 43,900 were in DeKalb County.
School enrollment for the
f all of 1964 would have been about 145,000 pupils .
Professional personnel
in the new district would have numbered nearly 5,500 individuals , and other
s chool employees just under 3,000 persons .
There would have been 170 elementary schools, 35 high schools and 2
night high schools in the distr ict.
The schools are now located as follows :
118 elementary and 24 high schools in Atlanta , 52 elementary and 11 high
schools in t he Fulton County district .
The school budget would have been over 61 million dollars , with
expenditures equali zed by r ais ing Fulton County School District expendi tures up to curr ent Atlant a l evel s, incl uding the provis i on of kindergartens .
The 1965-66 budget f or Atlanta i s $46,713, 124.92, t he Ful t on County
school budget for t he same year is $13, 891 , 184 , making a total of $60 ,604 , 308 . 92.
�24
The school tax digest wou+d be $1,448,147,960 a~ present assessment
ratios.
This is currently divided as follows: $167,691,000
in the Fulton
County district and $1,280,456,960 in the City of Atlanta.
What Will be the Name of the New District?
The Atlanta-Fulton County School District is an appropriate name.
Enabling legislation would specify the name of the district.
What Would Happen to the Properties
of-the
- -Two
-
Present Districts?
These properties would become the property of the new district.
These
assets belong to the people and are simply held for the people by the
present districts.
<
,
The new district would hold them in the same way and
their value would be unaffected by the transfer.
Buildings and equipment
would s erve the same people they now serve and in the same ways.
Children
would attend the school they now attend and would be taught by the same
t eacher s.
What Would Happen to Debts of
the Pres ent Di str icts ?
Nothing.
Debts of the Atlanta district amount to $41 ,894, 556, ang the
Fulton County distri ct , $18, 100, 444.
The se are bonded debts incurred pr i-
maril y for the construction and equipment of needed s chool buildings.
visions have been made already for r etirement of t hes e debts.
Pr o-
Thes e pr o-
visions would be as binding if t here i s a s i ngl e district as t hey are at
present.
(
�I
- - ~
25
What Would Happen to the Teachers, Principals,
and Other Employees of the Present Districts?
All of these individuals would retain their present positions.
The
only exception would be among administrative personnel on the district-wide
·level.
Some reassignment would be necessary but no one would be assigned
to a position of lesser rank than he now holds, except only one superintendent would be needed.
What Would Happen to Salaries of Employees?
No one would take a cut in salary.
In fact, those teachers now i n the
Fulton County school s would receive a smal l salary increase since the
Atlanta salary schedule is slightly better than the Fulton County schedule.
Two salary schedules would be untenable, as would be any reduction in salari es of present employees.
What Would Happen to the Present
Teacher Retirement Sys t ems ?
Each of the existing retirement systems would be retained f or thos e who
are now members as each system pr ovides a binding contr act to its members .
No teacher could possibly lose i n retirement benefit s because of a single
distr ict.
Some way shoul d be found to provide a sound retirement system
for the proposed di stri ct with each new employee enrolling in this system.
Perha ps the present State system could serve this purpose .
�26
What Would Happen to the
Tenure of Teachers?
The proposed new district would not affect earned tenure of teachers
in either of the present two school districts.
All teachers would carry
with them into the new district -all of the years of service and all of the
benefits of tenure which they ha~e earned.
What Would Happen to Positions Held !lY
Teachers in the Present Districts?
Nothing.
Teachers would continue their work in the same schools in
the same capacity in the same school communities with the same colleagues.
Would the Single District Cost Less Money?
No.
While various economies could be effected in a single district
resulting in some savings for the particular services rendered, the overall
cost would be higher than the combined cost of the two present districts,
because the single system would provide for the entire district those programs and services which are now provided by only one of the districts.
For example, the new district would provide kindergartens for all schools
as are now provided in the present Atlanta district.
Provisions for pupil
transportation would have to be uniform throughout the new district.
If
the Fulton County policy of transporting pupils who live one and one-half
miles or more from school were adopted for the new district , no additional
cost would be necessary.
Adding kindergartens to present Fulton County
schools would cost $400,000 per year.
Capital outlay needs would be $1½
million for the construction of 60 classrooms for kindergartens
�27
How Would the New School
District be Financed?
One of the major reasons for creating a single district i s to provide
a mor e equitable tax base for education . . In view of the fact that Fulton
County has reached the maximum tax rate for schools under present provisions
and Atlanta is fast approaching .fiscal difficulties because of the present
tax structure, the new district would be timely in making it possible to
work out a more reasonable plan for financing education in the metropolitan
area.
A tax structure which differs from that of either present district
should be sought.
The goal sought by the new tax program would be to dis-
t r ibute among the people of the entire county the cost of education on a
fair basis.
A single district would make possible taxing the wealth where
it is and applying it to educational need where it exists -- a long-term guide
to good school financing i n this country.
A major source of school support should be found to take some of the
burden fr om the proper t y tax and to equalize responsibility for suppor t .
Would School Taxes Paid ]2_y the Average
Indivi dual Be Mor e or Less
Than at Present?
A f lat answer to t hi s question i s not pos sible without knowi ng t he t ax
structure of the new di st rict.
However, it is safe t o as sume tha t t he
average tax payer will be t axed more fa i rly in vi ew of one of t he main a dvantages of creating one dist r i ct.
A s i ngle tax system for educa ; i on in
the entire county would certainly be fairer than either of t he pr esent
systems .
These systems leave much to be desired, the Fulton Countv r l an
�28
in particular is cumbersome and inequitable.
Atlanta is now paying part of
the educational bill for Fulton County as a result of annexing 72 per cent
of the taxable wealth in the Fulton County School District and almost
50 per cent of the students.
Should a tax be levied to broaden the base of support, the tax bill of
. the property owner could be reduced.
Wouldn't~ Single District Be of
Greater Benefit to the Fulton County
District Than to Atlanta?
Perhaps initially because Fulton County's school finance problems are
more severe than those of Atlanta due to the city annexation program recommended in 1950.
But what is Atlanta and what is Fulton County as defined by
existing boundaries is silly and unreal.
The economic life of the two is so
interwoven that existing boundaries simply make no sense at all as taxing
units.
The two districts are now taxing themselves at relatively the same
rate in terms of real effort.
Fulton County schools are in trouble f i scally
partly because of the tax structure.
spect .
Atlanta is not far behind in this re-
Hence , both dis tricts stand to gain from a single distri ct if a
sound t ax st ruct ure is created .
Can ' t ~ School Di strict Become Too lar ge ?
Probably s o.
The answer depends upon whether si ze is per mitt ed to
foster unhealthy bureaucracy.
districts in the Nation .
Atl ant a is al r eady one of t he largest s chool
The new district would occupy about the position
among large districts that Atlanta now occupies .
�,------ -
--
--~
-
29
Are There Examples of Similar
New Districts?
Yes.
One of the latest to be created is the Nashville-Davidson County
School District.
All units of local government were merged in this instance.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, is another fairly recent example of the same kind of change.
districts have been successful.
Others could be mentioned.
All such
No failures are known at present.
Is There~ Trend in Metropolitan
Government to larger Units,
Including larger School Districts?
There are some indications of such a trend, probably due to a growing
recognition of the need to streamline metropolitan governments and minimize
·over lapping and duplication.
No doubt , many additional questions will be asked concerning the proposed new district.
Objective answer s should be provided insofar as it is
possible to do so .
It is hoped that every citizen will familiar ize himself
wi t h the facts concerning schools in the present districts and the arguments
fo r and against cr eating a single distr ict .
AFTER THE REFERENDUM?
If t he voter s a ppr ove the s i ngle distri ct proposal , the time table defined in t he enabling legislation would be set in moti on .
Much work will
have to be done to effect t he transit ion.
The autonomy which l ocal school di stri cts i n Georgia are free to exercise is considerable.
The Atlanta and Ful ton County school districts have
�30
freely exercised this autonomy.
Being entirely sep~rate districts , they
have developed 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 pr actices.
Changes which are necessary. must not work injustices on
school personnel or reflect unwisely on educational programs.
Careful and
tedious study are required which wj ll 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 districts.
Some of the several aspects of this problem are listed below with types
of needed action indicated.
Additions to this list are likely to be neces-
sary in the event a single district is created.
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.
4.
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 .
7.
Development of a retirement system, or systems.
8.
Development of policies concerning employment practices, pr ofessional and other.
9.
Devel opment of poli ci es r egar di ng s ick l eave , vacat ions , l eaves
of ab s ence, profess ional growth, etc .
10.
Development of pol icies r egar ding size of schools.
�31
11.
Development of general school regulations, _such as length of
the school day, number of days in the school year and holidays.
12.
Development of a school calendar.
13.
Reach decisions on the school program having to do with kindergartens, special education, vocational education and other
program areas.
14.
Reach decisions on pupil~teacher ratios to be established and
maintained.
15.
Reach decisions on services to be provided by the school district,
such as food, transportation and health.
16.
Reach decisions on instructional materials and supplies which are
to be provided.
17.
Reach decisions on special professional personnel to be provided
such as librarians, school psychologists, counselors and reading
specialists.
18.
Reach decisions on administrative and supervisory services to
be provided.
19.
Reach decisions on non-professional personnel to be provided,
such as lunch room workers, custodians and secretaries.
20.
Determine the curriculum adjustments which are necessary and
suggest how they are to be made.
21.
Recommend policies regarding expansion of school programs with
special reference to junior college education, vocational and
technical education and adult education.
22.
Propose a method of combining the two central office staffs.
�r
,
32
23.
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 elementar y schools?
24.
Reconnnend the future of the Metropolitan School Development Council.
Will it have served its purpose if the new school district is
created?
If not, should it be extended to include the entire
metropolitan area?
25.
Reconnnend plans ·£or ·handiing- textbooks ·and instructional supplies.
26.
Make reconnnendations concerning teaching loads.
27.
Make reconnnendations concerning the visiting teacher program.
28.
Make reconnnendations concerning organizations which exist in the
respective school districts, such as Parent-Teacher Associations,
local teacher associations and the various student organiza~ions.
29.
Make a budget f or the new school distri ct.
DEVELOPMENTS SINCE CREATION
OF THE COMMISSI ON
This document begins with a par agraph which states that -a r evolution
in education is underway due to swiftl y moving cult ural changes of prof ound
impact on all areas of civilization.
Several developments occurred durtng
the course of this st udy which have maj or bearings on the reconnnendation
for one school district t o serve Fulton County.
Among these developments
are the following:
1.
Mounting sentiment for a new Atlanta annexation program.
Any such
move could only further aggravate the already serious financial
�33
problems of the Fulton County schools und~r the present district
organization.
2.
A statewide educational study has been completed which strongly
reconnnends fewer, more efficient, school districts for the State.
While main emphasis is on districts of sufficient enrollment to
provide economically the wide range of educational programs and
services needed, the basic concern is with sound districts.
3.
The Federal Government has passed an education support bill for
elementary and secondary schools which seems to signal a new and
far stronger role of the National Government in education for the
future.
Other Federal legislation which influences schools supports
this conclusion.
The i.Jnpact of this changing role on school dis-
trict organization is not clear at this time.
But present indi-
cations point clearly to the importance of strengthening local
school districts.
4.
The proposed new Constitution for the State of Georgia, if passed,
will encourage the consolidation of school districts and make it
easier for consolidation to be achieved.
TMP : jp
7- 30- 65
�APPENDIX
�35
TABLE I
ESTIMATED SCHOOL ENROLLMENTS IN THE ATLANTA
AND FULTON COUNTY DISTRICTS
1965-1973
Years
Atlanta
Fulton County
Total
1965-66
112,129
35,020
147,149
1966-67
115,113
36,210
151,323
1967-68
118,097
37,441
155,538
1968-69
121,081
38,714
159,795
1969-70
124,065
40,030
164,095
1970-71
127,049
41,391
168,440
1971-72
130,033
42,798
172,831
1972-73
133,017
44,253
177,270
�METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
City of Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education
155 Garnett St., S.W .
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
April 12, 1966
Mr. Earl Landers, Administrative
Assistant to Mayor
Atlanta City Hall
68 Mitchell Street, S. W.
Atlanta, Georgia
Dear Mr. Landers:
The 1966 Legislature extended the life of the Local Education
Corrnnission "to continue the study of the desirability and feasibility
of combining the school systems of Fulton County and the City of
Atlanta ..• ". The resolution further stated that:
It shall be the function and duty of said Corrnnission to
continue the study of the educational systems of Fulton
County and the City of Atlanta including the portion thereof
lying in DeKalb County for the purpose of considering the
desirability and feasibility of combining said school systems
and to submit to the General Assembly of the State of Georgia
as hereinafter provided a plan or plans together with proposed
constitutional amendments and legislation for the combining
of such school systems and such plan or plans shall include
any changes in political and administrative and fiscal structure
of either or both of said systems which the Corrnnission deems
desirable and feasible.
I am, therefore, calling an organizational meeting of the Corrnnission
at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, April 27 in the Fulton County Board of Education
Room. There are a number of important decisions which must be made
concerning the activities and the responsibilities of the Corrnnission. Your
help in making these decisions is sorely needed. I hope you can attend
this meeting.
Sincerely,
fJJ6~~ -·
P.
PLB:cw
L.
Bardin
�MINUTES
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
December 21, 1965
The Local Education Study Corrnnission met in the 3oard Room of the
Fulton County Administration Building at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December
21, 1965, with the following in attendance:
Mr. Kenneth Stringer
Dr. James L. Miller
Dr. John Letson
Mr. Tom },filler
Mrs. Alan Ritter
Dr. Rufus Clement
Mr. Earl Landers
Dr. Paul \'lest
Mr. P. L. Bardin
Mr. Alan Kiepper, {Proxy)
Hr. Bardin called the meeting to order and asked for approval of the
minutes of the August 23, 1965, meeting. The minutes were unanimously
approved.
He then gave a brief review of the work of the Commission since the
last regular meeting and pointed out that a meeting was held with members
of the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education on September 21, 1965,
and with the Representatives and Senators from Fulton and DeKalb Counties
on September 27, 1965. The Legislative Delegation later developed a resolution outlining additional information which should be included in the
report of the Corrnnission.
Dr. Pierce then presented the addition to the report.
Comments and suggestions offered during the presentation included
the following:
Assessed evaluation of property in Atlanta is approximately 70%
of the 1956 reappraisal which in reality is about 30% of the
current market value for the city and 20% for the county.
Judge Wood's decision does not include independent school districts.
Homestead exemptions will not be affected.
The cost for putting Fulton County teachers on the same salary
schedule as the Atlanta teachers should be included in the report.
"New board members will be elected as vacancies occur" should be
changed to "new board members will be elected as terms expire".
The report should show that Fulton County's bonding capacity is
10% of the digest and Atlanta's bondi ng capacity is 4% of the
digest.
�Since board members in Atlanta have been elec t ed for four-year
terms beginning January 1, 1966, would any legal difficulty be
encountered by calling for a new election of board members in 1968?
If so, could this be resolved by having current members of both
boards compose the new board until terms expire and then elect
only seven new members t o the new board?
Wealth behind each child in Fulton County and Atlanta may change
if portions of the county are annexed into the city.
It should be stated that support to schools as stated in the report
is predicated upon no changes in present tax structure.
The report should include a s t atement ef ~how .the seven .district--s
from which the board members will be elected are to be determined
and how they will be readjusted as population changes . Since we now
have seven senatorial districts it might be desirable to use them
as the starting basis for the seven districts from which school board
members will be elected. These districts will be amended as
necessary so that areas within the city but which lie in DeKalb
County will be included and so that other portions· of DeKalb County
will be excluded.
Fiscal independence for the school board should refer only to the
property tax and not include the ability to set sales tax rate and
other similar truces.
The combined budget f or both school systems should be pr ojected.
The Commi ssion accepted the repor t as presented with t he sugges ted
change s present ed above . The lawyer s were i nstructed to draw up t he
necessary pr oposed constituti onal amenclment for combining t he two sys tems .
A copy of the amendment is t o be sent t o each member of the Conuni ssion
for study before the next meeting of the Connnission. Copies s ent t o
Commis sion Member s are t o be clearly marked Rough Draf t and Confidential.
The Commission will meet again t o revi ew the proposed cons titutional
amendment a s s oon a s poss i ble .
The meeting was ad j ourned at 3:55 P,M.
�METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
City of Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education
224 Central Ave., S.W.
Atlanta 3, Georgia
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
Oby T . Brewer, Jr. co-chairman
W. L. Robinson, co-chairman
John W. Letson
Paul D . West
Glenn Frick
L. Marvin Rivers
~
-I l
( 9-,
TO :
7
!<'ROM:
COUNCIL STAFF
E . Curtis Henson
Coordinator •
Gilbert E. Tauffner,
Executive Director of
Educational Broadcasting
Members of the· Local Education Study Conmission
-
Curti s Henson
Enclosed is a copy of the proposed Report of the Local
Education Connn.i.ssion prepared by Dean Pierce since the last
meeti ng of the Commission on May 27. During that meeting it
was ag~ eed that a copy of the report be sent to each member of
th~ Co~~ris sion before t he next meeting.
The next meet ing of the Corrnnission will be held on
August 23rd at 2 P. H. in the 3oar d Room of t he Fulton County
Admi nistration Iluilding.
C:H :cw
8- 4- 65
�MEMBERS OF LO..;AL GOVERNMENT COMMI SSION
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
Cha irman :
Pope Br ock, Chairma n of the Board
Ful t on Nat i onal Bank
2629 Ar den Road , N, W.
At l ant a, Georgia
Bus. Phone
Home Phone
875-3411
355- 4496
Vi c e - Chairman
·ack W. West
J ack w. West Cont r act ing Company
P . 0, Box 6787
Atlan t a, Ge orgia 30315
577 - 2357
627- 8630
Sec r e t a ry- Treas urer :
Mr s . Earl F . Ge i ger
4291 Eas t Brookhav en Drive, N, W,
Atlanta , Georgia
231- 3264
Robe r t Earl Brown
P . 0 , Box 20787
At l anta Ai.rp ort
At l anta, Ge org ia
767- 7501
344- 6330
Dr . Samue l D. Cook, Chai rman
Depa r tmen t of Pol itical Sc ienc e
At l anta Unive r s ity
Atlanta , Ge or gia
523- 6431
525-7512
Dr . I rving H. Gol ds t e in, DDS
826 Peachtree Street , N. W.
Atlanta , Ge orgia
875-7034
872-6671
873 . 2777
J os eph K. Heyman, Senior Vic e Pre sident
Trust Company of Georgi a
Atlanta , Ge orgia 30303
.588- 7916
233-0747
355-3423
766-0594
344-3550
761-3775
378-0174
378-0174
Max Holt, Comptroll er
Di ttler Bros . , Inc .
1375 Seaboard Industrial Boul evard J N.
Atlanta, Ge orgia
30325
ErneAt w. Keappl e r
2266 Campbellt on Road,
Atlanta, Georgia
30311
s. W.
William T. Malone
774 Lullwater Road, N. E.
Atlanta, Georgia
w.
�J o s eph M. Ma l oof , Ass i stant Vi ce Pr eside nt
F i rst Fereral Sav i ngs & Loan Assoc i at i on
40 Mariet ta Street, N. W.
Atlanta , Geo rgia
Bus. Phone
Home Phone
- 525 - 7681
627 - 8405
William F. Methvin, Jr.
W. F . Met hv i n ) J r. Lumber Comp any
P . o. Box 8121, St a t i on F
Atlan ta , Ge org i a
876 - 0300
876 - 0300
· . Y. More l and, Sr . , Principa l
Booke r T . Washing t on High Schoo l
12 Chappel Road, N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30325
758 - 8871
753 - 8276
525 - 3404
237 - 3900
233 - 7020
255 -1179
525 - 3404
622 - 0872
Cl i ff ord Oxf ord
Hatcher, Meyerson , Oxf ord an d Irvin
Fi rst Federal Buil ding
40 Marietta Stre et , N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
E . Earl Patton
Patt on Ass ociate s
38 Cld I vy Road, N. E.
Atlanta) Geo r g ia 303 05
Paul E. Pressley
Hatch e r, Meye rson, Oxford and I rvin
Fi rs t F e d e r a l Building
40 Mari etta Street , N. W.
30303
Atlanta, Ge org i a
J . W. Ste ph enson, J r., Manager
Coll ege Park Branch
Atlanta Fede r a l Savings & Loan Association
3581 Mai.n Street
Coll eg e Park, Ge org i a
761-0153
Fr e eman Strickland
12C8 F irst National Bank Bui l ding
Atlanta , Geo r gia 30303
588 - 6414
233 - 2445
Franklin Thomas, Exec utive Director
Bu t l e r St r eet YMCA
22 Butl e r Stre et, N. E .
At lanta, Georgia
.524- 0246
344- 2685
524- 7731
231-4307
Counse l:
J ames B. Pi l cher
As soc iat e City Attorney
1114 Willia m- Ol iver Bu ilding
Atla nt a , Georgia 30303
For further information contact:
Mi s s Pe g Hendrix
Room 336 State Capitol
Atl a nta) Georgia 30334
572- 2661
�MEMBERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMISSION
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
Chairman :
Pop e Br oc k , Chairman of the Board
Ful t on Na tional Bank
262 9 Ard e n Road, N. W.
At l anta, Geo rgia
Bus , Phone
Home Phone
875-3411
355-4496
Vi c e - Chairman
J ack w. West
a ck w. Wes t Contracting Company
P. o. Box 6787
Atlanta, Georgia 30315
577-2357
627-8630
Secretary- Treasurer :
Mr s , Earl F. Geiger
4291 East Brookhaven Drive, N. W.
Atlanta , Georgia
231-3264
Rob e rt Earl Brown
P . O. Box 20787
Atlanta Airport
At l anta, Ge orgia
767-7501
344-6330
Dr , Samue l D. Cook , Chairman
De partme nt of Political Sci enc e
At l anta Univ e rsity
Atlanta, Ge orgia
523-6431
525-75 12
875-7034
872-6671
873-2777
Trust Company of Georgia
Atlanta , Geo rgia 30303
588-7916
233- 0747
Max Holt, Comptroller
Dittler Bros., I nc.
355-3423
766-0594
Ernest W. Keap pler
2266 Campb ellton Road:i s. W.
Atlanta, Geo rgia 30311
344 -3550
761-3775
378-0174
· 378-0174
Dr. I rving H, Goldstei n, DDS
826 Peachtree Street, N. W.
At l anta, Ge orgia
J os eph K. Heyman, Senior Vic e President
1375 Se aboard I ndustrial Boul evar d, N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30325
William T. Malone
774 Lull.water Road, N. E.
Atlanta, Georg ia
�Bus. Phone
J o seph M, Maloof , Assi stant Vice Pres id ent
F irst Fereral Sav ings & Loan Association
40 Mar ietta Stree t, N. W.
At lanta, Geo rgia
Home Phone
627 - 8405
Willi am F. Met hvin, J r ,
W. F . Met hv in) J r, Lumber Company
P . C . Box 8121, Station F
Atla n ta , Geo rgia
876 - 0300
876 - 0300
J . Y . Moreland , Sr. , Princip a l
Boo k e r T . Wa s hington Hig h School
12 Chappel Road, N. W.
Atlanta, Georgia 30325
758- 8871
753 - 8276
525 - 3404
237 - 3900
233 -7020
255 -1179
525 - 3404
622- 0872
Clifford Oxford
Hatcher, Meyers on, Oxford and I rvin
F ir st Federal Building
40 Mar i etta S treet, N. W,
At l anta, Georgia 30303
E. Ear l Patton
Patton Associates
38 Cld I vy Road, N. E.
At l a nta) Georg ia 30305
Paul E o Pr ess l ey
Hatcher, Meye rso n, Oxford and I rvin
First Federal Building
40 Mar i e tta Stree t, N. W.
At l anta, Geo rgia 30303
J . W, Ste ph enso n, Jr", Manag e r
~oll e ge Park Branch
Atlanta Fede ral Savings & Loan Asso ciation
3581 Main Stre e t
Co ll e g e Park, Ge org i a
761- 0153
Freeman S trickland
12C8 F irs t Natio nal Bank Building
At l anta, Geo rgia 30303
588 - 6414
233-2445
Franklin Thomas , Executive Director
But l e r Street YMCA
22 But l e r Stre et, N. E.
At l anta, Geo rgia
524- 0246
344- 2685
524- 7731
231-4307
Counsel:
James B. Pilcher
Assoc i ate City Attorney
1114 Willi am- Oli ver Bu ilding
At l anta, Ge o rgia 30303
Fo r furth e r informat ion contact:
Miss Pe g Hendrix
Room 336 State Capitol
Atl an t a, Ge orgia 30334
572-2661
�(
COMMI TTEES OF LOCAL GOVER~ ENT
~
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
STEERING COMMITTEE
Pope Brock, Cha i rman
Jac k w. We st
Mr s . Ea rl F . Ge i ge r
Jo se p h K. Heyman
Cliffo rd Oxford
J . Y. More l a nd
ATLANTA CITY GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMITTEE
Cli f f o rd Ox f o rd, Cha irman
J ose ph M. Mal o of
Dr. Samu e l D. Cook
Wi l l i am F. Me thvin, Jr.
Rob e rt Earl Brown
FULT ON COUNTY GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMITTEE
Dr . I rving H. Go l ds t e in, DDS , Ch a i r man
Free man Str i ckl a nd
Max Ho l t
J . Y. Mo re l and
Ernest w. Ke a pp l e r
SUBURBAN AREA STUDY COMMITTEE
Jos e ph K. Heyman, Chairman
Pa u l E . Pres s l e y
J . W. St e p h en s on , Jr .
Willi a m T . Mal on e
E. Earl Patt on
F r ank l in Thoma s
F o r f u rt he r informat i on cont a ct:
Mi ss Peg Hendr i x
Room 336 State Capit o l
At l a n ta , Ge o rg i a 30334
572 - 2661
�PUBLIC SCHOOL TEACHERS' ASSOCIATION
19 7 CE N TRAL AV E NUE, S . W.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303
~
@
May 22, 1967
~- Earl ;{,anders, Adnm. Asst. f o Mayor,
eity Hall ,
Atlanta, Georgia.
Dear Mr. Landers:
The enclosed Resolution was adopted at our General Meeting on Monday, Hay 15, 1967. We are quite disturbed and
concerned about the probler.i.
We thought that it was agreed that representation selected
and authoriz ed to represent our professional personnel
would be chosen by t he Legislature to represent us on the
Commission. This was not done. Consequently we are forced
to protect our people by expl aining the pr esent situation t o
you and requesting proper r epr esentation.
Ue shall appreciate your cooperation and help in arriving
at a proper and satisfact ory solution.
Si ncerel y your s ,
·· 1 ~
A. D. JONES, Pre-si en,
Atlanta Publ i c Schoo
Teachers' As sociation.
ADJ:dw
Encl. (Resolution)
�A RESOLUTION
ATIANTA TEACHERS REPRESENTATION ON '£HE
LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION OF ATIANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
UHEREAS, the legislators were asked to name the presidents of the Atlanta
and Fulton County Teacher Associations, as representatives of teachers on
the commission, and
WdERFAS, this request was made at our dinner conference with the Fulton
County delegation and at the formal hearing in the State Capitol, and
WHEREAS, the delegation indicated their interest in honoring this request
each time it was made, and
t]HERFAS, the request was not honored in H. B. 623, and
WHEREAS, our presidents are the elected representatives of all professional
personnel other than Superintendents, and
lri:filREAS, our presidents are lmowledgeable in matters pertaining to the
problems involved, and
WHEREAS, our presidents act after apprising the organizations of the facts,
and
WHEREAS, the organization, which is composed of over ninety five percent
(95%) of the professional personnel, act as directed, by their constituents,
and
WHEREAS, the education of our children is vitally involved in the study of
problems and decisions reached, and
WHEREAS, the future of Metropolitan Atlanta is at stake, and
WHEREAS, the livelihood of all employees of the Atlanta and Fulton County
Boards of Education is involved in the final solution, and
WHEREAS, the past action of the Commission has not appeared to be adequately
informed about the total nature of the subject "Better Schools for Atlanta
and Fulton County", and
UHEREAS, we deny anyone other than our president or his appointed representative the authority to speak, ~,rite or act on our behalf, and
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED thAt we are not represented on the Connnission, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that we request fonna.l representation as voting
bers of the Conmission, occupying vacancies now on the Comnission.
ri1em-
Adopted: May 15, 1967
The Atlanta Public School
Teachers' Association,
197 Central Avenue, S. W.,
Atlanta, Georgia
30303
�LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
of Atlanta and Fulton County, Geo rg ia
CHAIRMAN
P. L .
VICE CHAIRMAN
BARDIN
1440 BANK OF. GEORGIA BUILDING
ATLANTA, GEORGIA
30303
!124-2626
SECRETARY-TREASURER
OTIS M. JACKSON
W . KENNETH STRI NGER
3121 MAPLE DRIVE, N.E,
1393 PEACHTREE STREET, N . E .
ATLANTA, GEORGIA 3030!1
ATLANTA , GEORGIA 30309
237-4729
·973 . 3579
June $-., 1967
To:
Local Education Commission Members, Consultants and Attorneys
From:
Curtis Henson, Recording Secretary {)_,~
J.f'~
The Local Education Commission will have a luncheon
meeting at 12:30 p.m. on June 19th in rooms 1 and 2
of the Atlanta Public Schools' Instructional Services
Center, 2930 Forrest Hill Drive, S. W. Members of the
Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Educat i on have
been invited to this luncheon.
The purpose of this meeting is t o receive t he reports
of the studies conducted by Dr. R. L. Johns in finance
and business management , and Dr. Willa.rd Elsbree in
personnel.
In order for us t o make the necessary arrangements for
this luncheon, please check the appropriate blank on
the enclosed card and return it to me at your earliest
convenience.
Thank you for your cooperation.
CH:mt
Encl.
�FINANCING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
'.
' A comprehensive approach to a study of the financing of the public
'
_, i:·
schools in Atlanta and Fulton Cqunty would involve an appraisal of the
future policies of the State of Georgia and the federal government
foi · school financing a
we ll as a study
or local
school financing.
i .


.


Since such an appraisal is beyond the scope of this study, this section
of the report will deal primarily wi~h problems of local school financing in the two districts.
However, most authorities on school financing
anticipate that in the future there will be further increases in school
!I.
i
financial support from the federal government and state governments as
well as from local school districts.
Although the public schools will
no doubt receive increased funds in the future from both state and
I'
I
federal sources, strong local financial support of the public schools
I
I
I
will have to be maintained by all districts that desire something better
than a mediocre quality level of education for their children.
The following matters are treated in this section of the report:
revenue receipts, current expenditures, taxpaying ability and local effort
to support education, indebtedness, equalization that would result from
consolidation, non-property local taxes and financial arrangements that
would need to be made if the two districts were conso lidated.
I •
Revenue Receipts
l
I
Table I shows the budgeted reven ue receipts of the Atlanta and Fulton
County school systems.
It will be noted from this Table that 55.4 per
'.
�-2-
cent of the revenue of the Atlanta City schools is derived from the
district property tax as compared with 29.6 per cent in Fulton County.
However, both of these percentage figures are deceiving.
Just what per cent of the revenue receipts of each school system i s
provided by property taxes levied on property located in each district?
It will be noted that the A~lanta City Council paid $2,835,045 in 1966
for the debt service on bonds the City iss~ed to construct school buildings.
This amounts to 5.3 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City
board of education.
Th i s added to the 55.4 per cent derived from the
district property tax makes a total of 60.7 per cent of the revenue
'
receipts of the Atl ant a Cit y schools derived from property
taxes in 1966-67.
It will be no t e d th a t Fu lton County receivis $1,762,892 from the
county- wide tax ( 1½ mi ll s ) a nd $780;000 from a direct appropriation from
the County Commission.
sources.
This makes a total of $2,542,892 from these two
If it is a ssumed that t he appropriation from the County Commis-
sion is also de ri ve d f rom prope r t y taxes , what part of this total is
paid on prope r t y located i n Fu l t on County but outside of the City of
Atla nta?
Since only about 19 per cent of the digest of Ful t on County
lies outside of the City of At l an ta, only app roxima t ely 19 per cent of
t his amount, or $483,149, is pa id on t he prope rty in Fulton County l y ing
outside the city of Atlanta, and $2 , 059,743 on the propert y in t he City
of Atlanta.
This represents only ap proximatel y 3.2 per cent of the
revenue receipts of the Fulton County board.
It wil l a l so be noted that
8.1 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County district is
derived from th e 5½ mill levy for debt service.
These two amounts, that
is, 3.2 per cent plus 8. 1 per cent a dded to 29.6 per cent make a total
of 40.9 per cent of the revenue receipts o f the Fulton County board
of education obtained from property taxes pa i d on property located In
Fulton County outside of the City of Atlanta.
�-3-
The Fulton Coun ty board of education receives 42.6 per cent of its
· revenue from t he state Mi n imum Foundation Program appropriations as compared with 32.3 per cent for t he City of Atlanta.
The Minimum Foundation
Program law was des i gned to equalize educational opportunities among
school districts that vary g rea tl y in wealth.
The 1-½ mill countyw.ide
tax levied in all of Fulton County but allocated exclusively to the Fulton
County board also provides f o r considerable financial equalization at the
local level.
policy.
.
The equalization of educationa l opportunity is sound public
Later in this report , it is shown tha t the adjusted gross digest
is 32 per cent greater per pupil in t he City of Atlanta than in Fulton
County.
'
Table I shows the revenue receipts of the Atlanta
Schools totaled
$530.01 per pup il in 1966-67 as compared with $547.35 in Fulton County.
This means tha t the State Minimum Foundation Program Law tQgether w_ith
the 1-½ mi l l county-w ide levy and the direct appropriation from t he County
Commission have gone a long way toward equalizing the financi a l su pport
of the two systems.
It should not be inferred from this comment, however,
that educational opportunities are equal in the two school systems.
The
Atlanta City school sys tem provides kindergartens which are not provided
in the Fulton County system.
If Fulton County provided kindergartens,
the revenue receipts per pupil in that school system wou ld probably be
l ess t han the reven ue receipts per pupil in the Atlanta system.
Both systems will benefit substantially in 1967-68 from increases
from the Minimum Foundation Program Appropriation provided by t_he 1967
Legislatu re .
It is estimated t hat the City of Atl anta wil l receive an
increa se of approximately $1,863,000 from this source and Fulton County
approximately $1,075,000.
�TA BLE I - SO URC ES OF RE VENUE OF ATLA NTA AND FULTON CO-UNTY
SCHOOL SYSTE MS 1966-67 (B UD GET ED REV ENU ES 1966-67, DATA
FURN ISHE D BY CITY AND COU NTY SCHOOL OF FI CIALS).
SOURCE
Dis t ric t Proper t y
tax for · ope ra t ion
ATLANTA
Per cent
Amo unt
$29 ,686 ,-415
'
.-r
FULTON COU NTY
Amount
Per cent
$ 4 , 922,451
29.6
1,762 , 892
10.6
County Commi s s ion
780,000
4.7
Intangibl e Taxes
230 , 000
1.4
42.6
.55.4
County Wide
Proper t y Tax
State Min imum
Foundat ion Prog ram
Othe r State Funds
Vocat ional Funds
Na t iona l Defence
Education Act
17,322, 038
32 .3
7, 074 ,76 1
425 , 013
628 ,449
.8
0
1. 2
58 , 000
.3
520,781
1. 0
65 ,400
.4
Ful t on County Schoo l
Dis t r ic t 5½ mi 11 lev,
for debt service
Fede ral Impacted
Area Funds
802,3 66
1.5
Ci ty Co unc il Payments f or Debt
Service on Sch. Bond•
2,835,0451
s.3
Other Income
1, 358,747
2.5
Total Revenue
Re ceipts
53,578,854
100.0
Beginning Cash
Balance
Sub-Total
Fede ral Funds El em. & Sec. Act. 1961
GRAND TOTAL
1,3 50 , 000#
8. l
210, 000
1.3
159,500
1.0
$ 16 , 613 I 004
532,250
818 , 609
54, 111 , 104
17, 431,6 13
2,519,743
461,383
$56,630,847
$ 17,892,996
100 . 0





Not Incl uded in the operating budget .
Continued--
�TABLE I - (Con t.)
SOURCE
Ave rage Dai 1y
Attendance Jan . 1,
1967
Revenue Receipt s
Per Pup i 1 in ADA~\-





ATLANTA
Amoun t
Per cent
FULTON COUNTY
Amount
Per cent
101 , 068
30 , 352
$ 530-. 0 1
$ 547.35
Excludes federal funds received under the Elementary and Secondary
Act of 1965 which cannot be used for the regular school program.
'
. ,,:·
�-4The federal revenue s rece ived f rom t he Eleme ntary an d Secon da r y
Educa tion Ac t of 1965 are a l so shown in Tab l e 1.
These reve nues are
shown s epa rately because they are al l earmarked f o r s pecia l purpos e s
by the feder a l gover nme nt a nd can not be exp ende d for t he re gular sc hool
p rog ram .
Prac t icall y a l l of t hese reven ues mus t b~ expen ded for compen-
sa tory ed uca t ion for the chi l dren of the disadvantaged .
Cur rent Expe nditu res
In Tab le 2 a n a nal ysi s of the budgeted curr en t expendi t ures of
t he two s chool systems f or 1966- 67 is presen ted.
Bo t h s ystems expe nd
75 pe r cent or mo re of total curren t ex pen d itu res for in s t ruc tion .
Th i s
i s ty pi ca l p ra ctice in large schoo l systems.
Ca ut ion s hou l d be exercised in comparing t he different percenta ge
all ocation s given to the same ex pendit ure functions in t he t wo systems.
The se systems differ cons i derably i n t heir bases of fin anc ia l sup port ,
t he spread of popu l ation a nd ot her facto r s .
al locates 3.0 per cent of its
Fo r exampl e , Fu lton County
current expenditu res to tra ns po r t at ion but
At l an ta spends no funds for pup i l transpo rtat ion .
The difference between the two systems i n curren t expen di t ure s per
pupil is negligible.
Fulton County $493.34.
Atlanta budgeted $486.07 per pupil for 1966- 67 and
The Research Division of the National Education
Ass ociation estimated that the average current expe nditure per pupil in
average daily attendance for the 50 states and t he District of Columbia
was $564 In 1966-67.
Therefo re,
the current expenditures per pupil in
both the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems are very low when
compared with the national average.
�TABLE 11
CURRENT EXPENDITURES OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67#
(BU DG ETED EXPENDITURES FOR 1966-67)
ACCOUNT
FUNCTION
1. Adm in istration
2. Instruc t ion
3. _Ope r at ion of
Pl ant
ATLANTA
Amoun t
$1, 796,920
Per ce nt
FULTON COUNTY
Amount
Per cent
3.7
$ 309,784
2. l
36,977 ,443
75.3
12,149,333
81. 1
4,224,543
8.G
1,228,200
8.2
2,810,500
5.7
663.550
4.4
96,368
.2
0
-
-
4. Maintenance
of Plan t
"
5. Health Servi ces
'
6. Food Services
4 l, 209
9. Other
9,3 00
.l
0
-
444, 160
3.0
2,417,800
4.9
169,368
1. 1
1.5
0
7. Transportation
8. Fixed Charges
•1
754,819*
-
TOTAL
Average Daily
Attendance
Jan. 1967
49, 119,602
101,068
Current Expenditur ~s
Per Pupi 1 in ADA
$486.07
100.0
14 ,973,695
100. 0
30,352
$4~3-34


Data furnished by county and cit y schoo l off icial s. Expenditure accounts


do not include expenditures from federal funds received from the Elemen- .
tary and Secondary Act of 1965.


This account consists principally of undistributed expenditures made


from federal funds received under the National Defence Education Act.
�-5I
Financi~l Abil i1:_y
. r·;·
The best measure of the relative local taxpaying ability of the
Atlanta and Fulton Co unty s chool systems is the: gross property digest
per pupil in average daily attendance computed on the basis of 100
per cent valuation .
This is due to the fact ihat most local school
revenue is derived from property taxes.
Following is t he adjus t ed 100 percent gross digest for 1966 of the
Atlanta City School district estimated by the State Revenue Department:
Atlanta City in Fulton County
$. 4, 141,663,000
· Atlanta City in DeKa lb County
173 , 149,000
Tota 1·
$ 4,314,812,000
The average dally a t t e ndance ~f the At1~nta City schools was 101,068
in Janua ry, 1967.
Therefo re, t he gross digest of the At l anta Ci t y ~chool
~i strict adju s ted on a 100 pe r cent basis was $42,692 . per pupil.
The 1966 . gross digest of t he Fu l ton Count y school d istrict adjusted
·on a 100 per cent basis was $982, 348 , 000 according t o da ta f urn,i shed by
t he State Revenue Department.
The gros s dige st .include s t he va l uat ion
of homesteads even though homesteads up .to a valuat ion of $2, 000 are
exempted from County operating levies for schools.
It is necessary to
include the valuation of homesteads in order to compute an accurate mea sure of the relative wealth of the two districts.
· County schools in January was 30,352.
was $32,365.
The ADA of the Fulton ·
The gross digest per pupil In ADA
Therefore, the Atlanta City schoo·1 system has a gross
digest approximately 32 per cent greater than the Fulton·County school
system.
However, each of these school systems has considerably more
wealth per pupil than the average school district In the United States.
.,I
�-6.Local Financial Effort to Support Education
A valid measure of local tax effort to suppor t sch6ols can be
obtained by dividing the taxes paid on the property . located in each school
district by tbe adjusted 100 per cent gross digest of that district.
It is difficult to compute exactly the local tax effort ~f the
Atlanta City District because a part of that district is in DeKalb
.:.
County.
However, the following is a fairly close approximation for 1966-67 .
r.
District property tax
2.
Payments of City Council for debt ~
service on school bonds
2,835,045
The portion of the 1½ mill countywide tax and the portion of the
approximation made by the County
Commission which was paid on property located in the City
2,059,743
3.
$29,686,415
TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS
$ 34,581,203
The 100 per cent gross digest of the Atlanta school district for 1966
was $4~314,812,000 • . The total local taxes for schools .divided by the gross
digest equals .008 o r 8 mills on the adjusted 100 per cent gross digest
or true value of property.
The local taxes for schools in the Fulton County school district In
1966-67 were as follows:
$. 4,922,451
1.
Dis tric t property tax
2.
The portioh of the l½ mill countywide tax and the appropriation made
by the County Commission which was
paid on property located in the
county district
3.
Fulton County district levy of
mills for debt service
483; 149

TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS
1,350,000
$ 6,755,600
�I
i .
-7I'
'
The 1966 gross dig~st of the County school system on lOO per cent
basis was $982,348,000.
The total local taxes fo~ schools divided by
the gross digest equals .006877 or approximately 6. 9 mills on the gross
digest on true valuation of property.
It is evident that the Atlanta City school district made a greater
local tax effort in proportion to its ability to support schools than
Fulton County.
If the Fulton County schopl district had made as great
a tax effort In proportion to its ability as the Atlanta school district
in 1966-67, it would have raised .001123 times $982,348,000 or $1,103,176
in additional local revenue in 1966-67.
Special attention is directed to the fact that Fulton County could
not legally have made this extra local effort in 1966-67.
The District
levied 25 mills of operating taxes which was the legal limit it could
levy.
Furthermore~ property was assessed at less than 25 percent of true
value.
However, the limitations on the taxing power of the Fulton County
'.
board of educa tion wi l l be eased somewhat in the future because of the
ruling of the cour t in the Mclennon vs State Revenue Commission case.
The cour t ru l ed tha t all proper ty must be assessed at a uniform percent
of t rue va l ue regar dless of the c l ass of prope r ty o r whe re it was locat ed.
Upon t he r ul •ing, the Revenue Commi s sioner o rde red that a l l count y d i ge sts
be based on assessing all property a t 40 pe r ~ent of t r ue value.
Th is wi l l
~ake it possible to increase consi dera bly th e loca l reven ue s of the Fulton
County school district beginning with t he 1967-68 f isca l year.
There are no legal limits on the amount of mills which the Atlanta
City board of education may levy for the operation of the public schools
of the ~Jty.
Therefore, there ar~ no legal barriers to Increasing local
school support for schools in Atlanta.


�-8Actually the loca·J taxes for schools are extremely ·low both in
Atlanta and in Fulton County when compared with - the school taxes levied
in other sections of the nation.
Recently one of the members of the staff
making this survey participated in a study of school financing in all
school districts of 20,000 population or more in Illinois.
It was found
that the average school district in Illinois levied local property taxes
for schools equivalent to 12 mills on the 100 per cent true valuation
of property.
This is a fifty per cent greater local effort than the
City of Atlanta.
The local tax effort for schools in the Fulton County
school district is only 58 per cent
of the average effort in Illinois.
Indebtedness
The bonded indebtedness of the Atlanta City Council for schools
totaled $52,905,000 in 1967.
This was less than 3.8 per cent of the
unadjusted gross digest.
The . bonded indebtedness of the Fulton County school district was
$22,661,000 in 1967.
This was 9. 1 per cent of the unadjusted gross digest
of the county school distri ct .
This Is close to the 10 per cent consti-
tutional limit on school indebtedness for the Fulton County district.
However, the bonded indeb ted ness margin of Fulton County will be greatly
increased when the property digest i s raised from an estimated 25 per cent
of t rue value to 40 per cent.
The unadjusted 1966 gross digest for the
Fulton County district was approximatel y $248,000,000.
Assuming that the
1966 digest was at 25 per cent of true value,the 1967 digest at ~O per cent
of true value should be approximately $400,000,000 allowing for a reasonable
amount of growth.
than
The present county school Indebtedness wouid be less
5.7 per cent of the gross digest at a 40 per cent valuation.
�-9Another way of looking at the indebtedness of the two districts is
to compute the pe~ cent that the school ind~btidness of each district
is of the _a djusted gross dig·est of each district at 100 per cent of
true value.
In 1966 this figure for the Atlanta city district was 1.23
per cent and for Fulton County 2.31 per cen t.
If . the ·two districts
-
were consolidated, it is assumed. that the territory that originally issued
the bonds would continue to be responsibJe for the debt service on the
- bonds that it had Issued.
It does not appear that this would work any
great hardship on either district because the indebtedness of neither
district is excessive.
Non-Property Local Taxes
Some school districts in the United States have obtained . legal authority to levy non-property local taxes for schools.
both for and against this practice.
There are arguments
Following are some arguments against
the levy· of local non-property taxes for schools:
1.
Usually only urban or metropolitan school districts are able
to derive substantial funds from this source.
2.
The state can collect most types of local non- property taxes
more efficiently than local untts of government.
3.
Local non-property taxes for schools place cities in competition
with each other for industries.
4.
If the larger urban districts are able to .levy local non-property
taxes for schools, they may not support a state f i nancing program which
helps the less · fottunate school districts.
5.
Some type!,; of local non- property taxes make it possible for
wealthy districts to shift a part of the incidence of their taxes on the
residentj of less wealthy dlstricts • .
I;
.. d·
�-10Some arguments fo r the levy of local non-propert~ taxes for schools
are as follows:
1.
The property tax is a regressive tax and public resistance to it
is growing.
If we main ta in the vigor of local school support, many believe
that a source of loca l revenue more nearly related to ability to pay than
the property tax must be found.
2.
The more progressive areas of . a state desire a better quality
program tha n the legi slature is usually willing to provide from nonproperty state taxes.
Those areas should be given the authority to
provide this higher quality program from some local source other than the
property tax.
3.
It is possible to select types of local non-property taxes the
burden of which can not be shifted to the taxpayers of less wealthy areas.
'
!
4.
The cost of administering local non-property taxes can be held
to a reasonable level by using the state's tax collection machinery or
by levying local non-property taxes by metropolitan areas rather than by
ind ividual school districts.
5.
The taxpayer should be given the choice of what type or types
of local taxes he will kvy for schools in order to broaden the base of
local taxation.
As has been pointed out above, local property taxes for schools are
very l ow both in Atlanta and in Fulton County.
There is considerable
leeway in both districts for increasing local property taxes for schools
without those taxes becoming burdensome. · Therefore, there is no immediate
urgency for the consideration of obtaining the authority to levy local
non-property taxes for schools.
�-11-
If the Atl a nta and Fulton County school authorities - decide to study
the possibility of levying local non-property taxes, it is recommended
that consideration be given to t he following:
1.
That any local non-property taxes that are levied for schools
in the AtlaAta area be lev ied over the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta
including all school districts in the following counties:
Fulton, DeKalb,
Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett .
2.
That a metropol itan s chool taxing authority be established with
the sole responsi bil ity for collecting any local non-property taxes for
schools authorized by law and for apportioning such t axes among the several
school dis tricts in the f i ve counties named above in proportion to the
average daily attendance of pupils.
3. That only t hos e types of non-property local taxes be levied, the
burden of which cannot be shifted to tax payers residing outside of the
Atl anta metropolitan area .
Financing Education in a Reorganized District
A number of reports have been presented to the people of the Fulton
County and Atlanta School distric ts in which arguments for and against
the consol itation of the two districts have been set forth.
the purpose of this report to review those arguments.
It is not
Therefore, the
di scuss ions of schoo l finance presented in this study have been focu sed
primarily on the financing of schools in each district rather than on the
financing of schools in a consolidated district.
Certain suggestions
particularly concerning the level of school financ ing have already been
presented.
Those suggestions are as app li cab l e to the financing of
education in Atlanta and Fulton County as separate school districts as
they wou 1d be app li cab 1e to the financing of education in a conso 1 i dated
district.
�-12-
It wou ld no dou~t be possi ble to provide reasonably adequate sch~ol
financing in each of t he t wo districts operating as separate districts.
However, if the two districts were consolidated, it would be possible to
establish a more equitable and more efficient financing plan.
It has
already been pointed ou t t ha t the 1966 gross digest adjusted at 100 per
cent in t he ci ty of Atla nta ~ as $42,692 · per pupil In ADA and in the Fulton
County district $32 ,365.
If the two d1stricts were consolidated, the
'.
gross diges t at 100 per cent valuation· for the consolidated district would
be $40,307 per pupil.
It has also been pointed out that the taxpayers in
the Fulton Coun ty schoo l district are making a lower tax effort to support
schools in propo rtion to ability than the taxpayers•in the Atlanta City
district .
Therefore, consolidation of the two districts would equalize
the weal t h. back of each child and it would also equalize the tax effort
to suppor t schools in the Atl anta-Fulton County consolidated district.
Consolidati on would a l so simplify local financing because there would no
longer be a need for t he special l½ mill couhty equalizing levy or direct
appropr iations from the County Commi ss ion.
It has been s uggested in other st udies presented to the Local Education
Commission of At l ant a a nd Fulton Cou nty that the consolidation of the two
districts migh t resu l t i n t he l oss of some state school funds under present
me t hods of s tate apportionment .
If there is anything in present state laws
that would place a penalty on des i r able reorganization of school districts,
the Jaws shou l d be amended and the penalties eliminated.
This should not
be a difficu l t undertaking.
As has already been po i nted out , improvements in s chool f inancing
should be made In the Atlanta and Fulton County school distr i cts regard l ess
'
.. r·i·
�-13of whether they are consolidated.
If . the two districts are consolidated,
consideration should be given to the following financial recommendations:
1.
The board of the consolidated district should be given the same
power for levying taxes for school operation as that now possessed by the
Atlanta City Board of Education and it should be fiscally independent of
any other local body. ·
,
I
·I
2.
The board should be given th e power to issue bonds for capital
.
outlay purposes up to a reasonable per cent of the gross digest.
The
board should also be given the power to obtain tax anticipation loans to
be repaid within the fiscal year.
3.
Homestead exemption from school taxes should be abolished in the
reorganized dtstrict.
4.
Present outstanding bonds should be retired in accordance with
the convnitments made at the time of issuance but all new bonds should be
issued on a district-wide basis and retired from taxes levied thro~ghout
the consolidated district.
.
.
�BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
The primary purpose of business administration is to provide the
services netessary for obtaining the maximum return per dollar invested
In public education.
It is not the pu r pose of business administration to
minimize educational expenditures.
Business and industry have long been
aware of the fact :that t he investment .of additional fu nds In an enterprls-e
wi 11 freque ntly return more profi t s per dolla r -invested than a smaller Investment.
Thi s same pril'lcip le applies to the educational enterp ri se.
However,
wasteful or ineffici ent ex pend i ture of fu nds ~anno~ be Justified by the returns
rece i ved In either business or education.
A limited survey was made of the bus iness administration service s and
policies of the Atlanta an d Fulton County school systems.
Th i s survey was
made f irst to dete rm i.ne t he adequacy of t he bus iness adminis tration services
of each school system and second to dete rmine whet her major economies in
business adminis tra tion could be obtained by the conso l_idation of the two
systems.
The f i ndi ng s of that su rvey are set forth be low.
Atlanta Ci ty School Sys tem
The At lan ta City schoo l system has a we l l developed program of busines s
a dm i n is t ration serv ices typical of cities the size of Atl anta.
Except fo r
s ta ff organization, business admin istrati on policies are generally consistent
woth the policies recommended by authorit ies on school bus iness mana gement.
Organh:atlon.
The organization for school business management does no t
follow the.pattern generally recommended by authorities in this fiel d.
Fi nance,
Inc luding administration of t he budget, Is under the supervision of a comptroller appointed by the Atlanta Ci ty boa rd of education and he Is directly
'
·I
f
�-2-
responsible to the boai d.
Legally the comptroller is not required to report
to the _superintenden t noi is he under the supervis1on of the superintendent.
i
In practice however he works closely with the superintendent.
An assistant
superi~tendent for school plant planning and construction reports directly
to the :superintend~ nt .
All ot her busine~s administr~tion services are under
the direction of an assistant-superintendent for administrative services who
-~ W:.!.E _<!Lrectly to the superintendent.
Th e services under the supervi
n
of the assis t ant superintendent for administrative services include the following :
~urchasing, school plant operation and maintenance, food ~ervices, records
center, warehousi ng, .inventory, print shop, statistical services and school
detective services.
Autho r ities on school business management usually recommend that all
business administration s e rvi ce s should be coordinated by one assistant
superintendent directly responsible to the superintendent.
Howeve r, if
thos e services are divided among two or more assistant superintenden ts, each
of these superintendents should report directly to the superintendent.
The
disa dvantage of this latter system as compared with· the system usually recommended is that the superintendent of schools is required to coord .i nate the
different administrative services rat her t ha n the assistant superintendent for
business a ffa irs .
rhe system of orga n ization now use d by ·At lanta viola te s the princ ipal of
coo rdination of the ac t ivities of an o r ganization through a single executive.
Potentially this system could cause friction and lack of coordination in t he
administration of the Atlanta public schools.
That it has not done so is a
credit to the educational and business executives of the A~lanta school s ys tem.
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�-3Facilities and Equi pment.
Office f acilit ies for t he business admini- ·
I
stration staff are provided for in a central admin istrative bu il ding for the
Atlanta City board of education.
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Another bu ilding , located approximately-
one. block from the adminis trative office building, is being renovated to house
.
re~ords and data process ing eq uipment.
When t his i~ done fairly adequate
office space will be ava ilable for t he business administration staff at present.
However, the central off i ce building is located on a limited site with inadequate
parking facilitie s.
It would be diffi cu lt a ~d expens iv~ to expand the present
central office fac ili ti es of the Atlanta City board of education.
Sophis ticated data proces sing equ ipme nt i s in proces s of be i ng installed.
That equipmen t includes an IBM 360 computer, tape and dis~ sys tem and related
equipment includ ing a 1428 document reade r.
When th is system is in full ope r -
ation, the fina ncial accounting system, the central record system for warehouses and othe r record systems involving da t a processing can be greatly improved.
All other business administration services are housed in a newly constructed
educational se r vices building.
This is an excellent building located near an
expressway and it is served by a railroad siding.
The site is fairl y adequate.
The building houses the school plant maintenance shop ; warehousing for school
supplies and school plant maintenance and custodial supplies, storage for schoo l
food service, the print shop and other t ypes of educational services.
The warehousing and storage facilities of the educational services building
are efficiently arranged for accessions to and withdrawals from stock.
At the
time this building was constructed it was thought to be adequate for all the
,<
storage and warehousing needs of the Atlanta system.
However, it was soon
found necessary to utilize the ~Id abandoned city jail building to store old
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school furniture and ce rtain other ty pes of non-rapidly moving stock.
While
not ideal, t his buildi ng is s til l usefu l for th~s type of storage.
School Plant Maintenance .
The At lanta Ci ty board of education operates
a city owned school plan t ma in tenance shop.
It is adequately staffed with
employees of the Ci ty board of educati on and we ll equipped.
Experience has
shown t hat. a proper ly operate~ school plant maintenance shop can not only save
money on school plan t maintenance but that Jt usually provides better service
tpan when school_ plan t maintenance is pr6vlded for by job contract.
The board
has developed a program for the repair and maintenance of school buildings and
~
this policy not only exte nds the life of a bui l ding but it also reduces the
Some di fficulty has been .
number of hazards to pupil s and s chool employees.
experienced In obtainin g employees with t he desired skit .t s.
School transpo r tation Is not provided for at public expense by the
Atlan ta City board of educati on .
Budgetary Procedures.
Work on the budget starts approximately six months
before the beginning of the fiscal year.
prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
The budget is not always ap proved
Best practice dictates that the
,'
budget be approved prior to the beginn ing of the fiscal year.
However, it is
reported that delays In receiving tax di gests and estimates of revenue sometimes make it difficult to approve t he budget in final form prior to the beginning of the fiscal year.
The comptroller has primary responsibility for preparing the budget document.
However, the comptroller consults with the superintendent, the assistant
superintendents and the area superintendents before he prepares the budget.
area superintendents consult with the principals.
The
There seems to be no fo rma l
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arrangemen t s fo r providing opportuni ties for classroom teachers or their
representat ives to partic ipa te in t he formulation of the budget.
Certain items, including ins tructional supplies, library expenditures,
. band equipment and janitorial su pplies, are budgeted by individual schools.
The budget for 1966-67 is a formi dable document consisting of more than 160
pages.
tin it
It contains detailed financial schedules of re143.215.248.55ues and expenditures,
cos ts, and comparisons of the proposed_ budget with receipts and expend i •
t_ures for previ ous years.
understood by laymen.
attended.
This Is a technical document and is not readily
The board holds public hearings but they are not well
The board is fiscally independent and adopts its budget without
being subject to review by · any other local body.
to make the board fiscal ly independent.
It .fs sound pub I i c pol Icy
Under t his policy the public is able
to fix responsib ility fo r t he school budget because the board of education is
the sole responsible body.
Howeve r , as taxes inc rease in the fu t ure and the
public becomes more tax conscious, t he board may need to develop better methods
than it is now using to commun icate the educational needs of the pupi ls to the
public.
Financial Accounting and Audit ing.
The financial accounting system
utilized in the Atlanta City schools conforms with the principal accounting
standards and account classifications reconvnended by t he United States Office
of Education.
This is important in order that t he financial data for the
Atl anta City school system may be comparab le not only with other school systems
In Georgia but also comparable with the financi al data from other school systems
throughout the nation.
The accounting system is completely mechanized by the
use of the data processing equipment already described.
Accrual or encumbrance
�-6-
accounting is used.
Thjs is essential for close budget control.
Under accrual
accounting, a budget account is encumbered as soon as an obligation is incurred
against that account.
The accounts of the Atlanta City schools are audited annually by a firm
of certified public accountan t s.
The board requires the principal of each school to keep a uniform system
of account records of internal accounts.
co11ec~ed at individual schools .
Internal accounts consist of funds
These accounts are also audited annuallyo
The accounti ng and auditing procedures of the Atlanta City school system
are in accord with standard practice.
Purchasing Procedures.
All items of any importance used by the Atlanta
City schools are cent r ally purchased in quantities on competitive bids.
policy undoubtedly saves large sums of money annually.
This
The construction of
central warehousing facilities and the establishment of an efficient distribution system made it practicable for t he board to establish its broad policy
· of central purchasing.
Business Administration, School Lunch Rooms.
provided for school lunch rooms.
Central supervision is
All school lunch rooms receive federal aid
in the form of cash and commodities.
From 60 to 70 percent of the pupils
participate in the school lunch p rogram.
This compares very favorably with
a national part icipation average of only 35 percent.
The board provides for central purchasing and central accounting for all
school lunch rooms.
The business administration policies of the board for
the operation of school lunch rooms are in line with best practice.
Insurance and Bonding.
School buildings are insured for 100 percent
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-7of appraised wor t h on blanke t f ire and extended coverage policies.
The
board deals with one agen t who re prese nts the Association of Independent
Insurance Agents.
Build ing s and equ ipment are insured at an appraised
value of $77,736,493 a t an ann ua l cost of $53,000.
'
sometimes
find it advisab le to be self insurers.
Large school systems
However, since the amount
of money expended for f ire insurance in the Atlanta City school system is
relatively small , very little money cou ld be saved by a self-insurance program.
All officia ls and employees who handle ~funds in the Atlanta City school
system are bonded .
The board pays t he cost of the bonds.
Workman's Compensation insurance is provided for all the employees of
. _:
the board.
The boa r d is sel f-insurer for t his type of insurance.
Income Management and Depository Security.
The board has been able during
the past few years t o keep a sufficient working ba]ance on hand to pay all current obligations when due.
tax anticipation loans.
Therefore t he board has not been requi red t o obtain
The board does not have the authority to bo rrow money.
All borrowing, eithe r on short term loan·s or bonds, mus t be done by the Atlan ta
City Council for t he board of educa ti on.
The board fo ll ows the soun d policy of
operating on a balance d budget and it carries over a reasonable working balance
from one fiscal year into the next year.
The board wisely follows the policy of investing i'ts idle funds in
appropriate United States Government obligations.
in In t erest earnings from this ~ouri.:e
It obtained $302,301.24
in 1965-66.
The board requires its depository bank to escrow collateral in another
bank in the amount of $500,000 in order to protect the funds it has on deposi t.
The balances in the depository sometimes exceed this amount .
Howeve r, the board
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follows the pol icy of promp t l y inves ti ng its idle funds and this provides
some protection .
Fringe Benefi ts for Em ployeeso
The following fringe benefits are
provided for all employee s of t he board , both certificated and uncertificated:
r'e tirement, sick leave , me dical and hospitalization insurance and a limited
amoun t of li fe insur ance .
Both the board and the empl oyee participate in
-
financing mos t of these be ne fit s.
Boards of educati on must participate in
making provis ions for thes e benefits if they compete on equal terms with the
private sector of the economy i n obtai ning needed personnel.
The Fulton Co unty Schoo l System
The Ful t on Coun t y boa rd of e duca tion has provided fairly adequate
business adminis t ration se rv ices for the public schools of the County.
The busine ss adminis tra t ion pol ic ies a re basically sound.
As indicated
below , improvements t hat need to be made involve increasing the s ize of
staff and provid i ng for a ddi t iona l space and equipme nt rat he r than any
change in ope ratin g policies.
Organ izat ion.
The pr incipal busines s admi nistration services are
unde r the di r ec t ion of an assi s tant supe r i nten dent for maintenance and
operation and a di rec t o r of fi na nce.
di rect ly to the super i ntende nt .
Ea ch of thes e of fi cial s
report s
The assistant supe r intende nt f o r mai n-
tenance and opera tions supe r vis e s school pl ant opera ti on and ma intena nce,
warehous i ng and s t ora ge and dis t ri bution serv ices , school plant planning
and purchas i ng .
Th e director of finance and h i s staf f kee p all accounts,
administer t he budge t and audit Inte rnal accounts.
In addition , schoo l
transpor ta ti on is supervised by t he director of attendance and transpo rtation
and the d i rector of the s chool l unch program is under the supe r visi on of the
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assistant supe rinte nden t for curri c ulum.
This latter arrangement is a
1 ittle unus ual beca use the central servi ces provided for the school lunch
program at the county l evel have more rela t ionship t o finance , accounting,
purchasing and s torage and distribut ion which are business adminis t ration
services, than to cu rr icu lum.
It is generally considered good organization
policy to organize simi iar t yees of operations in the same organizational
units.
All the top off ic ia l s re~ponsible fbr bus-iness administration services
report to the s upe r in tendent r a ther t han directly to the board.
This is
sound policy because it prov ides for central coordination of all educational
serv ices at t he coun ty l evel.
It appea rs t hat the staff employed by the board for accounting, purchasi ng , budget a dmi n i stratron , etc., is inadequate in size to provide for
these serv ices .
The staff provided for these services is as fo ll ows:
a
d irector of fi nance and a ss i sta nt , a purchasing agent, an a dm ini s t r ative
assistant, f our bookkeepe rs, and t hree secre ta ries.
This is a ve ry small
staff f o r these services in a schoo l s ys tem with a budget exceeding sixteen
mi l li on dollars annually.
Fac i litie s a nd Equi pment .
The ce ntra l s t a ff f or bus iness ma na gement
i s hous ed in offi ce s pace provide d in t he Ful t on County Court House.
Thi s
space is ina deq uate .
Data process i ng equ i pment is not avai l ab l e.
used fo r payro ll purpos~s and account records.
Accounting machines are
If Fulton County remains a
separate school sys tem , the board should investigate the poss ibility of
Ins ta lli ng or renting certa i n t ypes of data processing equi pment.
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The board has cons t ruc t ed an excellent educational services bui l ding
on a site some d ista nce from the cour t house.
centrally adjacent to an expre ssway .
Th_is bui-1:ding is located
However, it was constructed on a very
limited site with but littl e room for parking or expansion.
,that another story can be added to the present structure.
It is understood
However, this too
would become inadequate in a few years and parking space is already inadequate.
There fore the present site should be expanded if possible.
The educational services building houses the school plant maintenance shop,
warehousing for school supplies , school plant maintenance and custodial supplies
and storage for school furnit ure , instructional materials and supplies.
a very useful building.
This is
It makes it possible for the board to do quantity pur-
chasing on competitive bids.
Thi s policy is not possible without adequate ware-
housing and a distribution system.
The board has ' established a centrally located
S·chool Plant Maintenance .
school plant maintenance s hop located in the educational services building .
It is well equpped and staffed with personnel possessing the necessary sk il ls .
Reports from t he State Depa rtmen t of Education indicate that the board has an
excellent school plant maintenance program.
However, it is reported that some
additional employees are needed.
School Bus Maintenance.
The board operates 78 county-owned buses and
contracts for eight other buses.
The policy
of
district ownership and operation
of school buses almost al ways results in better service at a lower unit cost
than contract transportation.
The provision of school transportation is not
a simple matter in the Fulton County school district because of its geography.
The district is divided into two separate parts by the Atlanta City School
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district.
It is approximately 70 miles between a schoo1 in the northern part
of Fulton County and a ichool located in the southern part ~f the County school
district.
Road and traffic conditions vary from the conditions typically
found in rural Georgia to conditions usually found in a densely settled metropol itan area.
The board contracts for bus maintenance and inspection with a private
garage at a cost of $1,300 per month.
Parts used in repairing buses are
"bil led to the board at list price less 10 .percent .
.
Buses appear to be well
· maintained and very few road failures are experienced.
The operator of the
garage with whom the board contracts for its bus maintenance takes a genuine
pride in maintaining school buses.
He appears to h~v~ the interest ~nd
enthusiasm of a board empl oyee.
The board has explored the possibility of constructing its own school
bus repair shop and operating it.
Available evidence does not indicate that
the board could save money by establishing its own shop as long as it is able
to contract for its bus maintenance at so favorable a rate.
The contractor
operates a branch shop in the nort he rn part of the County which does light
repairs a nd inspections.
This reduces the amount of empty mileage traveled
by buses .
The board puys its gasoline for school buses from filling sta tions.
Discounts are received at only a few stations.
The board has considered
purchasing its own tank truck and serving its own buses.
However, schools
· are so widely separated that this method would probably not save very much
money.
The board could probably save some money on its gasoline 'purchases
if filling stations were required to bid for the board's business.
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Financial Accounting and Auditing . The financial accounting system
follows in general the account classification for receipts and expenditures
recommended by the United Sta tes Office of Education.
state requirements .
It also conforms to
The accounts of the Fulton County schools can readily
' be compared with the accounts of school systems not only in Georgia but also
throughout the Nation.
As poin te d out above , data processing equipment is not available for
keeping financial accoun ts.
Furthermore,· the s taff provided for accounting,
purchasing and budget administration is insufficient in number to provide
all of the se rvices needed .
on an accrual basis .
For example, expenditure accounts are not kept
This should be done in order to provide a more efficient
method of budget control.
If Fu lton County is continued as a separate school
system, accrual accounting s hou l d be installed along with data processing
equipment.
The accounts of the board have been audited eight times during the past f our
years, four ti mes by state auditors and four times by independent certified
public accountants.
The board requires school principals to maintain a uniform system of
accounts for al I of the internal funds handled at school cente=rs. .
These
accounts are audited annually.
Budgetary Procedures.
The director of finance is assigned the res-
ponsibility of preparing the budget document.
As pointed out above, he is
directly responsible to the superintendent and works under his supervision
in preparing the budget.
He also works with the assistant superintendentSp
director of Instruction, principals and others In preparing the budget.
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Work is started on the budget from 6 to 12 months prior to the beginning
of the fiscal year but it is not always approved in final form by the beginning of the fiscal year.
The budget is a technical budget not readily understood by the lay
public.
Detailed schedules of anticipated receipts _and proposed expenditures
by function and object are presented.
In addition certain unit costs and data
for the previous year are i ncluded in the budget.
Program accounting is not
used In interpretihg the budget.
Budget hearings are held but they are not well att~nded.
The budget is
advertised in the newspaper and a dopted by the board at a later date as
prescribed by law.
The boar d is fi scally independent' and its budget is not
subject to review by any ot her local body.
However, as school costs continue
to increase and the public becomes more tax conscious, the board will undoubtedly find it advisable to deve lop more adequate means than are now used to communicate school needs to t he public.
Purchasing Procedures.
The boar d purchases all important items in
quantity and requires competitive bids for all items costing in excess of
$150.00.
money.
This policy undoubtedly resu lts in the saving of considerable
Quantity buying requires storage and a distribution system.
The
educational services building and t he distribution system established in
connection with it greatly facilitates quantity purchasing.
Business Administration of the School Lunch Program.
The board provides
some central supervision for the school lunch program but it does not provide
for central accounting and purchasing for school lunch rooms.
Central account-
ing and central purchasing usually resu lt in considerable savings for the
�-14-
school lunch program • . Howeve r as pointed out above, distribution is a
problem in Fulton County beca use of the remoteness of many schools from
a central warehouse.
The educational se rvi ces building is not equipped for food storage
but this deficiency could be remedied.
It is believed that considerable
money could be saved by centr?l accounting and purchasing for school lunch
rooms.
However, these services could not be provided without expanding the
b~siness management s taff.
Approxima te ly 61 percent of the pupils enrolled participate in the
school lunch program .
All school s either receive federal aid in the form
of cash and commod it ies or conmodities only.
Insurance a nd Bonding.
fidelity bond .
Al l employees· are under a blanket position
Principa l s are also under a name bond.
The board pays the
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cost of all bonds .
The board carri e& fire and extended coverage insurance under the Public
and Institutional Property Plan.
Under this form of insurance (avai lable only
to publi c institutions) t he board insures a buiiding and its contents for
replacement cost rather than appra ised cost.
This g ives the board rather
compl ete coverage but it is a fair ly .expensive type of insurance.
The board
pays $50,755.66 annually for carrying fire and extended coverage Insurance on
buil dings and equipment ins ured at a replacement value of $32,773 ,199.92.
This may appear rather expe nsive when compared with the insurance costs of
the Atlanta City system.
However, insurance rates a re greatly affected by
the fire protection ava ilable and the City of Atlanta has far better fire
protection than Is ava ilable in most sections of Fulton County.
�-15-
Income Manageme nt and Depos ito ry Security.
The board has been able
to carry a su fficient workin g bala nce t o be abl _e to pay Its current
obi igations on ti me without having to resort to tax anticipation loans .
This is good po licy.
The board has operated on a balanced budget and has
carried over a reasonable working bal ance from on~ f!scal year to another.
The board wise l y fol lows._ the pol icy of investing idle funds in United
States Government securiti es.
It realized $199,640.39 in interest from
this source dur ing the 1965-66 fis cal year.
The boa rd does not follow standard procedures for protecting its
funds in depositories.
The standard procedure is to require the board's
depository bank to protect the board's deposits by escrowing in another
bank, government securiti es in an amount equal to the maximum balance
carried by the board.
In 1 ieu of t h i s pol icy the Fulton County board of
education keeps its f unds in 10 bank accounts and attempts to invest funds
not needed during a given mon th as quickly as possible.
During the period
of heavy tax collections, the board may receive as much as $2,000,000 in a
single remittance.
While these fun ds are invested in United States Government
obliga tions promptly, nevertheless the board should have some protection for
its funds in depositories in the form of escrowed collateral.
Fringe Benefits for Employees.
The board provides the following fringe
benefits for all of its employees both cert ifica ted and non-certificated:
retirement, sic~ leave, medi cal and hospita lization insurance and a limited
.,l
amount of life insurance.
!
the costs of most of these benefits.
I
The employer and the employee share in financing
These are the same types of benefits
provided by the Atlanta City board of education for its employees.
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I
Summary
The business administration policies of the Atlanta City school
sy,s tem and the Fulton County school system ·a re both basically sound.
The available evidence indicates that no great amount of money could be
saved by consolidating the business administration operations of the two
systems.
Few if any business administration personnel could be eliminated
by the consolidation of the two systems.
It might be necessary and desirable
to change a few titles and to do some reorganization but the services of all
of the present employees would be needed.
Both ~ducattona l services buildings would still be needed because of
the shortage of warehousing and storage space.
The consolidation of the
two systems would not elimina t e the great distances between schools which
cause distribution problems .
If the two systems were consolidated and public transportation provided
for qualifying pupils who now live in the city of Atlanta , different arrangements for the mai nt~nance and ope ration of ~chool buses would have to be ma de.
Those arrangements would probably involve the construction of two school bus
repa i r s hops , one l ocated in t he nor t hern half of the reorganized dis t r i ct
and the ot he r in t he sout·he r n ha 1f .
From t he standpoint of bus ine s s a dm i nistration, t he c h ief sa ving i n
consoli dat ing t he two school distr ic t s would be the elimi nati on of t he cost
o f one da ta processing system.
The newl y i nstal le d da ta proce ssing sys t em
for the Atlanta City schools has sufficient capacity to serve both school
systems.
All other business administration savings would have to be obtained
�-17 -
from increases in efficiency derived from economy of scale.
for example,
consolidation of the two systems would result in increasing the volume 9f
specific items submit t ed for bid.
The increased volume might result in
lower unit costs for some items.
Some financial savings could probably be obtained by eliminating
certain duplicating educatio~al programs or the provision for better
coordination of existing educational progra~s if the two districts were
consolidated .
Since this section of this report is concerned only with
business administration policies, no attempt is made to estimate the
amount of savi ngs on t he opera t ion of educational programs that could be
obtained through consolidati on .

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�REPORT OF THE CONSULTANTS
on
CERTAIN PERSONNEL PROBLEMS
RELATING TO THE PROPOSED MERGER
of the
FULTON COUNTY - ATLANTA SCHOOL SYSTEMS
JUNE 19, 1967
WILLARDS. ELSBREE
and
JOHN E. PHAY
CONSULTANTS
�Report of the Consultant s on Certain Personnel Problems
Relati ng to the Propo3ed Merger of the Fulton County Atlanta School Systems, June 19, 1967
This report dea l s with the implications of merging the certificated
and non-certificated per sonnel of the two current school systems - Fulton
County and Atlanta .
The question of the soundness of the merger itself
was deemed to be outsi de the province of this study.
The consultants
have proceeded on the a s sumption that a merger is contemplated; that if
- effected , it is essential to unify personnel policies and practices , and
that specific procedure s for dealing with the employee groups in the two
school systems should be spelled out.
Perhaps the two most important personnel problems that must be resolved
if a merger i s to be effected are the establishment of equitable
salary and wage policies and the determination of how present and future
pension and retirement provisions are to be administered.
Certain other poli cie s and practices must also be unified if the
merger is to deal f airly with the employed personnel.
Sick leave , insur-
ance provi s ions , and tenur e r egulations must somehow be brought into
harmony - otherwise morale wi ll suffer and the objectives of the merger
will not be fully r ealized .
In or de r to obtai n the data and information needed to arrive at recommended pr ocedures the consultants assembled , with the help of the Coordi na tor of the Met ro politan School Deve lopment Council , pertinent published materi a l s
f r om each of t he schoo l syst ems involved and they interviewed executives
re sponsible f or the administration and supervision of the per sonnel poli cies.
Included i n t he l ist of t hose int erviewed were :
�the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement System
of Georgia,
the Deputy Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement
System of Georgia,
the Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education,
the Assistant Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education,
the Controller of the Atlanta School System,
the Assistant Controller of the Atlanta School System,
the Superintendent of Schools in each system,
the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel in Atlanta,
the Coordinator of the Metropolitan School Development Council,
the Director of Non-certificated Personnel in Atlanta,
the Secretary for the Atlanta General Pension Fund,
the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, Atlanta.
Many official reports were examined together with policy statements in
an effort to learn the basis for existing practices.
The fact that salary
policies were undergoing major revisions has been noted and the proposals
contained in thi s report take full account of these changes .
It should be pointed out that many personnel policies are subject to
revision almost annually o Salary levels in particular are very unstable
and inflation has forced boards of education and public boardsgenerally
to boost salaries and wages more frequently than was true a few years ago .
Because of this i nstabi lity any calculations of future costs are bound to
be unreliable .
The best that can be done is to make what appears to be
�reasonable assumptions and show their implications .
Salaries of Certificated Personnel
With the merger of the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems an
immediate concern of the several thousand individuals employed will be what will be my salary for next year?
It is the opinion of the consultants
that a basic salary schedule should be developed for the certificated personnel of the merged systems but that such
only after the merger is consumated.
a schedule should be developed
The preparation of a salary schedule
that has good possibilitie s of wide and enthusiastic reception should involve many people in its development.
Representatives of organized pro-
fessional groups, area specialists and supervisory and administrative personnel should have a part in the preparation of the basic salary program,
Until the merger occurs , similar professional organizations will continue
to exist for both Atlanta and Fulton County.
After merger , many organiza-
tions will be consolidated and at that time the new organizations may be
appropriately represented .
The same situation obtains for representatives
of area specialists and the supervisory and administrative staff .
A salary
schedule that could be reconnnended by consultants prior to the merger of
the systems and without the involvement of representatives from the new
groups would be premature .
Therefore, it is reconnnended that after merger
�4
a salary study committee composed of representatives of all certificated
groups and areas be appointed to consider salary schedules and salary
policies for the new systemo
With the decision reached that any new salary schedules should be
developed only after merger of the systems, the consultants examined the
possibilities of what salary provisions might be best for innnediate application following the merger and during the transition periodo
The same
treatment , salarywise, of all personnel in the new system is a prerequisite
in determining salary policies for the new system.
It was found that the two salary schedules could be merged and after
careful review and examination the consultants came to the conclusion that
retention of the salary schedules of the Atlanta System and the placement
of the Fulton County per sonnel on the Atlanta schedules is the best solution
possible with the merging of the two systems .
To make such a t r ansfer from
one salary schedule to another it is recommended that the following rules
be applied :
1.
No employee ' s s alary wi l l be reduced .
2.
Teachers and other certifi cated per sonnel will be placed on the
appropriate 1967-68 Atlanta School Sys tem' s sal ary schedule, on
the step stipulating a salary t hat is equal to or next higher i n
amount t o t he current s alary being paid .
�5
3.
Any Fulton County employee whose salary is higher on his present
salary schedule than it would be on the same step of the Atlanta
salary schedule will be paid this higher salary amount, but when
and if eligible in subsequent years he will proceed according to
the provisions of the appropriate salary scale.
4.
For employees new to the merged system, a maximum of five years'
service in other school systems will be accepted on a year by year
basis .
Such a person, with five years' experience, would enter on
step 6 of the salary schedule.
5.
Salary scale incentives applicable to the Bachelor's and Master's
degree scales will be established following steps 4, 8, and 12.
Teachers will be allowed to proceed on these salary scales only
after completing six semester hours of approved college or university
credit, or its equivalent, in in-service programs approved by the
Board of Education .
To make the salary changes by the application of the above rules it was
estimated by the Coordinator of Metropolitan School Development Council that
the cost increase will be approximately$
During the transition period there should be established a salary study
connnittee, as indicated earlier in this section , to ascertain the adequacy
of the salary schedules and policies in operation and to recommend any
changes that promise to produce better salary arrangements .
In addi t ion,
�6
a review should be made to ascertain whether or not individual employees
have been appropriately classified and -given correct placement on the
salary schedules.
Wages of Non-certificated Employees
A similar approach is suggested for arriving at appropriate wage
policies for the non-certificated workers in the county and the city school
systems.
Atlanta has recently adopted a classification plan recommended by
the Public Administration Service.
These schedules have been developed
after much study and it appears logical to fit the non- certificated school
employees from the county into the basic Atlanta pattern.
ences in the length of the work year in some categories.
There are differThis calls for
minor adjustments but is not a serious obstacle to unifying the two groups.
Bus drivers are employed in the county but are not employed by the Atlanta
School System.
The current wages paid bus drivers should be continued for
the time being and the pay levels assessed when salar ie s and wage s gener ally
are being reviewed .
In the case of custodians it would be necessary to reclassify the Fulton
County employee s in order t o achieve parity.
This i s not a difficult t a sk
and if the merger is voted , temporar y cl assifica t i ons could be made in tho se
cases where t he job descriptions were not clear and final a ssignments made
a f t er individual case s were reviewed.
According to est imat es made by the Coor dinator of t he Metro politan
School Development Council, the cost of bringing all the non-certificated
employees under a single tent i f the At l ant a pay scales were applied is
$543 , 756 .
This assumes that no consolidation in jobs will be made and the
same number of employees are retained .
Retirement Provisions
Both Fulton County and the City of Atlanta maintain local pensi on and
�-
I
7
retirement systems for their employees .
This practice is of fairly long
standing and, as ha s been the case in other Amer ican cities and counties,
it arose because of the obvious need to provide employees with protection
against the vicissitudes of advanced age and the local community against
the inefficiency which results when workers, past the prime of life , are
retained on the job .
Unfortunately the history of local pension plans has not been too
favorable .
Even when· they have maintained a solvent position, which many
have not, they have seldom pr ovided the pr otec tion to new members that
was guaranteed by those established and administered by the State ~ As a
result , they have rapidly diminished in number and state plans have supplanted them .
The l atter because of l arger member ships , the spreading of
risks, and greater resources , have supplied the certificated staff with
superior protection .
Mor eover , state employees' retirement systems are
increasingl y providi ng coverage f or the. non-cert i f icated employees i n
school systems .
The pr oblem confr onting Fulton County and Atlanta with respect to
pension and retirement is not unlike t hat f ound i n many other systems.
The funds required represent a t remendous investment and the accrued l iabi l iti e s r un into milli ons of dollars,
The ultimate so l ution in t he minds of t he consultants lies in moving
the responsibility as quickly as possible from the l ocal
system to t he
St a t e and t he abandonment of any local ret irement for new cert ificated
per sonnel .
This cannot be achi eved quickly nor painlessly.
While the pro-
posal to merge the two school systems poses some knotty problems with respect to employee retirement , a reasonable solution can probably be worked
out.
1
�8
With the merger of the two systems, it is recommended that the
policies with respect to retirement and- pension provisions listed below
be adopted by the various boards concerned :
1.
All~ certificated personnel will secure membership under
the Teachers Retirement System of Georgi a .
2.
All~ non-certificated personnel wi ll secur e membership in the
social security program provided under the Federal Insurance Compensation Act.
3.
All certificated personnel who are members of retirements systems
operated by either the Atlanta General Employees ' Pension Fund
Board or by the Fulton County School Pension Board may withdraw
their personal contributions to their pension fund if and when
they become members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia.
4.
Members of the retirement system oper ated by the Atlanta Pension
Board who wish to continue to be covered by the provisions of
such board may continue thei r member ship , and the Atlanta Pension
Board will continue to administer and be r esponsi ble for all
pension liabilitie s fo r such personnel as re quired by their current connnitments .
Futur e change s i n pension benefi ts will be
avai lable to such member s.
5.
The Fulton Count y Boar d of Connnissioners will assume all obligat i ons , l iabili ties , and connnitments of t he Fulton "County School
Pension Fund Boar d .
6.
Member s of the r etirement sys tem oper ated by the Fulton County
School Pension Board may at t heir option t r ansfer their member ship
t o a new Fult on County pension system to be administer ed by the
Fulton County Boar d of Connnissi oner s or i t s de signat e and retain
�9
all of the rights and benefit s they held under the system operated by the Fulton County School Pension Board.
7.
Commitment s for membe1s who have retired under the pension systems
operated by either the Atlanta Pens ion Board or by the Fulton
County School Peneion Boar d shall have all such commitments
honored
by the Atlanta Pension Board or by the Fulton County
Board of Commissioners re spectively.
Insurance
The practice of providing group life a,_~d personal accident insurance
for employees is connnendable and should be continued.
I t is reconnnended
that:
1.
Employees of the At~anta and Fulton County school systems who have
retained their school system sponsored insurance policies and who
are retired will have their benefits and vested rights under their
policy protected by the Atlanta City Board of Aldermen and the
Fulton County Boar d of Commissioners, respectively, and such boards
will manage and make any annual payments due i nsurance companies
that exceeds the amount required of the employees under the provisions of the policy.
2.
At the time of the mer ger , gr oup life and personal a ccident insurance contracts be cancelled and a new contract agreement be
entered into with a commercial company t hat will pr ovi de the best
policy at the l owe st rate.
Tenure
Joh security should not be placed in j eopar dy for an employee of the
two sch•.iol systems because of t he merger.
1 ..
Tenure policies for the new
It i s recommended that :
sys tem · be e tablished for the
several classes of personnel employed and that the policies
�10
fo r each clas si f ication be tho se now ex t ant in either the
Atlanta School System or t he Ful~on County Schoo l System that
are more generous to the i ndi vid .al employee.
2.
Employees holding t enure in either of the t wo systems concerned
at the time of merge r be automatically pr ovided t enure in the
new systeltl.
3.
Any probationary period served in the two systems concerned and
prior to the mer ger of the two systems will be accepted at full
value for tenure considerat i ons in t he mer ged system.
Leaves of Absence and Vacat ions
The emoluments and rights earned under provi sions that now exist for
the personnel in the Atlanta and Ful t on Count y schools should be protected .
It is reconnnended that the provisions tha t are most generous t o the employees , tha t now exist in ei t her of t he t wo school sys t ems concerned, be
adopted fo r the new merged system with res pect t o sick leave , maternity
leave , ber eavement leave, mi lit ary leave, pr ofessio nal study leave,
emer gency leave and vacations .
Records
With the merger of the two systems, it is anticipa t ed t ha t changes
wi l l be needed i n bo t h acc ounting and personnel r ec ords systems .
With
moder n office e quipment and el ectronic data proce s3ing 1nachinery, the wor k
of business, acc ounting, financial and statistical offices ·can be handled
with dispatch .
Moreover, information on personnel can be secured i n a s
many ways as ne eded in short periods of time.
In order for t he new sys t em
to be able to function efficiently, it is reconnnended that as soon a s the
merger is voted, specialists i n systems data processing be employed to plan
for the merging of data of the two school systems together with programs
for fast retrieval of such data ,
�11
Combining the Central Office Staff Personnel
A merger nearly always requires some consolidation of central office
personnel .
Hence, the pro cedures for determining how the unified system
should assign the current centr al office employees needs to be spelled out .
The two systems as might be expected have several comparable central
office positions and in some instances the merger, in the interest of
economy, might necessitate the assignment of certain officials to posts
outside the central office.
This fa ct together with the need to reassess
existing assignments calls for the exercise of both judgment and diplomacy
on the part of those charged with the r esponsibility of building a new
central organization .
The consultants believe that the wisest procedure to follow in
merging the two central staffs is as follows:
1.
The new Board of Education shoul d choo se a superintendent of
schools for the system
2,
and an associate superintendent.
The Board of Education should appoint a connnittee to make recommendations as to the assignment of personnel to the new system
central office positions ,
This connnittee should be composed of
the super intendent of schools, who should act as chairman, the
assoc iate superintendent of schools, and two officials currently responsible for the recruitment, selection and assignment of
personnel in the two systems being merged.
3.
The officials cur rently responsible for the recruitment, selection
and assignment of personnel should make reconnnendations to the
superintendent of schools regarding the assignment of secretaries,
clerks and custodial workers needed for service in the central
headquarters .
�12
4.
In making a ssignments , consi derati on should be given to the
age , experience and personal fitness of the i ndividual
employee for the job to be filled ,
5.
All central office employees should be housed under one
roof and adequate fac i lities should be provided to facilitate
the work .
�FINANCilJG THE PUBLIC SCHOOIS OF
ATIANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
A STUDY CONDUCTED FOR
THE LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION
BY
DR. R. L. JOHNS
(Revised
by
Dr. R. L. Johns -
June 21, 1967)
�FINANCING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
A comprehensive approach to a study of the financing of the public schools
in Atlanta and Fulton County would involve an appraisal of the future policies
of tne State of Georgia and the federal government for school financing as well
_as a study of local school financing.
Since such an appraisal is beyond the
scope of this study, this section of the report will deal primarily with problems
of local school financing in the two districts.
However, most authorities on
school financing anticipate that in the future there will be further increases
in school financial support from the federal government and state governments as
well as from local school districts.
Although the public schools will no doubt
receive increased funos in the future from both state and federal sources,
strong local financial support of the public schools will have to be maintained
by all districts that desire something better than a mediocre quality level ~f
education for their children.
The following matters are treated in this section of the report:
revenue receipts, current expenditures, ta..xpp.y.ing ability and local effort to
support education, indebtedness, equalization that would result from consolidation, non- pr operty local taxes and financial arrangements that would need to be
made i f t he two districts were consolidated.
Revenue Receipts
Table I shows the budgeted revenue r eceipts of the Atlanta and Fulton County
school systems.
It will be noted f r om this Table that 55 -4 percent of the revenue
of the Atlanta City schools is derived from the district property tax as compared
with 28.4 percent in Fulton County.
are deceiving.
However, both of these percentage figures
�-2Just what percent of the revenue receipts of each school system is provided
by property truces levied on property located in each district?
It will be noted
that the Atlanta City Council paid $2,835,045 in 1966 for the debt service on
bonds the City issued to construct school buildings.
This amounts to 5.3 percent
of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City Board of Education.
This added to
the 55.4 percent derived from the district property tax makes a total of 60.7
percent of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City schools derived from property
taxes in 1966-67.
It will be noted that Fulton County receives $1,762,892 from the county-wide
tax (1½ mills) and $780,000 from a direct appropriation from the County Comm:fssion
and $720,000 from the County Commission for Teacher Retirement.
total of $3,262,892 from these two sources.
This makes a
If it is assumed that the appropria-
tion from the County Commission is also derived from property taxes, what part of
this total is paid on property located in Fulton County but outside of the City
of Atlanta? Since only about 19 percent of the digest of Fulton County lies
out si de of the City of Atlanta, only approximately 19 percent of this amount,
or $619, 949, is paid on the property in Fulton County lying outsi de the City of
Atlant a, and $2, 642,943 on the pr operty in the City of Atlanta.
This repr esents
only approximately 3. 6 percent of the r evenue r ecei pts of t he Fult on County
Board.
It will also be noted t hat 7.8 percent of the r evenue r eceipt s of t he
Fult on County dist rict i s der i ved from the
5½mill levy f or debt
s ervice .
These
two amounts, that is, 3 .6 percent pl us 7.8 percent added t o 28.4 percent make a
t otal of 39.8 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County Board of
Educat i on obtained frOdl property taxes paid on property located in Fulton County
outside of the City of Atlanta.
The Fulton County Board of Educati on r ecei ves 40. 8 percent of its revenue
from the state Minimum Foundation Program appropriations as eompared with 32.3
percent for the City of Atlanta.
The Minimum Foundation Program law was designed
�-3to equalize educational opportunities among school districts that vary greatly
in wealth.
The l½ mill county-wide tax levied in all of Fulton County but al-
located exclusively to the Fulton County Board also provides for considerable
financial equalization at the local leveL
opportunity is sound public policy.
The equalization of educational
Later in this report, it is shown that the
. adjusted gross digest is 32 percent greater per pupil in the City of Atlanta
than in Fulton County.
Table I shows the revenue receipts of the Atlanta Schools
totaled $530.01 per pupil in 1966-67 as compared with $571.07 in Fulton County.
This means that the State Minimum Foundation Program. Law together with the l½
mill county-iwide levy and the direct appropriation from the County Commission
have gone a long way toward equalizing the financial support of the two systems.
It should not be inferred from this comment, however, that educational opportunities are equal in the two school systems.
The Atlanta City school system provides
kindergartens which are not provided in the Fulton County system.
If Fulton
County provided kindergartens, the revenue receipts per pupil in that school
system would probably be no more than the revenue receipts per pupil in the
Atlanta system.
Both systems will benefit substantially in 1967-68 from increases from the
Minimum Foundation Program Appropriation provided by the 1967 Legislature.
It
is estimated that the City of Atlanta will receive an increase of approximately
$1,863,000 from this source and Fulton County approximately $1,075,000.
�I
r~
TABLE I - SOURCES OF REVENUE OF ATIANTA AND FULTON COUNTY
SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67 (BUDGETED REVENUES 1966-67.,
DATA FURNISHED BY CITY AND COUNTY SCHOOL OFFICIALS)
SOURCE
District Property
tax for operation
ATLANTA
Amount
Percent
$29.,686,415
55.4
FULTON COUNTY
Amount
Percent
$ 4,922.,451
1,762,892
10.2
County Commission (for
General Expenses)
780.,000
4.5
Intangible Taxes
Z30,000
1.3
County Commission (for
Teacher Retirement)
720,000 #
4.2
County Wide Property Tax
State Minimum
Foundation Program
40.8
17.,322.,038
32.3
7,074,761
other State Funds
425.,013
.8
0
Vocational Funds
628,449
1.2
58,000
.3
National Defense
Education Act
520.,781
1.0
65,400
.4
Fulton County School
District 5½mill levy
f or debt service
Federal Impacted
Area Funds
1,350.,000 #
7.8
210.,000
1.2
802,366
1.5
City Council Payments for
Debt Service on Sch . Bonds
2.,835.,045 #
5.3
other Income
1.,358,747
2.5
159., 500
.9
$53 ., 578.,854
100. 0
$17,333,004
100.n
Tot al Revenue
Receipts
Beginning Cash Balance
Sub-Total
Federal FundsElem. & Sec. Act. 1965
GRAND TOTAL
532.,250
818.,609
54.,111.,104
18.,151,613
2.,519,743
461,383
$56,630.,847
$18.,612.,996


Not Included in the operating budgeto


continued-
�TABLE I -
(Cont.)
ATIANTA
Amount
SOURCE
Average Daily
Attendance Ja.n. 1.,
1967
Revenue Receipts
Per Pupil in ADA









101,068
$530.01
Percent
FULTON COUNTY
Percent
Amount
30,352
$571.07
Excludes federal funds received under the Elementary and Secondary
Act of 1965 which cannot be used for the regular school program.
�-4The federal revenues received from the Elementary and Secondary Education
Act of 1965 are also shown in Table I.
These revenues are shown separately be-
cause they are all earmarked for special purposes by the federal government and
cannot be expended for the regular school program.
Practically all of these
revenues must be expended for compensatory education for the children of the
disadvantaged.
·current Expenditures
In Table II an analysis of the budgeted current expenditures of the two school
systems for 1966-67 is presented.
Both systems expend 75 percent or more of total
current expenditures for instruction.
This is typical practice in large school
systems.
Caution should be exercised in comparing the different percentage allocations
given to the same expenditure functions in the two systems.
These systems differ
considerably in their bases of financial support, the spread of population and
other factors.
For example, Fulton County allocates 2.8 percent of its current
expenditures to transportation but Atlanta spends no funds for pupil transportation.
Atlanta expended approximately $486.07 per pupil for 1966-67 and Fulton
County $517.07 for current operating expenses.
The Research Division of the
National Education Association estimated that the average current expenditure
per pupil in average daily attendance for the 50 states and the District of
Columbia was $564 in 1966-67.
Therefore, the current expenditures per. pupil in
both the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems are very low when compared with
the national average.
�TABIE II
CURRENT EXPENDITURES OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67
(BUDGETED EXPENDITURES FOR 1966-67)
ACCOUNT
FUNCTION
ATIANTA
Amount





FULTON COUNTY
Percent
1. Administration
$1,796.,920
3.7
2 ._ Instruction
36,977,443
3. Operation of
Plant
Percent
Amount
309,784
2.0
75.3
12,149,333
77.4
4,224,543
8.6
1,228,200
7.8
2,810,500
5.7
663,550
4.2
5. Health Services
96,368
.2
6. Food Services
41,209
.l
$
4. Maintenance
of Plant
7. Transportation
8.
Fixed Charges
9. other
TOTAL
Average Daily Attendance
January 1967
Current Expenditures
Per Pupil in ADA
0
2,417,800
754,819*
49,119,602
101,068
$486.07
4.9
1.5
100.0
0
9,300
.l
444,160
2.8
889,368**
5.7
0
15,693,695
100.0
30,352
$517.06


nata furnished by county and city school officials. Expenditure accounts do not


include expenditures from federal funds received from the Elementary and Secondary
Act of 1965.


This account consists principally of undistributed expenditures made from federal


funds received under the National Defense Education Act.
,



Includes $720,000 employees' contribution t o teachers' retirement paid by the




County Commission.
�-5Financial Ability
The best measure of the relative local taxpaying ability of the Atlanta and
Fulton County school systems is the gross property digest per pupil in average
daily attendance computed on the basis of 100 percent valuation.
This is due to
the fact that most local school revenue is derived from property truces.
Following is the adjusted 100 percent gross di~est for 1966 of the Atlanta
City Scho~l district estimated by the State Revenue Department:
Atlanta City in Fulton County
$4,141,663,000
Atlanta City in DeKalb County
173,149,000
Total
$4,314,812,000
The average daily attendance of the Atlanta City schools was 101,068 in
January, 1967.
Therefore, the gross digest of the Atlanta City school district
adjusted on a 100 percent basis was $42,692 per pupil.
The 1966 gross digest of the Fulton County school district adjusted on a
100 percent basis was $982,348,000 according to data furnished by the State
Revenue Department.
The gross aigest includes the valuation of homesteads even
though homesteads up to a valuation of $2,000 are exempted frcm County operating
levies for schools.
It is necessary to include the valuation of homesteads in
order to compute an accurate measure of the relative wealth of the two districts.
The ADA of the Fulton County schools in January was 30,352.
par pupil in ADA was $32,365.
The gross digest
Therefore, the Atlanta City school system has a
gross digest approximately 32 percent greater than the Fulton County school system.
However, each of these school systems has considerably more wealth per pupil than
the average school district in the United States.
�-6Local Financial Effort, to Support, Education
A valid measure of local ta.x effort to support schools ccµi be obtained by
dividing the taxes paid on the property located in each school district by the
adjusted 100 percent gross digest of that district.
.
It is difficult to compute exactly the local ta.x effort of the Atlanta City
District because a part of that district is in DeKalb. County.
However, the follow-
ing is a fairly close approximation for 1966-67.
1.
District property ta.x
2.
Payments of City Council for debt
service on school bonds
2,835,045
The portion of the l½ mill county-wide
ta.x and the portion of the appropriations
made by the County Commission which was
paid on property located in the City
2,642,243
3.
$29,686,415
TorAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS
$35,164,403
The 100 percent gross digest of the Atlanta school district for 1966 was
$4,314,812,000.
The total local taxes for schools divided by the gross digest
equals .00815 or approximately 8.2 mills on the adjusted 100 percent gross digest
or true value of property.
The local taxes for schools in the Fulton County school district in 1966-67
were as follows:
1.
District property tax
2.
The portion of the l½ mill county-wide
ta.x and the appropriation made by the
County Commission which was paid on
property located in the county district
3.
Fulton County district levy of
mills for debt service
$4,922,451

TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS
619,949
1,350,000
$6,892,400
�-7The 1966 gross digest of the County school system on 100 percent basis was
$982,348,000.
The total local taxes for schools divided by the gross digest
equals .007016 or approximately 7 mills on the gross digest on true valuation
of property.
It is evident that the Atlanta City school district made a greater local tax
effort in proportion to its ability to support schqols than Fulton County.
If
the Fulton County school district had made as great a tax effort in proportion
to its ability as the Atlanta school dist~ict in 1966-67, it would have raised
_.OOll34 times $982,348,000 or $1,ll3,983 in additional local revenue in 1966-67.
Special attention is directed to the fact that Fulton County could not
legally have made this extra local effort in 1966-67.
The District levied 25
mills of operating taxes which was the legal limit it could levy.
property was assessed at less than 25 percent of true value.
Furthermore,
However, the limita-
tions on the taxing power of the Fulton County Board of Education will be eased
somewhat in the future because of the ruling of the court in the McLennan vs
St at e Revenue Commission case.
The court ruled that all property must be
assessed at a uniform percent of true value regar dless of the class of property
or where it was l ocated.
Upon the ruling, the Revenue Commissi oner ordered that
all county digests be based on assessing all propert y at 40 percent of true value.
This will make it possible to increase considerably t he local revenues of the
Fulton County school district beginning wit h t he 1967-68 fiscal year.
Ther e are no legal limits on the amount of mills which the Atlanta City
Board of Educat ion may levy for the oper ation of the public schools of the ci ty.
Therefor e, t here ar e no legal barrier s to increasing local school support f ~r
schools in Atlanta..
Actually the local truces for schools are extremely low bot h in Atlanta and
Fulton County when compared with t he school t axes levied in other sections of
the nation.
Recently one of the members of the staff making this survey .
�-8participated in a study of school financing in all school districts of 20,000
population or more in Illinois .
It was found that the average school district in
Illinois levied local property taxes for schools equivalent to 12 mills on the
100 percent true valuation of property.
This is almost fifty percent greater
local effort than the City of Atlanta and 71 percent greater local tax effort
for schools than in the Fulton County sc~ool district.
Indebtedness
The bonded indebtedness of the Atlanta City Council for schools totaled
$52,905,000 in 1967.
This was less than 3.8 percent of the unadjusted gross
digest.
The bonded indebtedness of the Fulton County school district was
$22,661,000 in 1967.
This was 9.1 percent of the unadjusted gross digest of
the county s chool district.
This is close to the 10 percent constitutional
limit on school indebtedness for the Fulton County district.
However, the bonded
indebtedness margin of Fulton County will be greatly increased when the property
di gest i s raised from an estimated 25 percent of true value to 40 percent.
The
unad justed 1966 gr oss digest for the Fulton County district was approximately
$248,ooo,ooo. Assuming that the 1966 digest was at 25 per cent of true value,
the 1967 digest at 40 percent of true value should be appr oximately $400, 000 , 000
allowing f or a reasonable amount of growth.
The present county school i ndebted-
ness would be less than 5.7 per cent of the gross digest at a 40 per cent valuation.
Another way of l ooking at the indebtedness of the t wo districts is to compute
.
the percent that the school indebtedness of each district is of the adjusted
gross digest of each district at 100 percent of true value.
In 1966 this figure
for the Atlanta city district was 1.23 percent and for Fulton County 2.31 percent.
If the two districts were consolidated, it is assumed that the territory that
originally issued the bonds would continue to be responsible for the debt service
�-9on the bonds that it had issued.
It does not appear that this would work any
great hardship on either district because the indebtedness of neither district is
excessive.
Non-Property Local Taxes
Some school districts in the United States have obtained legal authority
to levy non-property local taxes for schools.
against this practice.
There are arguments both for and
Following are some arguments against the levy of local
non-property taxes for schools:
1.
Usually only urban or metropolitan school districts are able to derive
substantial funds from this source.
2.
The state can collect most types of local non-property taxes more
efficiently than local units of government
3,
Local non-property taxes for schools place cities in competition with
each other for industries.
4
If the larger urban districts are able to levy local non-property taxes
f or schools , they may not support a state financing program which helps t he l ess
f ortunate s chool dist ricts.
5.
Same types of local non- pr operty t axes make it possibl e for wealt hy
districts t o shift a part of the incidence of t heir taxes on the residents of
less wealthy districts .
Some arguments for t he levy of l ocal non-property taxes f or schools are as
follows:
1.
growing.
The property tax is a regressive tax and public resistance to it is
If we maintain the vigor of local school support., many believe that a
source of local revenue more nearly related to ability to pay than the property
tax must be found.
2.
The more progressive areas of a state desire a better quality program
than the legislature is usually willing to provide from non-property state taxes.
�-10Those areas should be given the authority to provide this higher quality program
from some local source other than the property tax.
3.
It is possible to select types of local non-property taxes the burden
of which cannot be shifted to the taxpayers of less wealthy areas.
4. The cost of administering local non-property taxes can be held to a
reasonable level by using the state's tax collection machinery or by levying
local non-property taxes by metropolitan areas rather than by individual school
districts.
5. The taxpayer should be given the choice of what type or types of local
taxes he will levy for schools in order to broaden the base of local taxation.
As has been pointed out above, local property taxes for schools are very
low both in Atlanta and in Fulton County.
There is considerable leeway in both
districts for increasing local property taxes for schools without those truces
becoming burdensome.
Therefore, there is no :immediate urgency for the considera-
tion of obtaining the authority to levy local non-property taxes for schools.
If the Atlanta and Fulton County school authorities decide to study the
possibility of levying local non- property tax.es, it is recommended that consideration be given to the following:
1.
That any local non-property t axes that are levied for schools in the
Atlanta area be levied over the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta including all
school districts in the following counties:
Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, and
Gwinnett.
2.
That a metropolitan school taxing authority be established with the sole
responsibility for collecting any local non-property taxes for schools authorized
by law and for apportioning such taxes among the several school districts in the
five counties named above in proportion to the average daily attendance of pupils.
�-ll-
3.
That only those types of non-property local taxes be levied, the burden
of which cannot be shifted to ta:xpayers residing outside of· the Atlanta metropolitan
area.
Financing Education in a Reorganized District
A number of reports have been presented to the people of the Fulton County and
Atlanta school districts in which arguments for
t he two districts have been set forth.
review those arguments .
and
against the consolidation of
It is not the purpose of this report to
Therefore, the discussions of school finance presented
in this study have been focused primarily on the financing of schools in each district rather -than on the financing of schools in a consolidated district.
Certain
suggestions particularly concerning the level of school financing have already been
presented.
Those suggestions are as applicable to the financing of education in
Atlanta and Fulton County as separate school districts as they would be applicable
to the financing of education in a consolidated district.
It would no doubt be possible to provide reasonably adequate school financing
in each of the t wo distr icts operating as separate districts.
However , if the t wo
di stricts were consolidated, it would be possible to establish a more equi table
and more efficient financing pl an.
I t has already been pointed out that the 1966
gross digest adjusted at 100 percent in t he City of Atlanta was $42,692 per pupil in
ADA and in the Fulton County district $32,365.
If t he two dist ricts were consoli-
dated, the gross digest at 100 percent valuation f or t he consolidated district
would be $40 ,307 per pupil.
It has also been pointed out tha.t the taxpayers i n
the Fulton County s chool dist r ict are making a l ower tax effort to support schools
in proportion to ability than t he t axpayers i n the Atlanta City distr i ct.
There-
fore, consolidation of the two dist ricts would equalize the wealth back of each
child and it wuld also equalize the tax effort to support schools in the AtlantaFulton County consolidated district.
Consolidation would also simplify local
.financing because there would no longer be a. need for the special l½ mill .county
�-12equalizing levy or direct appropriations from the County Commission.
It has been suggested in other studies presented to the Local Education Commission of Atlanta and Fulton County that the consolidation of the two districts
might result in the loss of some state school funds under present methods of state
apportionment.
If there is anything in present state laws that would place a
penalty on desirable reorganization of school districts, the laws should be amended
and the .penalties eliminated.
This should not be a difficult undertaking.
As has already been pointed out, improvements in school financing should be
- made in the Atlanta and Fulton County school districts regardless of whether they
are consolidated.
If the two districts are consolidated, consideration should be
given to the following financial recommendations:
l.
The Board of the consolidated district should be given the same power for
levying taxes for school operation as that now possessed by the Atlanta City Board
of Education and it should be fiscally independent of any other local body.
2.
The Board should be given the power to issue bonds for capital outlay
purposes -up to a reasonable percent of the gross digest.
The Board should also
be given the power to obtain t ax anticipat i on loans to be r epaid within t he f iscal
year.
3. Homestead exemption f rom school t axes should be abolished i n the reorganized district.
4.
Present outstanding bonds should be retired in accordance with the com-
mitments made at the time of issuance but all new bonds should be issued on a
district-wide basis and retired from truces levied throughout the consolidated
district.
�Estimated Local Tax Levy Needed for Financing Schools in the Reorganized
Distr ict
It is difficult to make an accurate estimate of the local tax levy
needed for fi nancing schools in the reorganized district for a number of
reasons .
The local tax levy for schools in the combined Atlanta- Fulton
County School District will depend upon a number of facto r s including the
foll.owi ng :
the per cent of true value at which property is assessed , the
quality and quantity of education provided , the economic growth rate of
Atlanta and Fulton County and the additional amounts of revenue to be
received in the future f r om state and federal sources ,
Assumptions must be
made with respect to all of these items in order to estimate the pr obable
tax levy in the combined district .
In Table III , the estimates of the gross digest of the combined Atlanta
and Fulton County School District for the years 1966-69 are pre s ented .
It
will be noted that estimates at 100 per cent of true value and a t 40 per
cent of t r ue value are both presented ,
TABLE III
YEAR
1966~~
1967
1968
1969
ESTIMATED GROSS DIGEST OF ATT__ANTA AND FULTON
COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS COMBINED
1966 - 1969
GROSS DI GEST AT 100 PER
GROSS DIGEST AT 40 PER
CENT TRUE VALUE
CENT TRUE VALUE
$5,2 97} 160 , 000
5,519 , 641 , 000
5, 751 , 466 , 000
5,993 , 027 , 000
$2 , 118,864 , 000
2,207,856 , 000
2 , 300 , 586, 000
2,397 ,211 , 000
~~Actual data repor ted by the Sta te Revenue Department
The 40 per c ent es timat e i s used f or computing t he es t imated tax levy
b ecause of the or der of the Revenue Commis sioner t hat property be assessed
uniformly t hroughout t he state at 40 per cent of t r ue value ,
It was
�- 2 estimated that the gross digest would i ncr ease a t the rate of 4.2 per
cent annually .
Tha t was the approximate growth r ate . us ed i n the estima t es
pres ented on p , 15 of Distric t Re organiza tion For Bet ter Schools in Atlanta
and Fulton C0un.ty Repor t of the Loca l Educa tion Corrnnis sion of Atl anta and
Fulton Count y , Ge orgia, February 1966.
In Tabl e IVJ estimate s are pr esented of anticipated revenue s of the
reor ga nized di s tri ct from non-local s ources , estimated budget requirement s ,
estimated local t ax revenue needed and estimated loca l school tax levy
needed f or s chool operati on .
Thes e estimates are for opera tion only and
do not include revenues and expenditures needed fo r ca pita l outlay a nd
debt ser vice .
The methods used in making the estimates are s et fo r th in
the footnotes to Table I V.
It will be noted that the average es timat ed
tax r a te fo r the two dis trict s oper ating a s s eparate dist ri cts i n 1967- 68
is 18. 3 mi lls but tha t t he estimated tax rate for the firs t year of operation
as a c ombined di strict i s 21 . 4 mills .
This is due to the fa ct that i t will
take a considerable i ncr ease in school r evenue t o pr ovide kinder gartens for
the Fulton County childr en a nd to i ncrea s e the genera l l evel of educati onal
opportunity provided in the re organi zed sys t em.
It will als o be observed
tha t t he estimated l ocal t ax levy for 1969-70 i s 23 .2 mills.
This is
probably an over estimate becaus e i t i s based on t he as sumption that the
1969 State Legislature will not make any incr ease in the Foundation Program
allotment per tea cher ,
I f the 1969 legis l a tur e would make the same propor-
t ionat e i ncreas e in t he per teacher al lotment in the Foundation Program
t ha t it made in 1967 , the es t imated l ocal tax l evy fo r s chools in the
reorgani zed district would be only approximately 22, 0 mills.
�-
3 ..
Attention is partj,cul~rly directeq to the fact that t hese estirr~ted
tax levies are paseq on
-
11,
ta.:x: digest at 40 per cent of true value,
A
tax levy of 23, 2 m!il~ An ~ tax digest At 40 per cent of true value is
equivalent t A a t~x +evy ~f only 9, ~8 mills on a tax digest at 100 per
cent true ve.+ue ,
Thh is not. a high l~pal tax levy for schools when
comparecl. w:i.th ~chool. t a:x;es levied in 1 p.ding school systems in other
sections of the coµp.tr y,
�TABLE IV
SOURCE OF
REVENUE
ESTIMA. TED OPERATING REVENUES FOR
ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY DISTRICTS
COMBINED AND ESTIMATED LOCAL OPERATING TAX LEVY
NEEDED FOR SCHOOLS BASED ON A GROSS DIGEST AT 40 PER CENT
OF TRUE VALUE 1967-1969
1967- 68
1968-69
1969- 70
(Estimated as
(Estimated as
(Estima ted as
separate discombined
comb i ned
tricts)
district)
district)
STATE FUNDS
Vocational Funds
National Defense
Education Act
Federal Impacted
Area Funds
Other Income
Estimated income
excluding income
from local taxes #
$27 , 759 ,812
704,983
$28,509,327
724 , 018
$29 , 279,079
743 , 566
602)008
618, 262
634 , 955
1 , 039 , 700
1,559,240
1,067,772
1,601,339
1 , 096 , 602
1,644,575
31,665,743
32 , 520 , 718
33,398 ,777
Estimated Operating
Budget Requirement"s-l:-
72,110 , 626
81,832,188
89,111 , 499
Estimated Local Tax
Funds Needed
40,444 , 883
49 , 311,470
55 , 712 , 722
Gross Digest Estimated
at 40 per cent true
value
Estimated Tax Levy
for Schools Operation in mills
2 , 207 ,856,000
18. 3
21.4
23 . 2


State funds for 1967-68 were ·estimated by adding $2, 938, 000 to the sta te


funds r ecei ved by the two systems for 1966-67. This is the estimated additional
state revenue pr ovided for the two systems by the 1967 Le gislature . The estimated
s tate fund s f or subsequent year s wa s increased 2 . 7 per cent annually which is
about t he estimated annual incr ease in attendanc e of the combined systems . The
estimates f or other non-local sources of revenue were also i ncr eased 2 . 7 per
cent annual ly for the same r ea son. This method may over es t imate some sources .
and underestimate other sources.
-l~Data t aken from P. 21 of Distr ict Reorgani zation fo r Better School s i n Atlanta
and Fulton County. Repor t of the Local Education Cormnis sion of Atlanta and
Fulton County, Ge orgia , February 1966.
�assisunce, includ.n. but not UntUed to attorneys, accountants.
educational consultants, as may be necessary to assemble the required da.
and information, to analyse the same and draft the report and the
, 'C
1 1 , till <
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for submission to the General Assembly as hereinafter provided. The Commlss
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is authorized to enter Into a contract with persons or agencies for providing any
. J)K
or all of the d.ata and Information required in carrying out the purposes o
M -i
commission. The Commission shall reimburse the Individual members of
- Commission for their actual out-of-pochet expenses Incurred by authority
'r'.irirUjRRIIIMffiVC
I :k\'A 1 iiji
and while on business for the Commission.
SECTION 5
The official plan or plans, when signed by a ma)ority of said Commission
sh-11 be filed by said Commission with the Representatives of rulton an
liil i
4ist 42nd, and 43rd Districts in the General Assembly of Georgia and with the
Clerks of the Superior Courts having iurlsdiction in Fulton and DeKalb Counties
iV'f
cat ib cL^^^
Of the General Assembly following January 1, 1968o At least 60 ays P
filing any of the aforesaid plans ^ the Commission shall submit a ra copy
thereof to each of the aforesaid Boards of Education, for comments and sugges
(la
t
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revisions. The Commission shall provide for the publication and distributton
of a reasonable number of copies of its plan or plans and by supporting repor
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rith the City Clerk of the City of Atlanta on the first day of the next session


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prepared by the Commtssion ot previous Commission. When its fina plan or
plans have been filed as hereinabove provided, the Commission shall there y •
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be discharged a
SECTION 6
.
The Board of Education of the City of Atlanta is hereby authorized and
directed to allocate the sum of $6,000.00 and the Board of Education of Fulton
county is hereby authorized and directed to allocate the sum of
. ,'ii'f."
1 purpose Of carrying out the purposes of this Act, which are declared to be
educational functions of said Boards of Education. Requisitions for sums up
to the total amounts hereby directed to be aiiocated shall be signed by the
s
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Chairman and Secreta.y-Treasurer of said Commission and shall be paid by the
^
offiotal in charge of the funds thus altocated. Said Boards of Education are
farther authorized to allocate and expend such additional funds as in their
%.
5
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P
discretion they may determine to be necessary to carry out tne
°
Act, provld&i that such additional allocations and expenditures shall be sha
' ^1

H. B. No, 623
t
Page 4
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V
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�by said Boards on a ratio of 60% from the Atlanta Board of Education and 40%
from the Fulton County Board of Education.
•f-' l.VP;'.'
SECTION 7
, The commission is authorized to accept donations in any form from any
t y
..
V,iff.iii:,Wtii'if',
T>
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source and use the same in any way the Commission may deem advisable to
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effectuate the aims and purposes of the Commission.
SECTION 8
i ll n
It is hereby found, determined and declared that the re-estabiishment
M'
of the commission and the carrying out of its purpose is in all respects for the
benefit of the people of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County and is a public
'
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purpose and that the Commission will be performing an essential educational
function in the exercise of the power conferred upon it by this Act.
C
' 1
.
SECTION 9
This Act, being for the welfare of the citizens of Atlanta and of Pulton
county, shall be liberally construed to effect the purposes thereof.
1 tit
"ft,
SECTION 10
The provisions of this Act are severable and if any of its provisions
shall be held unconstitutional by any court of competent iurisdiction, the
decision of such court shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions.
SECTION 11
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A copy of notice of intention to apply for this local legislation and
affidavits showing the publication of such notice as required by idw are
. attached hereto and made a part of this bill, and it is hereby declared that all
of the requirements of the Constitution of the State of Georgia of 1945, relating
to publication of notice of intention to apply for the passage of this local
legislation, have been complied with for the enactment of this law.
SECTION 12
All laws and parts of laws in conflict with this Act are hereby
repealed.
H. B. No. 623
Page 5
^1
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�525
MARSHALL.
STREET
P. 0 . BOX . . I
DECATUR. GEORGI A 30030
a,un ,Av11oux
TH£ DEKALB NEW ERA · RltCOIIO
\ /
1ucu,.. , YICC l'IIIIID&Nf
I
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T.H,~ Ll,";';'0NIA O~. ~RVllA
IDltOII
a:>UBL 19HINQ
J. II. • oAT IIIOHT
VICI l'll&I IDlPff
•u1 INI II NAHAGUI
PRINTING
COPY Of NOT!CE
GEORGIA, DeKalb County
TP
Personall y appeared before the undersigned office r au thqrJ zep
by low to administer oaths, BRITT FAYSSOUX, who, bt::?ing. dµly
sworn, deposes and states
Of\
oath that he is Genera l Mqnag·er
of' the New Era Publishing Company, Inc., a Georgia corpo.ro~ion,
and is authorized to mcnlkie this offidavit on its behalf. Deponent
overs that the New &m iP,utblishi-ng Company, Inc. is the pv.b:l,isher
of the DeKdJb INlcw ;Ero, o newspaper published in the .C,i 1t.y of
Decatur, bt'1n91,df general c irculat ion and be ing the legal .organ
for the cotJrlt.y ,of DeKalb, and further overs that legal .no:t.ice, a
tr uc copy df .·-'h'
· h ere t o o ttoc h ed, ..............................
Notice or In·ten,t
w ,c'h 1s


,,.-, .........


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!
.. t.~.J~.~t,t?.t.J.1:".~,...143.215.248.55 15:21, 29 December 2017 (EST)tJ,.~&t.~J.~ti~m............
NOTICE Of JNHt-ffjO'tl ..
jN'f!lOUUCE
LOCAL U :GL'4..ATION'
· NoUco Is herclly Rtvon of !nto11Uon \o
Introduce tho J ,1114J rY, 1~~1 :aos•lon ol lhe.
C o11cr.1I A~st•mhly of pdotG)•, • 11111 lo ro 'o • tahll., h a l,oc.1I ~,'Juc.\qon Commission In
AllanlJ and fullon ' c o\in\y lo conllnuo a
BlU!ly Of lho dosJrahh/fy \md f0~.- \11l11ly Of
comhlntng tho
•ys_\ume of Fulton
County and ol \he c'lly ol Atlanta, lnclutll111t
t ho portion lhor,,ol


Oo.Kal_b CounlJI


to provl,le !or tho or~:,nJuUon ~n\l functJon•
Ing of aald conomls~lon) ' afl\l for other
1""·
purponcs.
This IJccombor 27, 1988,
A,C. L>Urner
.'
Al\ornoy, City of All~~I~ Doard
of l::duC11Uon
,hmoa P, Grolon
Allornoy, Fulton cou~1., .143.215.248.55 15:21, 29 December 2017 (EST)
gchod/ :
lyµ,c' f.ir
or
Educallon
l•tl•3T
was duly .: RUb-
lii,hcd oncc 1 0 ·week for ....:t ......... wee-ks os required by .low, tthe
d
do tes of p~l>licdtion ·being .... ~~.l'.1~.~-~.1. .. ~,... r~~-'=1.~.r.1. .. ~g,.a ......... .
.,
and Januwr7 19., 1967
••••••••••••••••••••••••••• .. •••••••••••••• ••• .. ••••••••••••••• .. ••••• .. ••• ••••• .. •a•••••••• • ••••••••• ••• • ••
.I
. . · · · · · · · ···· ·········;143.215.248.55ii ~:: : : :
Sworn to and subscribed bcfor~ me· this
..... .I. ....day of //(<:t:.~~-.?....... .. ,.. , 196.7..
/JS/ ~;,.~_;-t.>J. fl'~'··z··FlSt
L-:-~,
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11-, c..,..,., ... ,,n h,.,.\..f,.t,. 21, 1911
.
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(SEAL) -Y-. B. No., 623
Pa·.;-:- 6

�PUBLISHER'S AFFIDAVIT.
STATE OF OEORGIA,-County of Fulton.
B~fore me, the undersigned, a ..... Jiq~?F.Y. .f\lb.lJ-9 ....•... , this day per-
. sonally came .... ~ ... l!r!1A~. ~~!l!P.~?P. .....••••. , who, being first duly sworn,
ac\!ording to law, says that be is the ... J:'.i:143.215.248.55P.~I].~ ..... of the Daily Report Com•
pany, publishers of the Fulton County Daily Rcpo~, official newspaper published
I
at Atlanta, in said county and State, and that the publication, of which the an-
nexed ls a true copy, was published in said paper on the ...• -~~!=Jl... ~ ..........•
. . . . . . . . . . . . days o·r ...I?~<:~!111?~:i:
days of ......-l~1;1µ.B:i;y ••••••••• ,
..••. ,19.?~., and on the ... ?,. -~~,. .~q~!i....
1~ 7.• As provided by law.
.J.;i1v.1.v.f dt.~.µ,.1
i rr -1•., t,hll :: h n 1,, r ·1l J::1l11rn1 Inn
Commh,lnn In l\llnnln nnrl Fulto n Co1111tr l•l rontl11,i,, n ~t 11rlv
or thr ,!r ~lrnhllll 1,· :,,~cl rrn::lhllllv
or rnmhlnln<'. I hr :-rhnol w sl1·m·~
or 1-·11 1ro11 ,11111 :1\· n111I nf Iii,• Cltv
oC Atliln!n. l11rli'11l!n1· !!11• "nrllnn
tlw : rur l\'1111: In Jld{alh Cn tml\';
fo llro\'lrlr for 1hr N ·: ~111 ·,'.,' \ilon
11111! C1111rllnnlt11: of ~n!cl rnmml~11,Jc,": nntl fur nthrr p·1··,,,, ,;r~ .
Thi! r>rtl'ml.,rr Zi. Jfl,; •; _
I\ . C. l.:i'ln•rr
l\t'.nr:wr, Cl:y of
J\11 " :, t " "" "' rrl or
F.rlt1<' ,1tlnn
J~mr, P . Groton
Atto~nr\'. Fulton
Count,· · nnud of
Fdutn llon
Dt-c lt, l~M. Jan & 13 20, 1961


i


' I
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s/ Frank ~empton
·-NOTtn:
- - -or·
- f'.'JTf:"ITI0:-1
TO l"ITIIOr>t'<'F l,OC.\L
l.r.C:l!--1, \TIO"/
Noller I.• lwrrhl' 1:1,·,·11 nC lnfrn11011 tn lnlrodu,r lntn thr ,Inn•
unn· , ll> G7 .<t'.<~11111 nf thr (,r1H'rnl
A,,,',:nhl\' or r.,•nn:111 . n Bill to


i


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'


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Subscribed and sworn to before me
this .....~Q~!t... day of ...... . .


f;:iz:~~i ;~i/4-. .~n£~1s/ Milc;ired N. LazenbyO ·


"I~ "-····~t · •· •,


0
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H.B. No. 623

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H.B. No. 623
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By; Messrs. Walling, Harris, Farrar and Levitas of the 118th, Higginbotham,
Westlake and Davis of the 119th, Winkles of the 120th, Longino of the 122nd,
Cook of the 123rd, Adams of the 125th, Cox of the 127th, Dillon of the 128th,
Cames of the 129th, Lambros of the 130th, Sims of the 131st, Grier of the
.132nd, Alexander of the 133rd, Daugherty of the 134th, Brown of the 135th,
' Bond of the 136th, Hamilton of the 137th, McClatchey of the 138th, Townsend
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of the 140th, and Egan of the 141st.
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A BILL
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To be entitled an Act To Re-establish a Local Education Commission
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in Atlanta and Fulton County to continue the study of the desirability and
feasibility of combining the school systems of Fulton County and of the City of
Atlanta, including the portion thereof lying in DeKalb County; to provide that
said Commission shall draft a plan or plans, together with proposed Constitutional
amendments and legislation, for the combining of such school systems and
submit same to members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeKalb Counties;
to provide for the organization of said Commission; to provide for the publication
of said plan or plans; to provide for allocation of funds by the Boards of Education
of Atlanta and Fulton County for the operation of the Commission; to provide for
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authority to accept donations; and for other purposes.
Whereas, by Resolution approved March 18, 1964 (Ga. L. 1964, p. 3171)
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there was created in Atlanta and Fulton County a Local Education Commission
to study the desirability and feasibility of combining the school system of
Fulton County and of the City of Atlanta; and
Whereas, said Commission filed its report, recommending that said school
systems be combined; and
Whereas, by Resolution approved March 15, 1966 (Ga. L. 1966 p. 3413)
said Commission was re-established for the purpose of drafting a plan or plans,
together with proposed Constitutional amendments and legislation, for the
combining of such school systems, for consideration by the members of the
General Assembly; and
Whereas, said Commission has presented its interim progress report, which .
indicates that additional time will be required to complete the work of the
Commission; and
Whereas, it is desirable to re-establish said Commission for the purpose
of completing the work of the Commission;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA
and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same;
H. B. No. 623
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SECTION 1
There is hereby re-established in Fulton County and the City of Atlanta a
Commission to continue the study of the desirability and feasibility of combining
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the school systems of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta, including the portion
thereof lying in DeKalb County., Said Conmission shall be known as the Local
Education Commission, of said county, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission.
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Said Commission shall be composed of twenty-one (21) members, classified into ,
the following positions: (a) Two ex-officio positions, to be filled by the
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Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools and the Superintendent of the Fulton
County Public Schools; (b) six ex-officio representative positions, which shall
be filled originally by Ed S. Cook representing the Board of Education of the
City of Atlanta; W. L. Robinson, representing the Board of Education of Fulton
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County; Earl Landers, representing the City of Atlanta government; Alan Kiepper,
representing the Fulton County Commissioners; Mrs, Ethel Brooks, representing
the classroom teachers of the City of Atlanta; and Mrs. Nona K. Ford,
representing the classroom teachers of the Fulton County Public Schools and;
(c) the following voting members of said Commission: Dr. R. H. Brisbane,
J. H. Cawthon, Dr. Rufus E, Clement, JohnT. Cunningham, Otis M. Jackson,
Thomas M. Miller, A. B. Padgett, Mrs. A. L. Riter, Martham Sanders, Wallace
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H. Stewart, W. Kenneth Stringer, WiViiam M. Teem III and Fred J, Turner.
SECTION 2
Each individual herein named to the Commission shall serve thereon until
the Commission is discharged as hereinafter provided, unless he shall refuse
to serve or shall die or resign. Whenever a vacancy on the Commission results
from the fact that a member refuses to serve or dies or resigns, the vacancy
shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining members of the Commission as
follows: If the vacancy is in a representative position, it shall be filled by
a person who is then a member of the class represented; if the vacancy is in one
of the voting positions, it shall be filled by a citizen then residing in the
City of Atlanta or in Fulton County outside the City of Atlanta. Notwithstanding -
if
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anything else herein stated, if a vacancy takes place in a representative or
voting position originally filled by a citizen residing in the City of Atlanta,
such vacancy shall be filled by a citizen then residing in the City of Atlanta
and in the county wherein the person originally filling said position resided;
and if a vacancy takes place in a position originally filled by a citizen residing
in Fulton County outside the City of Atlanta, such vacancy shall be filled by a
citizen then r^^iding in Fulton County outside of the City of Atlanta. A





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H. B. No. 623
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�majority of the persons serving as ms:'.n.bers of the Commission shall constitute
a quo:::-um to do business but a less number may adjourn from time to time.
The Commission shall eler..::t a Ch:1trman, a Vice-Chairman and a Secretary- Treasurer
. from its membership. T½.<3 Corn.mil.,sion shall adopt , from time to time, such
rules, regulations and modes of ,procedure -a s it deems expedient for the orderly
dispatch of 'its busines .r3 . ThE: Gomrr:d.ssion shc.11 keep minutes and records of its
meetings. A montr,ly sta te.:ment of ,s.11 disbursements of the funds hereinafter
_pro_vided, properly vouched for, shall be furnished to the Boards ·of Education of
Fulton County a.nd of th,,~ City of Atl.'inta.
The fi~st meeting of the Commission
shall be held within 3 121 days after the ap:p,roval of this Ac'i. by the Governor, at
a place and time mutu;.31ly a·g reed upon by the members thereof representing the
Boards of Education. o'f Fulton County and of the City of Atlanta . Said Boards of
Education, or· eith.er 1.:>f them, upon application by the C ommis sion, shall provide
suitable office s pac,~ and meet ing room.f, for the Commiss ion.
SEC'J.'ION 3
It sha 7d be the function a nd du'ty of said Commi.ss ion to continue the
study of the f~ducational sys tems of F u.lton County and of the City of Atlanta,
including the: portion thereof lying in ·DeKalb Count y, for the P.i~pose of
considerh1g the desirability and
foi:.3
i .bility of combining said school systems,
and to ~ubrnit to the General Assemb 1.y of the St,;1.te of Georgia as hereinafter
provided o, plan or plans , together w,: ith proposed Constitutional amendments and
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legisk1tkm, for the combining of sue ;h school systems, and such plan or plans
sh-?;ll include any changes in politil: al a.nd administrative a nd fiscal structure
'of either or both of said systems w r 1kh the Commission deems de sirable and '
feasible .
f 3ECTION 4
The said Commission shal l have the power and authority to hold public
hearings and any judg~ of the sui: 1f ~rior court upon application signed by the
Cl:Birman and Secretary-Treasurer · of the Commission sha.11 issue a subpoena
for the attendance of ,my witnes~; or the production of any books, papers or
records. In mo.kJng such study f J .1 e Commission is authorized to call upon the
State of Georgia or any of its a~ Ji encies or institutions for any aid or
assistance which can be render 'f ?d it, and to call upon the various departments
of the county and municipalitiE ~1
assistance. Said commission
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including the law departments, for such
may employ such special, technical and clerical
H . B . No. 623
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