Box 6, Folder 2, Document 9

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FEBRUARY 26, 1965

The Local Education Commission met Friday, February 26, 1965, at 2
P. M. in the Soard Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with
the following members present:

Mr. P. L. Bardin Mrs. Allen Ritter

Dr. Rufus Clement Mr. Kenneth Stringer
Mr. Alan Ki>pper Mr. William Teem, III
Dr. John Letson s Mr. Fred Turner

Dr. James Miller, Jr. Dr. Paul West

Mr. Thomas liiller

Dr. Rufus Clement was introduced and welcomed as the new member of
the Commission.

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 from 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 paid. Mr. Fred Turner seconded the motion which passed

Mr. Bardin briefly reported on a letter from Representative Jack
Etheridge concerning the Interim Report. He also read a portion of the
letter from Mr. Leonard Robinson expressing apologies for being absent as
much as has been necessary and suggesting that the Commission recommend that
the present Fulton County and Atlanta Schools be divided into two equal

Mr. Turner expressed disappointment that the Commission had received
only two letters since the approval of the Interim Report. He said he had
hoped that there wovld be considerably more interest in the work of the
Commission than the two letters reflect.

Mr. Kiepper stressed the importance of completing the report of the
Commission 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 stated that his experience has been that legislators do
not have time for very many meetings and discussion periods after the General
Assembly convenes.

Dr. Letson reported that Mr. Hd Meade, Jr. from the Fund for the
Advancement of Education had been contacted to ascertain interest in
financing the current study of the Local Ecucation Commission. 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 Commission

Mr. Bardin reported that Dr. Pierce's original contract expired in
January of 1965, and recommended continuing it. Mr. Thomas Miller moved that
Dr. Pierce's services be continued until the first meeting date of the 1966
General Assembly at a fee not to exceed $3,000 plus expenses. The motion
was seconded by la. Kenneth Stringer and passed unanimously.

It was agreed that if Dr. Pierce's services are needed beyond that
date this could be arranged by mutual consent.

Mr. Bardin stated that during the past month or so some questions
and points have been raised concerning whether the Conmission should continue ยป
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 systems. This raises questions concerning how the Commission
should proceed. He then suggested that the Conmission 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

Mrs. Ritter asked what has happened to cause the Commission to consider
aeviating from its previous position. It was pointed out that the people
must decide whether the systems will be combined and, currently, it is be-
lieved that they would defeat such a proposal. Also, funds to finance an
elaborate study have not been forthcoming; some teacher groups are speaking
out against combining the systems; and, the amount of work involved in de-
veloping a comprehensive detailed outline would be somewhat meaningless
unless there was some assurance that the plans could be implemented. it
seems best to get approval of the idea before some of the specifics are
developed. For example, to draft all of the bills required to merge the
respective retirement systems would be an wnnecessary expenditure of funds
and energy winless agreement had been reached that the two systems would be

Mr. Turner pointed out that we need to discuss the entire issue with
teachers in both systems so that they will be well informed. Dr. Letson
stated that before these discussion groups can be meaningful, certain
questions must be answered. For example, it should be determined if adequate
finances will be available on a lons range basis to operate a combined
system equal to or better than what each system now has.

Dr. West said that in his discussion with County teachers he had
focused attention upon the need of combining the two systems, the need for
additional finances and the point that the City was not trying to usurp the
County's prerogatives. 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 system would not be absorbed into the other.


It was agreed that a skeleton report should be developed which would
outline the steps to be taken to combine the two systems and provide adequate
information necessary to make intelligent decisions. This report should
anticipate pertinent questions and attempt to answer them. For example, the
report should state that the pension plaus currently in operation are not
actuarially sound. If the systems combined, the retirement benefits for
any teacher will not be reduced because of joining the two systems. Other
points which must be presented pertain to the salaries, financing the new
system, additiinal non-ad valorem taxes, time tables for certain phases of
the program to be completed, the selection of Board Members and other per-
tinent information.

After this report has been completed the Commission will review it
and make suggestions. Then the report will be reviewed by the two Boards
of Education and by the representatives from Fulton and DeKalb counties.
Suggestions from the various groups will be incorporated into the final
draft of the Commission's report.

Mr. Fred Turner then made the motion that the skeleton outline with
appropriate information be developed and presented to the Commission for
approval and to the two Boards of Education and the representatives from
Fulton and DeKalb counties for suggestions. The motion was seconded by Mr.
Teem and passed unanimously. Mr. Teem's suggestion that the report also
show the cost for operating a combined system for a period of time, the cost
for operating the two systems separately for the same period of time and the
combined cost of operating each system separately was accepted.

Mr. Bardin discussed a letter from Dr. Jerry Miller requesting that
a talk outline concerning combining the two systems be developed. Mr. Alan
Kiepper stated that all of the pertinent decisions of the Conmission to date
were included in the Interim Report which he had used as a basis for speeches.

Dr. Pierce summarized his interpretations of the decisions made during
the meeting. They are as follows:

a. The earlier decision of the Commission in favor of a single
school district is unchanged but procedures and next steps are
to be modified according to the discussion today,

b. A skeleton plan for combining the two school systems shovld be
developed which will give attention to the many vital questions
which should be answered before the voters can make an objective
decision on the issue, and

ce. This plan will be reviewed by the Commission, the boards of edu-
cation, and the members of the General Assembly from Fulton and
DeXalb Counties. Their suggestions will be sought and given
consideration in the final report of the Commission.

The meeting was adjourned at 4 P. M.

ECH: cw
March 4, 1965

Recording Secretary

Approved by:


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