Box 6, Folder 2, Document 9

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Box 6, Folder 2, Document 9

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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
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.
� 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 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
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
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:
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.
March 4, 1965
Recor ding Secr etary
Approved by: ___________

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