Box 6, Folder 2, Document 10

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August 23, 1965

The Local Education Commission 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 Dr. James L. Miller, Jr.
Mr. J. H. Cawthon 7 Mr. Leonard Robinson
Dr. Rufus Clement Mr. Walley Stewart

Mr. Otis Jackson Dr. Paul West

Mr. Alan Kiepper Mr. James White, Jr.

Mr. Earl Landers

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 comments.

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 cooperative efforts of the two
systems through the Metropolitan School Development Council, but that
each system could maintain its identity.

Mr. Bardin commented 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 would
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", 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.
Mr. James White called attention to the fact that the Commission
must take a position and moved that the report, which recommends 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 motion 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
situation 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 recommendation 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 recommendations 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 Atlanta 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:

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