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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Media Release - The Fulton County School Board's redistricting plan robs students of their time and their heritage.

Courtesy Mike Nyden

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:

The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community

Mike Nyden – ROCNorthFulton@gmail.com – (770) 642-6133

Claire Bartlett – claireabartlett@gmail.com – (404) 384-3256

The Fulton County School Board’s redistricting plan robs students of their time and their heritage

“The plan to add the eighth general high school in North Fulton shows no compassion or common sense. This plan will move 3,500 children in order to fill a new school with 1,600 students. It crosses city lines, causes traffic jams, and diminishes a community’s identity,” said Mike Nyden, head of
“The Roswell Organizing Committee.”

The Fulton County School Board is engaged in a controversial process to realign all the schools’ boundaries, based primarily on proximity, they say. They have submitted three such plans. But citizens groups see it differently. Spokeswoman Claire Bartlett said, “There’s no logic in their proposed maps. We could live three blocks from Roswell High, but next year our kids may have to travel forty minutes to a new educational palace---even though ‘proximity’ is supposed to be the main consideration for redistricting. This raises huge concerns for child safety.”

The problem is the same throughout the state. School Boards are not conceived to be an inherent part of a city. School districts are without boundaries within a county. In North Fulton there are five cities—Sandy Springs, Roswell, Milton, Alpharetta and Johns Creek. But now there will be eight high schools, seemingly scattered randomly. For example, a student might live in Johns Creek and go to Centennial High School (in Roswell) with kids from Alpharetta. But friends across the street may go to Chattahoochee High School (in Johns Creek).

This will be the largest redistricting venture in North Fulton County history. It started a few years ago when the county bought a property near its northern border of Forsyth County, for millions of dollars. It was decided to build a state-of-the-art high school there to alleviate the crowding of existing schools.

The new school is being referred to as “Bethany Bend High School,” on a road by that name near the Forsyth County line in the city of Milton. Nyden said, “No roads lead to Bethany Bend. And the intersection---at Cogburn Road---will be a parking lot to nowhere.”

The process is supposed to continue, with one more meeting requesting citizen input. But there seems to be little communication with the School Board and any of the North Fulton City Councils. Nyden adds that this is a prime example of taxation without representation and a terrible manifestation of the unintended consequences of when one political body works independently from another.

In most of the USA, a city’s high school is the primary source of identity and community pride. Is that ceasing to exist here in Georgia?

“Bethany Bend will suck the guts and soul out of Roswell, Alpharetta, and Milton,” said Nyden.

“Why doesn’t the School Board try listening? Why aren’t the city councils standing up for their communities? And doesn’t the school board care about disrupting kids’ lives by making them prisoners in cars and buses for hours each day?”

About The Roswell Organizing Committee---Preserving the Community:

The Roswell Organizing Committee is a motivated group of citizens in North Fulton County dedicated to having Concern for Children and the Community integrated into any school redistricting process. For more information, contact Mike Nyden or visit the group’s Facebook
page at www.facebook.com/groups/roswellredistricting.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

The FBOE gives no consideration to the concept of community. The ill advised move of taking Milton High out of the heart of Alpharetta to Crabapple drained all of the enegy and economic vitality out of the downtown area and then compouned the error by attempting to fill the void with programs that have no connection with the city. Now we see a wholesale scramble that destroys established community patterns to fill a building that is not needed on land that should never have been purchased. Vote then out. Bring on Milton County, but draw the line at the river!

Anonymous said...

All Roads lead to Rome... no roads lead to Bethany Bend.

What a great line.

The sucking sound you hear will be the community leaving our city.

Anonymous said...

City council taking a stand for citizens against the school board? Haven't heard a word.

Anonymous said...

This council won't do it.
The opportunity to have it built elsewhere, and not in Milton, has Long gone.
The school is there. It will be completed.
1. Make the best if it, as much as we can with the input we have.
2. Vote them all out next round.
3. Change the law.

Anonymous said...

All I hear is a bunch of Roswell folks pissed off that they have to come up to Milton. They are dragging everyone else in hoping they wont have to move schools. To bad - so sad, we dont want roswell kids in our town as much as you dont want to come here...go private but leave us out of your fight and keep your gangs in Roswell! Milton or Bethany - who cares if you live in Milton.

Anonymous said...

Get real! Milton has no community. The old timers sold their lands and left for greener pasture. Separate groups run their dog and pony shows and pretend its community based.

Anonymous said...

I live in Milton. The folks in Roswell are doing what the city of Milton should have done long ago. Join Roswell in this effort to change the way the school board uses position to whatever they choose. Their power is wide sweeping. Roswell mayor is taking a strong stand. That is what a good mayor does.

Anonymous said...

Some folks in Milton were very involved in the location of the new high school. It's now Bethany HS instead of Freemanville HS.

Anonymous said...

A heartfelt thanks to Tim for helping raise awareness of many aspects of the issue. Mike Nyden