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Monday, April 18, 2011

Letters To The Editor.

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Fulton County BOE redistricting plan does not work

While most of the input for the proposed Plan C North Fulton redistricting has already been received, we wanted to wait until gathering further information before voicing our concerns. We believe the current plan does not adequately meeting the criteria stated by the BOE. Specifically, it appears that:

1) The FCBOE would rather invest in gas than curriculum support.

The past year has seen shrinking budgets across the board with decreased school days, teacher furloughs and the canceling of several enrichment programs. The current Plan C moves many students FARTHER away from their home high school, not only causing chaos and inconvenience, but as gas prices approach $5 a gallon, significant transportation costs for the BOE.

As an example (and there are many worse under the current plan):

From my subdivision (Enniskerry) to Milton HS: 1 left turn, 2.6 miles, 5 minutes (a north-south route)

From my subdivision to Bethany Bend HS: 4 left turns, through 1 school zone, 4 stop signs, 2 lights, 5.0 miles and 12 minutes (an east-west route)

Moreover, it is clear that North Fulton is organized along state and local roads that run north to south (Arnold Mill Road, Birmingham Highway, Freemanville Road, Bethany Road and Hopewell Road). However, rather than following these north to south arteries your plan requires parents, students and buses to drive east to west on mostly one lane back roads with no shoulder, no guardrails and lined with trees close to the road to get to a school that is in many cases 10 miles away rather than 3 miles away from their home. This will be a traffic nightmare.

We find it incredulous that transportation would NOT be a consideration for redistricting.

2) Future growth is unfairly distributed.

Current projects show that the majority of growth is in the uppermost part of Fulton County. Rather than distributing that growth between Milton and Bethany Bend and follow the north south main roads, ALL of these newly constructed neighborhoods will attend the new Bethany Bend High School. The Milton area, which is far more developed, will be virtually landlocked and its census numbers kept so low that it will be difficult for it to support the AP course offerings needed to keep it a top performing school, not to mention the effect it will have on its ability to earn drama, music, arts instructors, and coaches.

2) The objective is to stay on schedule, regardless of the efficacy of the outcome

It appears that the only objective is to get numbers to work in a spreadsheet.

We believe that the BOE is better than that. Just because the “numbers work” does NOT mean that the plan works. Presenting a plan that affects hundreds of families in a negative manner just to get it done before the next board meeting does a disservice to North Fulton families and the planning process.

We implore you to reconsider Plan C and make it BETTER for all.

Respectfully,

Kimberly McCool
Melissa Thomas-Dubois
Birmingham Falls Foundation Board Member
Northwester Middle School LSAC Member

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well now, show us these one lane roads to which you refer.