FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Just two days before the Fulton County school board takes an initial vote on a controversial redistricting plan, one board member tells Channel 2 Action News she believes the proposal on the table is fair for everyone in North Fulton County.
“The board’s job is to make sure there’s fair criteria and that there’s a fair process," Katie Reeves told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik.
The school district is building a new high school in Milton to help alleviate overcrowding at Milton and Roswell high schools. A final proposal before the board moves several hundred students from Roswell to Milton, and several hundred more from Milton to the new school. School officials said the proposal would affect nearly 2,000 North Fulton middle and high school students.
“Although it doesn’t please everyone, it seems a very fair process, and it’s accomplished the goal of balancing our enrollment capacity," said Reeves.
Nearly two dozen parents showed up to a sometimes contentious meeting at Lake Windward Elementary School. Reeves told the crowd she had no say in how district staff drew the lines and that she wouldn't change a line for one neighborhood if it meant adversely affecting another one.
“I understand and I hear that you’re not happy with it," she said. "But if it wasn’t you, it would be somebody else filling this room.”
Some parents, including Pam Kipniss, told Petchenik they're concerned about the new commute for their children through several dangerous intersections in Milton.
"I think there is movement, and they need to make the movements for the right reasons instead of just doing what they want to do," said Kipniss, who lives in the White Columns neighborhood, which was cut out of the Milton district on the final proposal.
Parent Kim Bunker said she's believes students commuting across Milton, and others coming from Roswell through already crowded intersections, will be involved in accidents.
“They’re choosing to stand behind what they say is objectivity, but that objectivity is putting common sense at the bottom of the list, and the safety of the children," said Bunker.
Parent Dawna Williamson told Petchenik her kids would move to the new high school, but she was happy about it.
“I think it took into account the entire community, not just one individual neighborhood," she said of the final proposal. "I’m going to focus my efforts on making sure that school develops into a wonderful school.”
The Fulton County School Board will take its first vote on the redistricting proposal Thursday night. A second vote is scheduled for next month, with redistricting taking effect in August 2012.
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