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APS school board votes to close two middle and five elementary schools

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BY ALIX YOUNGBLOOD

More than 500 concerned community members arrived on April 10 to hear the final decision on the redistricting plan first proposed by Atlanta Public School superintendent Erroll Davis. Davis intended for the plan to consolidate students in order to better apply district funding and resources directly to students rather than maintaining inefficient schools with low attendance. Although the plan initially called for the closure of 10 schools, the board voted to add an amendment excluding Towns, D.H. Stanton and F. L Stanton elementary schools based on strong community support. The board voted unanimously to close the remaining seven schools—Parks and Kennedy middle schools and Capitol View, White, Cook, East Lake and Herndon elementary schools.

In the 12-hour meeting, three hours were devoted to community commentary, although many simply voiced their opinions by carrying signs and chanting in protest. One member of the audience even took the drastic approach of storming the stage after police attempted to remove him from the meeting. Several parents voiced concerns that closures would adversely affect the community. A committee has been formed to come up with ideas on how to utilize the empty schools.

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APS school board votes to close two middle and five elementary schools