Excerpted from DeKalb School Watch Two:
On Tuesday (yesterday), a new map (the Mosby Map) for the DeKalb Board of Education (BOE) was approved by the DeKalb legislative delegation sub-committee. This map has 5 single member districts, instead of the 7 districts most voters were expecting. You can view what the Mosby Map looks like by clicking the photo above. The X’s show where the 5 board members whose terms will continue live. As you can see, the reps will be heavily concentrated in south DeKalb.
The moment this map is approved, you will hear a loud sucking sound as property taxes will be raised to the maximum amount by the BOE (thanks to gerrymandering, 4 of the 5 members live in South DeKalb). North DeKalb property owners who pay the highest taxes that support DeKalb County School System and DeKalb County will be victims of taxation without duly elected representation. Meanwhile, South DeKalb property values continue to decline as a direct result of the greed and ignorance of those who make up the majority of the BOE.
I'm adding on to this post because I wrote this after midnight while exhausted from a very long day and preparing for an even longer one today. One last check of my usual online rounds left me utterly gobsmacked at the suggestion of a 5-member BOE. So much for getting some extra sleep in advance of today's work.
My husband and I moved here in 2004 with his job relocation. That was the year Lewis was appointed Superintendent. We deliberately chose this area for the schools, especially the elementary school, thinking ahead to raising our family. In the amount of time it took for us to get settled in our home, learn our community, start having our children, get the eldest through preschool, and make decisions about kindergarten, (just over 7 years) the Central Office made such a precipitous decline it ended in RICO indictments and test scores across the county landing in the basement. Ultimately we decided to send our children to Catholic school for many reasons, but the shenanigans at the Central Office played a key role in that decision.
Whether or not you have children currently attending DeKalb County public schools is irrelevant in this discussion. If you reside in and pay taxes within the boundaries of DeKalb County, this is your fight. I believe the majority of the inmates at the Central Office asylum will not be happy until Dunwoody suffers from the same poverty, despair, and failure that the worst parts of the county experience now. That's not impossible. How we live in our community depends on people wanting to live here. Bad school leadership means the decline of the home values some will go to extremes to protect. If the school system is dragged down by wasted spending and nepotism at the expense of the students' education, then all of the squabbling we have about O/I zoning, NS1 zoning, attracting large corporations, mom-and-pop small business, home business, and ozzie-and-harriet-residential ideals will be irrelevant.
You want to protect your home values? Speak up now to protect our schools. At this time, it's that easy.
I agree with Nancy Jester's presentation in her blog and with John's letter on his blog. I've submitted this to the DeKalb delegation via email.
While engaging the current battle, there's still a larger war on. I repeat, Dunwoody has to find a way to distance itself from the culture of failure that has become DeKalb schools central leadership. Otherwise the future of our city may be in serious doubt. Tom, Fran: you're on.