DeKalb School District Continues Fight To Stave Off Annexation

May 13, 2019

Editor's note: This story was updated on Tuesday, at 10:45 am to include a statement from Decatur City Schools. 

DeKalb County’s legislative delegation wants to meet with Gov. Brian Kemp after his veto of Senate Bill 53.

The bill would’ve protected the county’s school district from losing students as part of the Emory annexation. In his veto statement, the governor said the bill would’ve led to more legislative review and increased lawsuits.

The city of Atlanta annexed 744 acres of DeKalb County into its city limits last year. It included the area around Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During that time, Atlanta Public Schools also attempted to expand its borders, but DeKalb school district officials sued claiming they would lose more than $2 million in revenue, though fewer than 10 students would’ve been affected.

The vetoed legislation would've made it illegal for APS to extend its boundaries. Without it, DeKalb officials said their district and county remain vulnerable.

Stephen Green, DeKalb’s school superintendent, said they will keep fighting.

"Senate Bill 53 is coming back,” Green said. “This encroachment, this infringement on DeKalb County and DeKalb County school district must stop. It must end."

The county's legislative delegation says their next step in getting answers from Kemp.

In letters Sen. Emmanuel Jones sent to the governor asking for his approval, he raised concerns that it was the City of Decatur Schools who had voiced major opposition to the bill but all other parties, including the city of Atlanta agreed.

In a statement, Decatur city schools said it thanked the governor for his veto. The district said right now all children in Decatur can attend its schools but if the bill had garnered approval, that would've changed.