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Box 6, Folder 2, Document 5

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_005.pdf
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  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 5
  • Text: : w t : Aa 4 a_i . ch —_ Tentative ONE DISTRICT FOR ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOLS? Studies of public education in the Atlanta and Fulton County school dis- tricts have been underway most of the time since the early years following the close of World War II. The continuous and rapid growth of the Atlanta metro- politan area and the character of this growth have focused attention on problems and issues many of which strongly influence the public schools. The desire of citizens to provide educational programs of high quality has stimulated con- stant concern for the satisfactory resolution of these problems and issues. The quest for better schools is a thread which runs through all of the various special studies of education during this period, Some of the studies were authorized by one or both of the local school boards, while others were authorized by the General Assembly of the State of Georgia. The latest of those initiated by the General Assembly was authorized in 1963. It created a Local Education Commission composed of nineteen citizens from the two school districts. The Legislature empowered the Commission "to study the desirability and feasibility of combining the school systems of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta, including the portion thereof lying in DeKalb County; to provide that said Commission may draft a plan or plans for the combining of such school systems and submit same to members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeKalb Counties." This Commission can profit from previous studies by taking into account their findings and conclusions as they relate to consolidation. BRIEF REVIEW OF PREVIOUS STUDIES The question of whether or not the Atlanta and Fulton County school dis- tricts should be combined into a single district has been debated for a good many years. The Local Government Commission of Fulton County gave considerable attention to the consolidation issue in a report of its studies which was issued in 1950. The Commission did not recommend merger of the two school systems be- cause of (1) the "huge cost that would be involved in raising the county system up to city salary and kindergarten standards", (2) the "vast physical job in- volved in consolidation." However, the Local Government Commission did not set forth educational reasons as a justification for not recommending consolidation. The report stated that its proposals should not stand in the path of ultimate unification of the two school districts and expressed the view that it would be easier to effect ecnsolidation after changes had been made which minimized the differences in the two school systems. The Commission further expressed the view that combin- ing of the schools would be made easier "if in the meantime the tri-cities and the rural areas would assume a larger share of their school costs." However, the Commission did recommend certain changes which have had a profound effect on education in the Atlanta-Fulton County school districts. The report, known as the Plan of Improvement, recommended greatly enlarging the city limits of Atlanta and the consolidation of certain city and county services. This plan, as later put into effect by the General Assembly, resulted in the transfer of about 0 Fulton County schools and nearly half of the school en- rollment in the County district to the school district of Atlanta. Furthermore, 72 per cent of the taxable wealth to support schools in the County district was included in the annexation. These changes took place in 1952. 3 Even though the two separate school districts remained in reality, a sub- stantial step toward consolidation took place because of the reduction in the number of schools and in enrollment in the Fulton County district and the sub- sequent increase in the Atlanta district. Unfortunately, severe financial problems were created in what was left of the Fulton County school district because of the large proportion of taxable wealth to support schools which was - transferred into the city district. The financial woes of the Fulton County schools have increased steadily since that time. The General Assembly of Georgia created a Local Education Commission of Atlanta and Fulton County in 1958 to make a study of their educational systems and to draft a plan or plans for their improvement, submitting the plan or plans to the members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeKalb counties. The - Act stated that "such study shall give full consideration to the position of such systems within the total educational system of the State of Georgia, and the plan or plans shall include any changes in political and administrative and fiscal structure of either or both of such systems which the Commission deems desirable and feasible." Thus, concern for consolidation appears in this legislation and in the assignment of duties to the Commission. This Commission first gave attention to the legal problems which would be involved in consolidation, Mr. G. Stanley Joslin, Professor of Law at Emory University, was commissioned to study the legal considerations which would be necessary if consolidation were undertaken. Mr. Joslin prepared a memorandum for the Commission on these matters. The memorandum emphasized an important technical distinction between merger and consolidation, thus indicating two distinct ways in which unification might be achieved. Merger would involve one system becoming a part of the other, thus taking on all the powers and limitations inherent in the system which ab- sorbed it. Consolidation means a completely new school system which would be hy created from the present Atlanta and Fulton County districts. These districts would cease to exist when the new district came into being. The newly-created district would be new in every respect, including provisions for a board of edu- cation, school taxes, debt limitations, administrative officials, and operational procedures. Mr. Joslin stated that the new system could be constituted in a way that would permit the addition of other school systems or parts of such systems when and if the citizens affected so desired. No major legal difficulties need be involved in consolidating the two systems according to Mr. Joslin. He recommended that if a decision is made to combine the two systems, consolidation would be better than merger. If merger were to be decided upon, fewer legal difficulties would be involved if the city system joined the county system rather than if the county system joined the city system, The Commission then turned its attention to other aspects of the consolida- tion issue. Considerable research was conducted to determine the economic and financial advantages and disadvantages of unifying the two districts. The Commission became greatly interested in the educational implications of consoli- dation. Thereafter, it viewed consolidation primarily in terms of opportuni- ties which could be provided for improving education in the metropolitan area, After a careful study of the advantages and disadvantages of consolidation, the Commission decided that "consolidation is neither desirable nor practicable at this time." It went on to state that "consolidation will be much more feas- ible, in our judgment, if and when (a) the two separate systems have adopted similar policies with respect to kindergartens, (b) teacher pay scales of the two systems are either identical or at least much closer together than at present, (c) citizens of the Fulton County school district have voted to eliminate the Homestead Exemption for school operating tax purposes, and (d) the Atlanta-Fulton 5 County area has successfully passed through the impending school desegregation crisis." Stated another way, the Commission found itself favorably disposed toward consolidation but did not believe the time was right for the transition which would be required, It stated that mere consolidation of the two school districts per se would be neither good nor bad. The values of such a move lie in whether or not better schools could ts provided for the metropolitan area than could be provided by two separate systems, and as economically. However, the Commission did not. drop the idea of improving schools in the metropolitan area by means of improved organizational arrangements, It concluded that a number of the advantages of consolidating the school systems could be achieved through the creation of machinery for joint action and for the develop- ment of joint programs by the Atlanta and Fulton County boards of education. Separate and independent action of the two boards on matters involving common interests lack the strength of joint action and would be less economical in cost, The search for ways to improve schools convinced the Commission that continuous research and experimentation were necessary if the improvement program it recom- mended was to be successfully executed. Furthermore, the demands on education are such that continuous research and experimentation are essential for a school program which is sufficiently up-to-date to meet current needs. These are examples of undertakings which would be more productive if engaged in jointly by the school systems rather than if each system developed its own separate programs, To achieve these purposes, the Metropolitan School Development Council was created as a separate entity to serve both school systems and to be controlled jointly by them. The Council is the instrument through which many recommenda- tions of the Local Education Commission have been achieved in full or in part. Its success is a demonstration of the ability and willingness of the two boards 6 of education and their professional employees to work cooperatively for better schools. The Council was viewed initially as a possible intermediate step toward eventual consolidation, This assumption is supported by the success of the Council. The financial position of the Fulton County Board of Education rapidly de- teriorated following the annexation program of greater Atlanta which was com- pleted in 1952. After annexation was complete, only 28 per cent of the former taxable wealth remained for the education of Fulton County public school students, while the number of students remaining was 50 per cent of the total prior to an- nexation. School population in the County continued to increase at the rate of about 7 per cent each year, thus creating capital outlay problems as well as the necessity of increasing operational budgets. By 1963-64, the Board of Edu- cation found it necessary to reduce school support because there was no longer tax leeway for increasing the school budget. All bonding capacity for building prrposes had been utilized, also. This dire situation prompted the Fulton County Board of Education to appoint a Study Commission of ten citizens of the County to find ways and recommend ways to the Board for alleviating the financial crisis which gripped the schools. The Commission projected school enrollments, capital outlay needs, and operational budget needs for the Fulton County schools through the 1972-73 school year, assuming that schools of at least present quality were to be main- tained. Eleven different possibilities of financing the schools were corsidered, all of which proved to be inadequate, if taken singly. It recommended a combina- tion of alternatives for financing the schools of Fulton County, but it expressed grave concern for the future and recommended that the "study of what would be in- volved in merging the Fulton County and Atlanta school districts should be con- tinued with a view to effecting such a merger when it is feasible." 7 ‘AlL of these Studies gave serious attention to consolidation and without exception they concluded that the directions toward which the two school systems should move lead to consolidation. As stated in one of the reports, the question seemed to be not whether there should be consolidation, but rather when should consolidation be effected. DIMINISHING BARRIERS In the meantime, certain of the barriers to combining the two school dis- tricts which were identified earlier have been either overcome or minimized. The State Minimum Foundation Program has been modified in ways which will not require a financial sacrifice in state aid should the two districts be united, as would have been the case earlier. The only loss would be the state alloca- tion for the salary of one superintendent, about $6,700, and there may be gains which would offset this loss, depending on the kind of new district to be created. The level of financial expenditures of the two districts has been brought closer together, although troublesome differences remain. Questions concerning kindergartens are perhaps the most difficult. The trends in school desegregation appear to be clearly established. While citizens generally seem to accept desegregation as a reality, problems which accompany the actual integration of schools are profoundly complex and their solutions are unclear, However, whether one or two school districts exist in Fulton County may be viewed as largely immaterial with reference to desegregation. Perhaps the most important change is the growth of the two systems toward the same basic assumptions concerning education and the increase in productive cooperative efforts between the two systems, This is progress toward the kind of unity which is essential to physical consolidation. NEW IMPERATIVES Meanwhile, other transitions of great importance have been taking place, Foremost among these is the widespread recognition that the provision of educa- tion of increasingly high quality is an essential requirement of all districts if its people are to remain in the mainstream of modern civilization. Neither the schools of yesterday nor the schools of today will be adequate for tomorrow, Cultural transitions are taking place at a rate of speed which quickly render obsolete much of current education. Intensive efforts to find the best ways of providing the needed education are underway in many school districts. The national government is keenly aware of these needs as is evidenced by its in- creasing support of education at all levels. Education is now recognized as the only effective way of eliminating poverty, achieving worthy personal objectives, and developing more satisfactory communities, states, and nations. The continued rapid growth of the Atlanta metropolitan area is another major force which deeply influences the schools and how they should be organized. A population of three million people is projected for the area by the year 2000. The basic structure of local government in the area has thus far been relatively unaffected by this growth, except for the annexation program completed in 1952. These units of government, including those for schools, become increasingly archaic as the metropolitan area continues its growth and development. A major aspect of urbanization is the fact that as size increases so does cultural diversity. This complexity of interests and abilities necessarily in- creases interdependence because a metropolitan area permits many kinds of special- ization which are supplementary to each other and when taken together constitute the entire area. Hence, the status of a given unit in such a complex affects the whole. 9 This is why no part of a metropolitan area can afford a second-rate school system. Therefore, the present fiscal condition of the Fulton County school district is a concern of the entire metropolitan area and not simply of the Fulton County school district alone, As pointed out above, a major imperative is the inability of the present Fulton County school district to sustain an ade- quate program of education. Since nothing has been done to alleviate the crisis in school finance underscored in the 1963 study, this imperative becomes more compelling, THE IMPORTANCE OF A GOOD SCHOOL DISTRICT Before taking a closer look at the question of consolidation, a brief dis- cussion of school districts and their proper functions may be in order. The American concept of public education includes provisions for substantial control of schools by local communities, The local school district, a creature of the state, was invented to enable people served by the schools to have a voice in their purpose and government. There are thousands of local school districts in America. These districts vary greatly in size and in population. They are easily classified into different types according to the kinds of schools they provide, Much study of school districts by authorities suggests the following cri- teria for an adequate district: 1. It should have enough children to educate to enable schools to funetion effectively and economically. 2. It should be a reasonably complete social and economic unit. 3. It should have taxable wealth adequate to provide healthy local support. lh. It should have adequate bonding power for needed and anticipated capital outlay. 10 5. It should have tax leeway for both current operations and capital outlay. 6. It should have reasonable fiscal independence. These criteria were applied to the Fulton County school district in the 1963 study. It was found that the district could meet only the first criterion. It, therefore, by no stretch of the imagination could be judged as an adequate school district. On the other hand, the Atlanta school district meets all of these criteria to a reasonable jeiran: Atlanta has already recognized a degree of responsibility for the Fulton County school district by supporting a 13 mill countywide tax for support of Fulton County schools. If the two districts were combined, the single district would be a sound and adequate district, if es- tablished on the basis of proper legal provisions. REASONS FOR CONSOLIDATION The foregoing discussion traces the historical development of consolidation as an issue and reviews the findings and recommendations of previous studies as they bear on the question. Current developments and trends are also identified and interpreted in relation to their impact on the structure of education in the Atlanta metropolitan area. These facts point clearly toward a single school district. But the really persuasive reasons which should be considered in making a decision are concerned with consolidation as an instrument for achieving butter educational programs for the metropolitan area, a more equitable support basis for the schools, and the provision of structural and procedural arrangements which will facilitate the economic use of personnel and financial resources in the ongoing development of more adequate education, and finally with the pro- vision and stimulation of the research and experimentation which are essential 11 in the continuous improvement of education in the metropolitan area. These educational advantages to consolidation are listed and briefly discussed in the following pages. A Better School District Will Be Provided The discussion above concerning the proper functions of a school district and the characteristics of a sound district clearly justify this conclusion. Furthermore, sound principles of political science as they relate to units of local government support this conclusion, In addition, maintaining and foster- ing good relationships with other units of local government would be enhanced by a single district. These factors are obviously related to the ease and conven- idence of governing the local schools, Educational Opportunities Can Be Equalized More Easily The American dream has long stressed the right of every individual to secure an education. We now believe that every individual has the right to an education appropriate to his purposes, interests, abilities, and needs. Equality of edu- cational opportunity, therefore, does not mean the same education for all, but it does mean the same level of quality for all insofar as is possible. The extreme diversity of cultural interests and socio-economic backgrounds which . are found in the metropolitan area of Atlanta, and in any other metropolitan area, require a wide range of educational programs adapted to these basic differ- ences in people, The current nationwide concern for providing more realistic educational programs for children in slum areas is an indication of this kind of need. The Atlanta district is vastly heterogeneous in composition, while 22 the Fulton County district is more homogeneous. Combining the two would make it possible to provide the variety of educational programs needed in a more economj- cal and efficient manner. The equalization of educational offerings in the present school districts of Atlanta and Fulton County seems virtually impossible, A single district would contribute much to making this a manageable task with minimum difficulties, New and Needed Educational Programs Could Be Provided More Economically Neither school district has yet provided post-secondary education programs for which there is great need. Perhaps the fastest growing trend in American education is the development of comprehensive junior colleges. These institu- tions provide two years of academic work either for terminal purposes or for transfer to a senior college. They also usually offer programs in vocational- technical education and in adult education. It is increasingly clear that con- tinuing education is a must for the adult citizen of tomorrow. Furthermore, the kind of world in which we live requires increasing amounts of education, A recent Educational Policies Commission report takes the position that we must provide two years of education beyond the high school at public expense for all high school graduates. Fulton County is not financially able to provide junior colleges. It would not be the most economical plan for each district to provide its own junior cole leges. A program for the metropolitan area would provide the best means of meet- ing this emerging educational need. The two districts have already found it profitable to cooperate in the provision of vocational education as reflected by the new vocational school which is to serve both districts and provisions for a second such institution. 13 More Adequate Curricula for Special Student Groups Can Be Provided The variety of curricula required to meet the diverse educational needs re- ferred to above means special educational offerings for-small groups of selected students. Reference is made to groups of children with serious physical handi- caps, those suffering from severe mental retardation, children with extreme emotional difficulties, the exceptionally bright, and those with unusual talents. Since such programs are needed for only small numbers of children, they can be provided more economically if the student population to be served is drawn from the entire metropolitan area rather than if the two present school districts offer duplicate programs. Furthermore, the educational quality of offerings can be more readily improved in a unified district, Certain Educational Programs and Services Can Be Provided More Satisfactorily The richness and depth of both teaching and learning are being enhanced by new discoveries concerning human growth and development. The contributions of science to the effectiveness of teaching and learning processes is increasing at a rapid rate, Integrating into curricula the accelerating flow of new and use- ful subject matier which the modern school program must offer if it is to remain effective is an increasingly difficult problem. The modern school must be staffed by professional personnel who keep up with these continuing developments that affect their productivity. Systemwide con- tinuous career development programs for personnel have become a necessity. This is one type of educational service which can be provided better on a metropolitan- wide basis rather than in terms of the present separate districts. The develop- ment and use of various learning resources and the appropriate utilization of 14 technological advances in teaching can be stimulated and fostered better through a single school district. Required Improvements in Educational Quality Can Be Achieved More Readily The search for better schools is a common thread running through all con- siderations involved in deciding the consolidation question. Unless the ultimate consequence of unifying the two school districts is a better quality of education, there is little need to pursue the issue. Improvements in financing schools in administrative and supervisory services, and in the scope and variety of educa- tional offerings can be justified only in terms of their educational import. The concept of a metropolitan area which is basic to the considerations of this paper demand an educational program for the Atlanta metropolitan area and not a series of separate and structurally unrelated programs. The search for educational quality is now both universal and continuous. The pursuit of quality is complex in that it is concerned with everything that has a bearing on the educational programs offered by a school district. The unification of such efforts would certainly strengthen the opportunities and resources for enrichment of educational offerings. Comprehensive, Loag-Range Planning Can Be More Effective The increasing magnitude of educational responsibility has been stressed. The quantitative aspects of this problem will continue to increase, Projections which have been made through the next several years show no letdown in the rate of population growth. The indicated increase in the educational load calls for the most intelligent planning of which the people responsible are capable. 15 Since this growth ignores school district lines, adequate planning for new en- rollment must also ignore these lines insofar as actualities permit, Compre- hensive, long-range planning cannot be satisfactory if it is segmented on the basis of school district lines which have no constructive significance in the context of the metropolitan area as a whole. More Effective Solutions to Common Educational Problems Are Possible Educational problems are not confined to areas marked off by school district lines, as has been emphasized. Some educational problems are unique to certain types of districts, as is true of Fulton County and Atlanta. But many such problems are common to the districts of an area, state, region, or nation, Those which are common seem to be on the increase. The school district which embraces as nearly a self-sufficient socio-economic unit as is possible provides the best structural framework for the consideration of educational problems, Solutions to these problems should not be restricted by artificial district lines which ignore the facts of life. A unified district would provide for a more construc- tive approach to problem solution than does the present dual approach. This is all the more important since most of the educational problems to be faced are common to the two districts. More Eifective Research Programs Can Be Stimulated and Executed As good schools have become more central to personal and community advance- ment, the place of research in education has become more apparent. ‘Sound analyses of existing programs, the identification and description of strengths and weak- nesses, and the determination of grounds for change require research, Planning 16 ahead so that there will be adequate classrooms and teachers for the children in school at the beginning of a given year rests back on sound research. School systems without strong research programs cannot achieve their maximum effective- ness. The complexity of a metropolitan area and the interrelationship of roles of its different segments require comprehensive research programs based on trends and needs of the entire area rather than of subdistricts which are separate school districts. Furthermore, economy and wise management dictate the metropolitan-wide approach to research. Needed Experimentation and Educational Invention Can Be Achieved More Readily Major advances in our society depend heavily on invention and experimentation. This fact is well recognized in the world of science and technology. The role of invention and experimentation in the improvement of social institutions such as the schools is equally critical. Schools like the world in which they exist must change as their clientele changes. New curriculum materials must be developed and tested on experimental bases. New knowledge of human growth and development must be applied to teaching and learning on experimental bases. New teaching pro- cedures and methods must be tested through tryout and evaluation. Heavy reliance upon invention and experimentation are crucial to needed educational advancement. There is no need for the school systems within the metropolitan area to engage in separate programs of this nature. The interests of both can be served -better by unified programs, to say nothing of economies which could be effected. 17 More Extensive Use of Selected Educational Facilities and Learning Resources Are Possible Centers for acquiring, creating, distributing, and servicing curriculum materials, filmstrips, video tapes, films, and the necessary equipment for appro- priate use of these materials are becoming common, The creation of teaching materials for local use and on the basis of needs unique to the local situation is an supoitent function of these centers. The use of television in teaching and in professional development programs is increasing. The needed facilities for extensive television programs in the metropolitan area can be centered easily in one location. It would be foolish to duplicate the above in different school districts serving the same metropolitan area. A single center can provide a constant flow of materials far richer and more comprehensive than would be possible with dupli- cate facilities in the separate districts, Equity and Balance of Financial Effort and Support Can Be Achieved An axiom of educational finance which is accepted universally is that wealth should be taxed where it is in order to educate children where they are. The most glaring deficiency in the structure of piblic education in the Atlanta area vio- lates this axiom. The center for commerce and industry is the City of Atlanta. Contributions of most Fulton County citizens to the economy of the metropolitan area are made largely in the City of Atlanta where they do their work, This wealth enriches Atlanta primarily, although the earnings paid to the individual may be spent wherever he chooses. The contribution of the city to support of schools in the Fulton County district is a 14 mill property tax. The industrial 18 wealth of the metropolitan area which is a major source of school revenue lies largely within the City of Atlanta. No equitable system of financial support and effort is possible which does not take into account these economic facts. A single tax program for schools in the metropolitan area with the revenues distributed according to educational need is the only satisfactory answer to the financial dilemma of the Fulton County schools. This is Atlanta's problem as well as Fulton County's problem because of the previously stressed interdependence of the metropolitan area. A single school district would be the most simple and prudent way to achieve this goal. It should be pointed out that a new tax plan would be needed, for Atlanta is approaching the situation of Fulton County under its present tax system, Greater Financial Stability is Possible The disadvantages of heavy reliance on the property tax for the support of schools are well known. The primary advantage is that revenues from property taxes fluctuate less than do revenues from more sensitive barometers of economic health. Desirable stability in the financial structure of a school system in the final analysis is related to the soundness of the economy and the fairness of the system of taxation. The better balanced the tax program, the more stable the financial base of the schools. The more complete the economic district or area served by the school district as an economy in its own right, the more stable the local tax base for schools. It goes without saying that combining the Atlanta and Fulton County dis- tricts into a single school system would provide a far sounder economic base for year-to-year stability in school support,
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 25

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_025.pdf
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  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 25
  • Text: REPORT OF THE CONSULTANTS on CERTAIN PERSONNEL PROBLEMS RELATING TO THE PROPOSED MERGER of the FULTON COUNTY — ATLANTA SCHOOL SYSTEMS JUNE 19, 1967 WILLARD S. ELSBREE and JOHN E. PHAY CONSULTANTS Report of the Consultants on Certain Personnel Problems Relating to the Proposed Merger of the Fulton County - Atlanta School Systems, June 19, 1967 This report deals with the implications of merging the certificated and non-certificated personnel of the two current school systems — Fulton County and Atlanta. The question of the soundness of the merger itself was deemed to be outside the province of this study. The consultants have proceeded on the assumption that a merger is contemplated; that if effected, it is essential to unify personnel policies and practices, and that specific procedures for dealing with the employee groups in the two school systems should be spelled out. Perhaps the two most important personnel problems that must be re- solved if a merger is to be effected are the establishment of equitable salary and wage policies and the determination of how present and future pension and retirement provisions are to be administered. Certain other policies and practices must also be unified if the merger is to deal fairly with the employed personnel. Sick leave, insur- ance provisions, and tenure regulations must somehow be brought into harmony — otherwise morale will suffer and the objectives of the merger will not be fully realized. In order to obtain the data and information needed to arrive at recom- mended procedures the consultants assembled, with the help of the Coordinator of the Metropolitan School Development Council, pertinent published materials from each of the school systems involved and they interviewed executives responsible for the administration and supervision of the personnel policies. Included in the list of those interviewed were: the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, the Deputy Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia, the Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education, the Assistant Director of Finance for Fulton County Board of Education, the Controller of the Atlanta School System, the Assistant Controller of the Atlanta School System, the Superintendent of Schools in each system, the Assistant Superintendent for Personnel in Atlanta, the Coordinator of the Metropolitan School Development Council, the Director of Non-certificated Personnel in Atlanta, the Secretary for the Atlanta General Pension Fund, the Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools, Atlanta. Many official reports were examined together with policy statements in an effort to learn the basis for existing practices. The fact that salary policies were undergoing major revisions has been noted and the proposals contained in this report take full account of these changes. It should be pointed out that many personnel policies are subject to revision almost annually, Salary levels in particular are very unstable and inflation has forced boards of education and public boards generally to boost salaries and wages more frequently than was true a few years ago. Because of this instability any calculations of future costs are bound to be unreliable, The best that can be done is to make what appears to be reasonable assumptions and show their implications. Salaries of Certificated Personnel With the merger of the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems an immediate concern of the several thousand individuals employed will be - iat will be my salary for next year? It is the opinion of the consultants that a basic salary schedule should be developed for the certificated per- sonnel of the merged systems but that such a schedule should be developed only after the merger is consumated. The preparation of a salary schedule that has good possibilities of wide and enthusiastic reception should in- volve many people in its development. Representatives of organized pro- fessional groups, area specialists and supervisory and administrative per- sonnel should have a part in the preparation of the basic salary program. Until the merger occurs, similar professional organizations will continue to exist for both Atlanta and Fulton County. After merger, many organiza- tions will be consolidated and at that time the new organizations may be appropriately represented. The same situation obtains for representatives of area specialists and the supervisory and administrative staff. A salary schedule that could be recommended by consultants prior to the merger of the systems and without the involvement of representatives from the new groups would be premature, Therefore, it is recommended that after merger a salary study committee composed of representatives of all certificated groups and areas be appointed to consider salary schedules and salary . policies for the new system. With the decision reached that any new salary schedules should be developed only after merger of the systems, the consultants examined the possibilities of what salary provisions ee be best for immediate appli- cation following the merger and during the transition period. The same treatment, salarywise, of all personnel in the new system is a prerequisite in determining salary policies for the new system. It was found that the two salary schedules could be merged and after careful review and examination the consultants came to the conclusion that retention of the salary schedules of the Atlanta System and the placement of the Fulton County personnel on the Atlanta schedules is the best solution possible with the merging of the two systems. To make such a transfer from one salary schedule to another it is recommended that the following rules be applied: 1, No employee's salary will be reduced. 2, Teachers and other certificated personnel will be placed on the appropriate 1967-68 Atlanta School System's salary schedule, on the step stipulating a salary that is equal to or next higher in amount to the current salary being paid, 3. Any Fulton County employee whose salary is higher on his present salary schedule than it would be on the same step of the Atlanta salary schedule will be paid this higher salary amount, but when and if eligible in subsequent years he will proceed according to the provisions of the appropriate salary scale. 4, For employees new to the merged system, a maximum of five years' service in other school systems will be accepted on a year by year basis. Such a person, with five years' experience, would enter on step 6 of the salary schedule. 5. Salary scale incentives applicable to the Bachelor's and Master's degree scales will be established following steps 4, 8, and 12. Teachers will be allowed to proceed on these salary scales only after completing six semester hours of approved college or university credit, or its equivalent, in in-service programs approved by the Board of Education, To make the salary changes by the application of the above rules it was estimated by the Coordinator of Metropolitan School Development Council that the cost increase will be approximately $ During the transition period there should be established a salary study committee, as indicated earlier in this section, to ascertain the adequacy of the salary schedules and policies in operation and to recommend any changes that promise to produce better salary arrangements, In addition, a review should be made to ascertain whether or not individual employees have been appropriately classified and given correct placement on the salary schedules. Wages of Non-certificated Employees A similar approach is suggested for arriving at appropriate wage policies for the non=-certificated workers in the county and the city school systems. Atlanta has recently adopted a classification plan recommended by the Public Administration Service. These schedules have been developed after much study and it appears logical to fit the non-certificated school employees from the county into the basic Atlanta pattern. There are differ- ences in the length of the work year in some categories. This calls for minor adjustments but is not a serious obstacle to unifying the two groups. Bus drivers are employed in the county but are not employed by the Atlanta School System. The current wages paid bus drivers should be continued for the time being and the pay levels assessed when salaries and wages generally are being reviewed. In the case of custodians it would be necessary to reclassify the Fulton County employees in order to achieve parity. This is not a difficult task and if the merger is voted, temporary classifications could be made in those cases where the job descriptions were not clear and final assignments made after individual cases were reviewed. According to estimates made by the Coordinator of the Metropolitan School Development Council, the cost of bringing all the non-certificated employees under a single tent if the Atlanta pay scales were applied is $543,756. This assumes that no consolidation in jobs will be made and the same number of employees are retained, Retirement Provisions Both Fulton County and the City of Atlanta maintain local pension and retirement systems for their employees. This practice is of fairly long standing and, as has been the case in other American cities and counties, it arose because of the obvious need to provide employees with protection against the vicissitudes of advanced age and the local community against the inefficiency which results when workers, past the prime of life, are retained on the job. e Unfortunately the history of local pension plans has not been too favorable. Even when’ they have maintained a solvent position, which many have not, they have seldom provided the protection to new members that was guaranteed by those established and administered by the State. Asa result, they have rapidly diminished in number and state plans have sup- planted them. The latter because of larger memberships, the spreading of risks, and greater resources, have supplied the certificated staff with superior protection, Moreover, state employees! retirement systems are increasingly providing coverage for the non-certificated employees in school systems. The problem confronting Fulton County and Atlanta with respect to pension and retirement is not unlike that found in many other systems. The funds required represent a tremendous investment and the accrued lia- bilities run into millions of dollars. The ultimate solution in the minds of the consultants lies in moving the responsibility as quickly as possible from the local system to the State and the abandonment of any local retirement for new certificated personnel, This cannot be achieved quickly nor painlessly. While the pro- posal to merge the two school systems poses some knotty problems with re- spect to employee retirement, a reasonable solution can probably be worked out. With the merger of the two systems, it is recommended that the policies with respect to retirement and pension provisions listed below be adopted by the various boards concerned: 1. All new certificated personnel will secure membership under the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. All new non-certificated personnel will secure membership in the social security program provided under the Federal Insurance Com- pensation Act. All certificated personnel who are members of retirements systems operated by either the Atlanta General Employees' Pension Fund Board or by the Fulton County School Pension Board may withdraw their personal contributions to their pension fund if and when they become members of the Teachers Retirement System of Georgia. Members of the retirement system operated by the Atlanta Pension Board who wish to continue to be covered by the provisions of such board may continue their membership, and the Atlanta Pension Board will continue to administer and be responsible for all pension liabilities for such personnel as required by their cur- rent commitments, Future changes in pension benefits will be available to such members, The Fulton County Board of Commissioners will assume all obliga- tions, liabilities, and commitments of the Fulton County School Pension Fund Board, Members of the retirement system operated by the Fulton County School Pension Board may at their option transfer their membership to a new Fulton County pension system to be administered by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners or its designate and retain all of the rights and benefits they heid under the system oper- ated by the Fuiton County School Pension Board. Commitments for members who have retired under the pension systems operated by either the Atlanta Pension Board or by the Fulton County School Pension Board shall have all such commitments honored by the Atlanta Pension Board or by the Fulton County Board of Commissioners respectively. Insurance The practice of providing group iife and personal accident insurance for employees is commendable and should be continued. It is recommended that: k Tenure Employees of the Atlanta and Fulton County school systems who have retained their school system sponsored insurance policies and who are retired will have their benefits and vested rights under their policy protected by the Atlanta City Board of Aldermen and the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, respectively, and such boards will manage and make any annual payments due insurance companies that exceeds the amount required of the employees under the pro- visions of the policy. At the time of the merger, group life and personal accident in- surance contracts be cancelled and a new contract agreement be entered into with a commercial company that wiil provide the best policy at the lowest rate. Job security should not be placed in jeopardy for an employee of the two school systems because of the merger. It is recommended that: Ls Tenure policies for the new system be established for the several classes of personnel employed and that the policies 10 for each classification be these now extant in either the Atlanta School System or the Fulton County School System that are more generous to the individual employes. 2. Employees holding tenure in either of the two systems concerned at the time of merger be automatically provided tenure in the new system, 3. Any probationary period served in the two systems concerned and prior to the merger of the two systems will be accepted at full value for tenure considerations in the merged system. Leaves of Absence and Vacations The emoluments and rights earned under provisions that now exist for the personnel in the Atlanta and Fulton County schools should be protected, It is recommended that the provisions that are most generous to the em- ployees, that now exist in either of the two school systems concerned, be adopted for the new merged system with respect to sick leave, maternity leave, bereavement leave, military leave, professional study leave, emergency leave and vacations. Records With the merger of the two systems, it is anticipated that changes will be needed in both accounting and personnel records systems. With modern office equipment and electronic data processing machinery, the work of business, accounting, financial and statistical offices can be handled with dispatch. Moreover, information on personnel can be secured in as many ways as needed in short periods of time. In order for the new system to be able to function efficiently, it is recommended that as soon as the merger is voted, specialists in systems data processing be employed to plan for the merging of data of the two schocl systems together with progiams for fast retrieval of such data, il Combining the Central Office Staff Personnel A merger nearly always requires some consolidation of central office personnel, Hence, the procedures for determining how the unified system should assign the current central office employees needs to be spelled out. The two systems as might be expected have several comparable central office positions and in some instances the merger, in the interest of economy, might necessitate the assignment of certain officials to posts outside the central office, This fact together with the need to reassess existing assignments calls for the exercise of both judgment and diplomacy on the part of those charged with the responsibility of building a new central organization, The consultants believe that the wisest procedure to follow in merging the two central staffs is as follows: 1. The new Board of Education should choose a superintendent of schools for the system and an associate superintendent. 2. The Board of Education should appoint a committee to make recom— mendations as to the assignment of personnel to the new system central office positions, This committee should be composed of the superintendent of schools, who should act as chairman, the associate superintendent of schools, and two officials current~ ly responsible for the recruitment, selection and assignment of personnel in the two systems being merged. 3. The officials currently responsible for the recruitment, selection and assignment of personnel should make recommendations to the superintendent of schools regarding the assignment of secretaries, clerks and custodial workers needed for service in the central headquarters, 12 In making assignments, consideration should be given to the age, experience and personal fitness of the individual employee for the job to be filled. All central office employees should be housed under one roof and adequate facilities should be provided to facilitate the work.
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 16

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_016.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 16
  • Text: ( aah MINUTES LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION December 21, 1965 The Local Education Study Commission met in the 3oard Room of the Fulton County Administration Building at 2:00 P.M. on Tuesday, December 21, 1965, with the following in attendance: Mr. Kenneth Stringer Dr. Rufus Clement Dr. James L. Miller Mr. Earl Landers Dr. John Letson . Dr. Paul West Mr. Tom Miller Mr. P. L. Bardin Mrs. Alan Ritter Mr. Alan Kiepper, (Proxy) Mr. Bardin called the meeting to order and asked for approval of the minutes of the August 23, 1965, meeting. The minutes were unanimously approved. He then gave a brief review of the work of the Commission since the last regular meeting and pointed out that a meeting was held with members of the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education on September 21, 1965, and with the Representatives and Senators from Fulton and DeKalb Counties on September 27, 1965. The Legislative Delegation later developed a re- solution outlining additional information which should be included in the report of the Commission. Dr. Pierce then presented the addition to the report. Comments and suggestions offered during the presentation included the following: Assessed evaluation of property in Atlanta is approximately 70% of the 1956 reappraisal which in reality is about 30% of the current market value for the city and 20% for the county. Judge Wood's decision does not include independent school districts. Homestead exemptions will not be affected. The cost for putting Fulton County teachers on the same salary schedule as the Atlanta teachers should be included in the report. "New board members will be elected as vacancies occur" should be changed to "new board members will be elected as terms expire". The report should show that Fulton County's bonding capacity is 10% of the digest and Atlanta's bonding capacity is 4% of the digest. Since board members in Atlanta have been elected for four-year terms beginning January 1, 1966, would any legal difficulty be encountered by calling for a new election of board members in 1968? If so, could this be resolved by having current members of both boards compose the new board until terms expire and then elect only seven new members to the new board? Wealth behind each child in Fulton County and Atlanta may change if portions of the county are annexed into the city. It should be stated that support to schools as stated in the report is predicated upon no changes in present tax structure. The report should include a statement efhow the seven districts :. from which the board members will be elected are to be determined and how they will be readjusted as population changes. Since we now have seven senatorial districts it might be desirable to use them as the starting basis for the seven districts from which school board members will be elected. These districts will be amended as necessary so that areas within the city but which lie in DeKalb County will be included and so that other portions of DeKatb County will be excluded. Fiscal independence for the school board should refer only to the property tax and not include the ability to set sales tax rate and other similar taxes. The combined budget for both school systems should be projected. The Commission accepted the report as presented with the suggested changes presented above. The lawyers were instructed to draw up the necessary proposed constitutional amendment for combining the two systems. A copy of the amendment is to be sent to each member of the Commission for study before the next meeting of the Commission. Copies sent to Commission Members are to be clearly marked Rough Draft and Confidential. The Conmission will meet again to review the proposed constitutional amendment as soon as possible. The meeting was adjourned at 3:55 P.M.
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 18

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_018.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 18
  • Text: ~! > MEMBERS OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMISSION ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY Chairman: Bus. Phone Home Phone Pope Brock, Chairman of the Board Fulton National Bank 2629 Arden Road, N,. W. Atlanta, Georgia Vice-Chairman Jack W. West Jack W. West Contracting Company P. O. Box 6787 Atlanta, Georgia 30315 Secretary-Treasurer: Mrs. Earl F. Geiger 4291 East Brookhaven Drive, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia Robert Earl Brown P. 0. Box 20787 Atlanta Airport Atlanta, Georgla Dr. Samuel D. Cook, Chairman Department of Political Science Atlanta University Atlanta, Georgia Dr. Irving H. Goldstein, DDS 826 Peachtree Street, N. W. Atlanta, Georgla Joseph K. Heyman, Senior Vice President Trust Company of Georgia Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Max Holt, Comptroller Dittler Bros., Inc. 1375 Seaboard Industrial Boulevard, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia 30325 Ernest W. Keappler 2266 Campbellton Road, S. W. Atlanta, Georgia 30311 William T. Malone 774 Lullwater Road, N. E. Atlanta, Georgia 875-3411 577-2357 767-7501 523-6431 875-7034 588-7916 355-3423 344-3550 378-0174 355-4496 627-8630 231-3264 344-6330 525-7512 872-6671 873-2777 233-0747 766-0594 761-3775 378-0174 Joseph M. Maloof, Assistant Vice President First Fereral Savings & Loan Association 40 Marietta Street, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia William F. Methvin, Jr. W. F. Methvin, Jr. Lumber Company P. ©. Box 8121, Station F Atlanta, Georgia J. ¥. Moreland, Sr., Principal Booker TT’. Washington High School 12 Chappel Road, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia 30325 Clifford Oxford Hatcher, Meyerson, Oxford and Irvin First Federal Building 40 Marietta Street, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia 30303 E. Earl Patton Patton Associates 38 Old Ivy Road, N. E, Atlanta, Georgia 30305 Paul E. Pressley Hatcher, Meyerson, Oxford and Irvin First Federal Building 40 Marietta Street, N. W. Atlanta, Georgia 30303 J. W. Stephenson, Jr., Manager College Park Branch Atlanta Federal Savings & Loan Association 3581 Main Street College Park, Georgia Freeman Strickland 1208 First National Bank Building Atlanta, Georgia 30303 Franklin Thomas, Executive Director Butler Street YMCA ee Butler Street, Ny E, Atlanta, Georgia Counsel: James B. Pilcher Associate City Attorney 1114 William-Oliver Building Atlanta, Georgia 30303 For further information contact: Miss Peg Hendrix Room 336 State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia 30334 Bus. Phone 525-7681 876-0300 758-8871 525-3404 233-7020 525-3404 761-0153 588-6414 524-0246 524-7731 572-2661 Home Phone 627-8405 876-0300 753-8276 237-3900 29a 1179 622-0872 76129845 233-2445 344-2685 231-4307
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 20

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_020.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 20
  • Text: COMMITTEES OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT COMMIS sion ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY STEERING COMMITTEE Pope Brock, Chairma Jack W. West : Mrs. Earl F. Geiger Joseph K. Heyman Clifford Oxford J. Y. Moreland ATLANTA CITY GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMITTEE Clifford Oxford, Chairman Joseph M. Maloof Dr. Samuel D. Cook William F. Methvin, Jr. Robert Earl Brown FULTON COUNTY GOVERNMENT STUDY COMMITTEE Dr. Irving H. Goldstein, DDS, Chairman Freeman Strickland Max Holt J. Y¥. Moreland Ernest W. Keappler SUBURBAN AREA STUDY COMMITTEE Joseph K. Heyman, Chairman Paul E. Pressley J. W. Stephenson, Jr. William T. Malone E. Earl Patton Franklin Thomas For further information contact: Miss Peg Hendrix Room 336 State Capitol Atlanta, Georgia 30334 572-2661
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 13

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_013.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 13
  • Text: TABLE II ESTIMATED ANNUAL SCHOOL BUDGETS OF THE ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY DISTRICTS 1965-1970 Years Atlanta Fulton County Total 1965-66.” $46,713,125 $13,891,184 $60,604, 309 1966-67 51,104,159 15,002,479 66,106,638 1967-68 55,907,949 16,202,677 72,110,626 1968-69 61,163,297 17,498,891 78,662,188 1969-70 66,912,647 18,898,802 85,811,449 * Actual
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 1

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_001.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 1
  • Text: MINUTES ; LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION LION COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING CCTOBER 2, 1964 The Local Education Commission met Friday, October 2, 1964, at 2:00 p.m., in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with the following members present: Mr. P. L. Bardin Mrs. Alan Ritter Dr. R. H. Brisbane Mr. Wallace H. Stewart Mr. Otis M. Jackson Mr. William M. Teem Mr. Alan Kiepper, Ex Cfficio Mr. Fred J. Turner Dr. John '. Letson, Ex Officio Dr. Paul D. West, Ex Officio Mr. Thomas M. Miller Mr. James White, Jr. Minutes of the July 31 meeting of the Steering Committee were read and approved. Minutes of the July 31 Local Education Commission meeting were read and approved. Minutes of the September 10 meeting of the Special Committee for Legal Services were read and discussed. During this discussion, it was pointed out that the Commission has an unemcumbered balance of between $6,000 and $7,000. Concensus seems to be that a contractual agreement should be drawn between the lawyers and the Commission. This agreement should set forth the duties, expectations and obligations of each party involved. Also, a copy of the minutes of the September 10 meeting of the Special Committee should be sent to each lawyer. The point was made that the only financial commitment to the lawyers is that the Commission will pay them on an hourly rate for services rendered. The total cost of their services will depend upon the number of hours they devote to the work of the Commission. There are no minimum fees, retainer fees or other such fees involved in this agreement. zo. Local Education Commission Minutes, cont'd Dr. Pierce was asked to identify services other than legal which are needed. He stated that the legal and educational aspects of the study are so entwined it is hard to say exactly what can be classified specifically as one or the other. However, it seems appropriate that the Commission should design the desired new school system first and then have the legal counsel describe the legal steps required to create the system. The degree to which legal and educational aspects are interwoven were pointed out by citing the retirement plan for the new system or the amortization of the existing bonded indebtness of the two systems. Again it was pointed out that the final report of the Commission must be a package plan which includes the totality of dissolving two systems and creating a new one. Mr. Kiepper asked if it would be desirable or necessary to secure the service of a management consultant firm to help with the organizational structure of the new system. He pointed out that some systems have used such Sérvices. The reply was that there are many kinds of services needed and that this may be one. Nashville-Davidson County used the service of a thahagement consultant firm when they combined the two school systems. Mr. Turner then made the motion that the Commissioh approve the action of the Special Committee concerning the selection of tHe two lawyers on an hourly basis; however, the hourly rate must be approved by the Commission before services are requested. Mr. White seconded the motion which was approved unanimously. Dr. West stated that various news reporters are being advised of the meetings of the Commission, but that apparently their schedules are preventing them from covering the Commission meetings. Dr. Pierce reviewed the brief he had developed as a result of the charge received at the last regular Commission meeting. However, before giving a detailed analysis of the brief, Dr. Pierce stated that if the report is accepted, the question of whether merger is desirable will be settled. Attention then can be focused upon describing the kind of =O Local Education Commission Minutes. ors:t’d new school system needed. He also stated that the brief in its present form should be treated as a tentative and confidential document. Each point in the brief was then reviewed and explained in considerable detail by Dr. Pierce. Official action by the Commission concerning the brief will be taken at a later meeting. The meeting was adjourned at.4:00 p.m. ECH/dh October 5, 1964
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 10

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_010.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 10
  • Text: ~~ MINUTES LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION August 23, 1965 The Local Education Commission met Monday, August 23, 1965, at 2:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with the following members present: Mr. P. L. Bardin Dr. James L. Miller, Jr. Mr. J. H. Cawthon 7 Mr. Leonard Robinson Dr. Rufus Clement Mr. Walley Stewart Mr. Otis Jackson Dr. Paul West Mr. Alan Kiepper Mr. James White, Jr. Mr. Earl Landers Mr. Otis Jackson, Vice Chairman, called the meeting to order and stated that the purpose of the meeting was to take action upon the report mailed to the members since the meeting on May 27. Dr. Pierce said that the revised report included suggestions presented during the last Commission meeting. He then asked for reactions to the report, suggestions which would strengthen the overall report and editorial comments. Mr. Robinson stated that he wanted to go on record as opposing combining the two systems. This position is based upon his experience as a member of the Fulton County Board of Education and the National School Boards Association. He stated that many advantages of merger could be realized through expanding the cooperative efforts of the two systems through the Metropolitan School Development Council, but that each system could maintain its identity. Mr. Bardin commented that the Commission had studied the evidence and had arrived at the conclusion that merger would be best for the two systems involved. It is possible that there are many individual points which may not be enhanced, but the overall picture for both systems would be improved if they were combined. Dr. Jerry Miller stated that it was his understanding that the study, "Financing Education in the Fulton County School District", pointed out that the Fulton County School System could operate only for a few more years at the present level of quality and effectiveness without additional revenue. Efforts must be started now to combine the two systems or Fulton County may suffer many years before the two systems could be joined. Mr. James White called attention to the fact that the Commission must take a position and moved that the report, which recommends that the two systems be combined, be accepted as presented. The motion was seconded by Mr. Walley Stewart. After discussing many points pertaining to the pros and cons of combining the two systems, the Commission passed the motion by a vote of six to one. Those voting for the motion were Mr. P. L. Bardin, Dr. Rufus Clement, Mr. Otis Jackson, Mr. Walley Stewart, Dr. Jerry Miller, and Mr. James White; opposed, Mr. J. H. Cawthon; Ex Officio Members not voting were Mr. Alan Kiepper, Mr. Earl Landers, Dr. J. W. Letson, Mr. Leonard Robinson, and Dr. Paul West. The question was again asked if the Fulton County School System could afford to wait until it was faced with a serious financial crisis before starting action to merge the two systems. If this occurs the situation may be beyond the control of local leadership. It was pointed out that the Commission recognizes problems faced by the two school systems and has made the recommendation which seems to be best for both. Whether or not the systems are merged will depend upon the local leaders and the voters. Mr. White stated that the Commission could go no further with specific recommendations pertaining to new finances and other related problems without extensive legal advice. This would require additional funds. The wishes of the Legislature will dictate if this is accomplished. It was agreed that Dr. Pierce would edit the report in terms of the suggestions presented during the meeting; that a copy of the revised report be sent to all members of the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education and to the members of the Local Education Commission; and that a meeting of the Boards of Education and the Commission be held at 2:00 P.M. on Monday, September 20, 1965. Minutes of the May 27 meeting were approved. The meeting was adjourned at 4:10 P.M. ECH: cw August 31, 1965 Recording Secretary Approved by:
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 8

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_008.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 8
  • Text: - « JACK ETHERIDGE : FULTON COUNTY MEMBER COMMITTEES: “7926 FULTON FED. BLDG. ; Gt 5 uo. | Gat ATLANTA, GEORGIA~ — =r Le ees ey ougx) , a VICE-CHAIRMAN a : LOCAL AFFAIRS = EOULATIOND ee SECRETARY OMMON SCHOOLS Sus-ComMITT (JUDICIARY) GENERAL & te tA ! nye M, y v “Any } ~ ~ 2 W ent i House of Representatives 3 House Chamber | Atlanta January 29, 1965 Mr. P.L. Bardin Bank of Georgia Building Atlanta, Georgia Dear Mr. Bardin: Re: Interim Report of the Local Education Commission I have read the Commission's Interim Report with great interest and encouragement. One concludes that little question remains as to the need to move promptly toward consolidation of the Atlanta and Fulton County systems. As I understand it, there is a great need to continue the work of the Commission during the coming year for the purpose of preparing appropriate legislation and making additional necessary studies. Whatever might be proposed by this Commission must be of necessity presented to the Fulton and DeKalb legislative delegations. My experience has been that it isa mistake for legislation as complex as this, to be presented to the delegation within only a few days or weeks of the session. For that reason, I am writing not only to congratulate you and others upon this interim report, but to urgently call your attention to the absolute need to have legislation prepared well in advance of the next session. It would seem to me that unless the drafting of the appropriate legislation can be completed by at least September or October of this year, the Commission might well risk the loss of an entire additional year in seeing these statutes enacted. Iam quite certain that you are conscious of this problem, yet as one who has had some experience in seeking to deal with legislation that is either hastily prepared or presented to the delegation at the eleventh hour, I feel it is important for all of the 8 i " ue ed ae | OuSX | Mr. P.L. Bardin Page Two January 29, 1965 members of the Commission to be aware of this important consideration for the planning of the Commission's work. Permit me to express to all those having a part in this important study my genuine appreciation. Sincerely, pil oe (Jack Etheridge ZL JE:1lr cc: Members of the Local Education Commission
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 2

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_002.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 2
  • Text: morn YUAT ia tHE LOCAL eal BDUCATL LCN Chairman Ba Vice Chairman Ocis HM. Jackson L. Bardin. “J Dr. Truman Pierce, Dean Sacty-Treesuror W. Kenneth Scringer Department of Education - Auburn University Wallace H. Stewart , Thomas M, Miller Internatonal Business Machires Corp General Offices 1439 Peachtree Street, NE 30309 Delta Air Lines EP oeure parc sh 1440 Benak of Georgia Bldg Atlanta, Geoereia 36303 Fred J. Turner Willica Oliver Bldg Atlanta, Georgia 30303 tis M. ckson 3121 ple Drive, NE Atlanta, Georgia 30305 - H. Cawthon <0 0 Montrose Drive East Point, Ga WV. Kenneth Stringer 393 Peachtree St, tlanta, Georgia NE 30309 Mrs. Alen Ritter Bent Ock Farm Route 2 Alpharetta, Ga Dr. R. H. Briaben iorchouse College 223 Chestnut Se., Atlante, Georgia SW 30314 Lio. Newaase Morehouse College 223 Chestnut SG Su Atlanta, Georgia nh. fae Ff a2ee@ White, Jr 2734 Peachtsea Bd., NZ Atlanta, Georgia 30305 De. Jazces L. Miller, Jr 120 - 6th Screat, Be Atleata, Georgia 30313 Williaa H. Tees, II 625 Leridans Circle, WE &tleate, Georgie 39315 Ur. John YW. Atlante Municipal Airport atlenta, Ge 30320 Ex Officio Nonmbers: ‘ Letson, Superintendent Atlanta Public Sshools Dr. Poul D. West, Superintendent Fulton Country Schoola W. L. Robingon, President Fulton County Board of Education Oby T. Brever, Jr, ecoeroane Atlanta Board of Education Waleo Building tl Pryor St} NE Atlanta, Ga 30303 ~- Aiministrative Asst to Ha fayor gio E3393 ‘ . cme — a ; initen Coumty Moneger Fulton Co. id .daietration Bldg : ee SOE Hoke, wool is 56333 Saas Seon see een cs Stécvine Con sbetes Mamjar is saissiona . Sacratcrey: + ri Dr. Curtis Henson, Coordinstor .ctropolitaa School Davelopment Council dtlenta end Fulton County Schools
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 11

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_011.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 11
  • Text: METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL City of Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education 224° Central Ave., S.W. Atlanta 3, Georgia EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Oby T. Brewer, Jr. co-chairman W. L. Robinson, co-chairman John W. Letson Paul D. West Glenn Frick L. Marvin Rivers To: Members of the Local Education Commission From: Curtis Henson, Recording Secretary COUNCIL STAFF E. Curtis Henson Coordinator Gilbert E, Tauffner, Executive Director of Educational Broadcasting The next meeting of the Local Education Commission will be held on Monday, September 20, 1965, at 2:00 P.M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building. During this meeting the report of the Commission will be reviewed with the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education. Gs ECH: cw ltr emer
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 28

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_028.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 28
  • Text: > New Era Publishing Company tne. §25 MARSHALL STREET P, 0. BOX 411 QAITT FAYOGOUR DECATUR. GEORGIA 30030 Gkecutive VICE PALOIDENT B0ITOR Jd. RX. BOATRIGHT vice FAcoIDEN? OUGINEDO MANMADE GEORGIA, DeKalb County Personally oppeared before the undersigned officer authorized by law to administer oaths, BRITT FAYSSOUX, who, being duly sworn, deposes and states on cath that he is General Manager of the New Era Publishing Company, Inc., a Georgia corporation, and is authorized to make this affidavit on its behalf. Deponent avers that the New €ra Publishing Company, Inc. is the publisher of the DeKalb New Era, a newspaper published in the City of Decatur, being of general circulation and being the legal .argan for the courity of DeKalb, and further avers that legal notice, a SOON eee eee ee to Introduce Local Legislation............ was duly. pub- lished once'o week for ....3.ccc. weeks as required by Jaw, ithe dates of publicdtion being .... January.,S, January L2e......, And Januery 19, 1967 sasha day of Qtech , 196.2. Odgee cece ete eee teeee 3/ Gazol Ys er 7 v fe ALF Ob hediber oA Pees eeeaetee ieee Notery g “heres Public Se "tae at Larsa My Cérranon tajerotfeb. 21, 197) 9 (SEAL) uy. B, No. 622 Pas 6 THe DEKALa New Era-Recoro Tue LitHoNIA OosenveR PUBLIGHING PRINTING COPY OF NOTICE ee nae | NOTICE OF INTENTION TO JNTRODUCE LOCAL LEGIM,ATION : Notice is hereby g}von of Intention to Introduco the Janyary, 1067 -sesulon of the Goneral Assembly of Georgia, a DMI to ro~ establish a Loca} Educitjon Commission tn Atlanta and Fulton County te continue a aludy of the dostranlifty ‘nd foyatollity of combining the schoo! systema of Fulton County and of the City of Atlanta, including tho portion thereof ty)n¢' in DeKalb County, to provide for the organization and function- ing of ‘ald conrmisalon," and for other purposes, eh This Decombor 27, 1068, A,C, Lalimer Alttornoy, Clty of Atlanta Board of Education Jamos P, Groton oonty oars Allornoy, Fulton County r of education vie Kept 1.9-3T ———a PUBLISHER’S AFFIDAVIT. STATE OF GEORGIA,—County of Fulton. Before me, the undersigned, a..... Notary, Public... ....., this day per- ‘gonally came ........frank,Kempton ........, , who, being first duly sworn, according to law, says that he is the... President, .... of the Daily Report Com- pany, publishers of the Fulton County Daily Report, official newspaper published at Atlanta, in said county and State, and that the publication, of which the an- nexed is a true copy, was published in said paper on the ..... RIER Cok hat data cet idea eisGRaae daysof ... December __,,..19.9, and on the ...9»,.13,, 20th, days of ...... Janpary,.,......, 1997..As8 provided by law. Laank ingles s/ Frank Kempton eae bes NOTICE OF INTENTION TO INTRONUCE LOCAL LEGISLATION Nollee ta hereby elvenoof Inten- tlon to Intreduce Inte the Jnan- linry, ae spon of the General Assembly of Grorein, a Tl to ‘ ire-establish Dara!) Education Subscribed and sworn to before me Commission in Atlanta and Ful- ton County to conthiie no study of the desirably aed feasibility ‘ j 30th of combinine the school systems this Be ee ee day of ete eere of Fulton County ane of the City of Atlanta. Ineludine the rertton thereof Iving In DeKalb County: * January eeeene 19. 67 This December 27, 184, A.C. Latimer s/ Mildred N. ae to provide for the errantration And functioning of sald commis- sion: and for other proses, Mhcle il. Hagel, Z Attorney, Cis of Allantn Roard of eoen Ae do meat he seeepeceses Education ws, wpe at r. penton ; SEAL) torney, ton County Roird of ( Education Dee 39, 1966, Jan 6 13 20, 1967 ; H. B. No. 623 S Page 7 “sy f ?D } fowrk + JE: jH is ys Hai Ne 62s Coe er +s By: Messrs. Walling, Harris, Farrar and Lev:tas of the 118th, Higginbotham, Westlake and Davis of the 119th, Winkles of the 120th, Longino of the 122nd, Cook of the 123rd, Adams of the 125th, Cox of the 127th, Dillon of the 128th, Carnes of the 129th, Lambros of the 130th, Sims of the 13lst, Grier of the 132nd, Alexander of the 133rd, Daugherty of the 134th, Brown of the 135th, Bond of the 136th, Hamilton of the 137th, McClatchey of the 138th, Townsend of the 140th, and Egan of the 141st. A BILL To be entitled an Act To Re-establish a Local Education Commission in Atlanta and Fulton County to continue the study of the desirability and feasibility of combining the school systems of Fulton County and of the City of Atlanta, including the portion thereof lying in DeKalb County; to provide that said Commission shall draft a plan or plans, together with proposed Constitutional amendments and legislation, for the combining of such school systems and submit same to members of the General As sembly from Fulton and DeKalb Counties} to provide for the organization of said Commission; to provide for the publication of said plan or plans; to provide for allocation of funds by the Boards of Education of Atlanta and Fulton County for the operation of the Commission; to provide for authority to accept donations; and for other purposes. Whereas, by Resolution approved March 18, 1964 (Ga. L. 1964, p. 317 1) there was created in Atlanta and Fuiton County a Local Education Commission to study the desizability and feasibility of combining the school system of Fulton County and of the City of Atlanta; and Whereas, said Commission filed its report, recommending that said school systems be combined; and Whereas, by Resolution approved March 15, 1966 (Ga. L. 1966 p. 3413) said Commission was re~established for the purpose of drafting a plan or plans, together with proposed Constitutional amendments and legislation, for the combining of such school systems, for consideration by the members of the General Assembly; and Whereas, said Commission has presented its interim progress report, which indicates that additional time will be required to complete the work of the Commission; and Whereas, it is desirable to re-establish said Commission for the purpose of completing the work of the Commission; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF GEORGIA and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same: %, | 38 H. B. No. 623 Page 1 SECTION 1 There is hereby re-established in Fulton County and the City of Atlanta a Commission to continue the study of the desizrabitity and feasibility of combining the school systems of Futton County and the City of Atlanta, including the portion thereof lying in DeKalb County._ Said Commission shall ke known as the Local Education Commission, of said county, hereinafter referred to as the "Commission". Said Commission sha!l be composed of twenty~one ‘21) members, classified into the following positions: {a} Two ex-officio positions, to be filled by the Superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools and the Sup erintendent of the Fulton County Public Schools; (b} six ex-officio representative positions, which shall be filled originally by Ed S. Cook representing the Eoard of Education of the City of Atlanta; W. L. Robinson, representing the Board of Education of Fulton County; Earl Landers, representing the City of Atlanta government; Alan Kiepper, representing the Fulton County Commissioners; Mrs. Ethel Brooks, representing the classroom teachers of the City of Atlanta; and Mrs. Nona K. Ford, representing the classroom teachers of the Fulton County Public Schools and; (c) the following voting members of said Commission: Dr. R. H. Brisbane, Je H. Cawthon, Dr. Rufus E. Clement, John i. Cunningham, Otis M. Jackson, Thomas M. Miller, A. B. Padgett, Mrs. A. Le Riter, Martham Sanders, Wallace H. Stewart, W. Kenneth Stringer, Wii.tam M. Teem Ili and Fred J. Turner. SECTION 2 Each individual herein named to the Commission shall serve thereon until the Commission is discharged as hereinafter provided, unless he shall refuse to serve or shal! die or resign. Whenever a vacancy on the Commission results from the fact that a member refuses to serve or dies or resigns, the vacancy shall be filled by majority vote of the remaining members of the Commission as follows: If the vacancy is in a representative position, it shall be filled by a person who is then a member of the class represented; if the vacancy is in one of the voting positions, it shall be filled by a citizen then residing in the City of Atlanta or in Fulton County outside the City of Atlanta. Notwithstanding anything else herein stated, if a vacancy takes place in a representat.ve or voting position originally filled by a citizen residing in the City of Atlanta, such vacancy shall be filled by a citizen “hen residing in the City of Atlanta and in the county wherein the person originally filling said position resided; ana if a vacancy takes place in a position originally filled by a citizen residing in Fulton County outside the City of Atlanta, such vacancy shall be filled by a ¢ citizen then raiding in Fulton County outside of the City of Atlanta. A H. B. No. 623 Page 2 majority of the persons serving as members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum to do business but a less number may adjourn from time to time. The Gommission shall elect a Chairman, @ Vice-Chairman and a Secretary-Treasurer from its membership, The Commission shall adopt, from time to time, such rules, regulations and modes of procedure as it deems expedient for the orderly dispatch of its business. The Commission shall keep minutes and records of its meetings. A monthly statement of all disbursements of the funds hereinafter Provided, properly vouched for, shall be furnished to the Boards of Education of Fulton County and of thv2 City of Atlant2. The first meeting of the Commission shall be held within 3) days after the approval of this Act by the Governor, at a place and time mutually agreed upon byr the members thereof representing the Boards of Education of Fulton County ancl of the City of Atlanta. Said Boards of Education, or either tof them, upon application by the Commission, shall provide suitable office s pace and meeting rooms; for the Commission. SEC'JION 3 it sha’\] be the function and du't-y of said Commission to continue the study of the educational systems of F1:iton County and of the City of Atlanta, including the: portion thereof lying in ‘DeKalb County, for the purpose of considering the desirability and fess i. bility of combining said school systems, and to Subrait to the General Assemb].y of the State of Georgia as hereinafter provided a. plan or plans, together writh proposed Constitutional amendments and legislation, for the combining of suczh school systems, and such plan or plans shell include any changes in politits al and administrative and fiscal structure ‘of either or both of said systems wttich the Commission deems desirable and ° feasible. fSECTION 4 The s@id Commission shall have the powe;y and authority to hold public hearings and any judge of the suf 2rior court upon application signed by the Chairman and Secretary-Treasurer’ of the Commission shall issue a subpoena for the attendance of any witness; or the production of any books, papers or records. in m@king such study 1:] 1e Commission is authorized to call upon the State of Georgia or any of its acy anctes or institutions for any aid or assistance which can be rendes¢ 2d it, and to call upon the various departments of the couniy and municipalities; 3, including the law departments, for such assistance. Said commission } may employ such special, technical and clerical & H. B. No. 623 Page 3 4]
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 12

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_012.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 12
  • Text: MINUTES LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION MAY 27, 1965 The Local Zducation Commission met Thursday, May 27, 1965 at 2:30 P, M. in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with the following members present: Mr. P. L, Bardin Mr. Leonard Robinson Mr. Otis Jackson Mr. Wallace H. Stewart Mr. Alan Kiepper Mr. Kenneth Stringer Dr. John Letson Mr. William Teem, III Dr. James Miller, Jr. Dr. Paul West Mrs. Alan Ritter Minutes of the February 26th meeting were read and approved. Mr. Bardin stated that during the meeting on February 26th, the Commission asked Dr. Pierce to develop a skeleton plan for combining the two school systems and to present it at the next Commission meeting. — Dr. Pierce said he had prepared a rough draft which he thought could serve as the bases for the final report of the Commission and as a resource document for speeches, discussion groups, news releases and related purposes. He invited Commission members to ask questions or make comments as he reviewed the draft. After many points which might be included, omitted or changed in the report had been discussed, Mr. Bardin called attention to the purpose of the meeting. He stated that the Commission was to receive the report and take appropriate action so that it could be reviewed with Atlanta and Fulton County 3oards of Education and the representatives from Fulton and DeKalb Counties. Dr. Jerry Miller, Jr. then made the motion that the Commission express its confidence in the work Dr. Pierce has done thus far; that Dr. Pierce take into account the many points discussed during the meeting and rewrite the draft and that a copy be sent to the members of the Commission before the next meeting and if approved by the Commission, the report will then be discussed with the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education and the representatives from Fulton and DeKalb Counties. The motion was seconded by Mr. Walley Stewart and passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 4:30 P. M. HCH: cw June 7, 1965 Recording Secretary | Approved by: | Chairman | :
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 15

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_015.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 15
  • Text: METROPOLITAN SCHOOL DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL City of Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education 155 Garnett St., S.W. Atlanta, Georgia 30303 April 12, 1966 lO) (op fr Mr. Earl Landers, Administrative Assistant to Mayor Atlanta City Hall 68 Mitchell Street, S. W. Atlanta, Georgia Dear Mr. Landers: The 1966 Legislature extended the life of the Local Education Commission "to continue the study of the desirability and feasibility of combining the school systems of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta...". The resolution further stated that: It shall be the function and duty of said Commission to continue the study of the educational systems of Fulton County and the City of Atlanta including the portion thereof lying in DeKalb County for the purpose of considering the desirability and feasibility of combining said school systems and to submit to the General Assembly of the State of Georgia as hereinafter provided a plan or plans together with proposed constitutional amendments and legislation for the combining of such school systems and such plan or plans shall include any changes in political and administrative and fiscal structure of either or both of said systems which the Commission deems desirable and feasible. I am, therefore, calling an organizational meeting of the Commission at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, April 27 in the Fulton County Board of Education Room. There are a number of important decisions which must be made concerning the activities and the responsibilities of the Commission. Your help in making these decisions is sorely needed. I hope you can attend this meeting. Sincerely, i\e,7 : Aiur P, L. Bardin PLB: cw
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 23

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_023.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 23
  • Text: we -Yy 7 ( CHAIRMAN P. L. BARDIN 1440 BANK OF GEORGIA BUILDING ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30303 524-2626 LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION of Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia VICE CHAIRMAN Otis M. JACKSON 3121 MAPLE DRive, N.E. ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30305 237-4729 SECRETARY-TREASURER W. KENNETH STRINGER 1393 PEACHTREE STREET. N.E. ATLANTA, GEORGIA 30309 873-3578 To: From: June &, 1967 REMINDER —— — Local Education Commission Members, Consultants and Attorneys Curtis Henson, Recording Secretary bint Jp2atonm The Local Education Commission will have a luncheon meeting at 12:30 p.m. on June 19th in rooms 1 and 2 of the Atlanta Public Schools! Instructional Services Center, 2930 Forrest Hill Drive, S. W. Members of the Atlanta and Fulton County Boards of Education have been invited to this luncheon. The purpose of this meeting is to receive the reports of the studies conducted by Dr. R. L. Johns in finance and business management, and Dr. Willard Elsbree in personnel. In order for us to make the necessary arrangements for this luncheon, please check the appropriate blank on the enclosed card and return it to me at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your cooperation. CH smt Enel.
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 24

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_024.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 24
  • Text: FINANCING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY '. ' A comprehensive approach to a study of the financing of the public ' _, i:· schools in Atlanta and Fulton Cqunty would involve an appraisal of the future policies of the State of Georgia and the federal government foi · school financing a we ll as a study or local school financing. i . . Since such an appraisal is beyond the scope of this study, this section of the report will deal primarily wi~h problems of local school financing in the two districts. However, most authorities on school financing anticipate that in the future there will be further increases in school !I. i financial support from the federal government and state governments as well as from local school districts. Although the public schools will no doubt receive increased funds in the future from both state and I' I federal sources, strong local financial support of the public schools I I I will have to be maintained by all districts that desire something better than a mediocre quality level of education for their children. The following matters are treated in this section of the report: revenue receipts, current expenditures, taxpaying ability and local effort to support education, indebtedness, equalization that would result from consolidation, non-property local taxes and financial arrangements that would need to be made if the two districts were conso lidated. I • Revenue Receipts l I Table I shows the budgeted reven ue receipts of the Atlanta and Fulton County school systems. It will be noted from this Table that 55.4 per '. �-2- cent of the revenue of the Atlanta City schools is derived from the district property tax as compared with 29.6 per cent in Fulton County. However, both of these percentage figures are deceiving. Just what per cent of the revenue receipts of each school system i s provided by property taxes levied on property located in each district? It will be noted that the A~lanta City Council paid $2,835,045 in 1966 for the debt service on bonds the City iss~ed to construct school buildings. This amounts to 5.3 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City board of education. Th i s added to the 55.4 per cent derived from the district property tax makes a total of 60.7 per cent of the revenue ' receipts of the Atl ant a Cit y schools derived from property taxes in 1966-67. It will be no t e d th a t Fu lton County receivis $1,762,892 from the county- wide tax ( 1½ mi ll s ) a nd $780;000 from a direct appropriation from the County Commission. sources. This makes a total of $2,542,892 from these two If it is a ssumed that t he appropriation from the County Commis- sion is also de ri ve d f rom prope r t y taxes , what part of this total is paid on prope r t y located i n Fu l t on County but outside of the City of Atla nta? Since only about 19 per cent of the digest of Ful t on County lies outside of the City of At l an ta, only app roxima t ely 19 per cent of t his amount, or $483,149, is pa id on t he prope rty in Fulton County l y ing outside the city of Atlanta, and $2 , 059,743 on the propert y in t he City of Atlanta. This represents only ap proximatel y 3.2 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County board. It wil l a l so be noted that 8.1 per cent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County district is derived from th e 5½ mill levy for debt service. These two amounts, that is, 3.2 per cent plus 8. 1 per cent a dded to 29.6 per cent make a total of 40.9 per cent of the revenue receipts o f the Fulton County board of education obtained from property taxes pa i d on property located In Fulton County outside of the City of Atlanta. �-3- The Fulton Coun ty board of education receives 42.6 per cent of its · revenue from t he state Mi n imum Foundation Program appropriations as compared with 32.3 per cent for t he City of Atlanta. The Minimum Foundation Program law was des i gned to equalize educational opportunities among school districts that vary g rea tl y in wealth. The 1-½ mill countyw.ide tax levied in all of Fulton County but allocated exclusively to the Fulton County board also provides f o r considerable financial equalization at the local level. policy. . The equalization of educationa l opportunity is sound public Later in this report , it is shown tha t the adjusted gross digest is 32 per cent greater per pupil in t he City of Atlanta than in Fulton County. ' Table I shows the revenue receipts of the Atlanta Schools totaled $530.01 per pup il in 1966-67 as compared with $547.35 in Fulton County. This means tha t the State Minimum Foundation Program Law tQgether w_ith the 1-½ mi l l county-w ide levy and the direct appropriation from t he County Commission have gone a long way toward equalizing the financi a l su pport of the two systems. It should not be inferred from this comment, however, that educational opportunities are equal in the two school systems. The Atlanta City school sys tem provides kindergartens which are not provided in the Fulton County system. If Fulton County provided kindergartens, the revenue receipts per pupil in that school system wou ld probably be l ess t han the reven ue receipts per pupil in the Atlanta system. Both systems will benefit substantially in 1967-68 from increases from the Minimum Foundation Program Appropriation provided by t_he 1967 Legislatu re . It is estimated t hat the City of Atl anta wil l receive an increa se of approximately $1,863,000 from this source and Fulton County approximately $1,075,000. �TA BLE I - SO URC ES OF RE VENUE OF ATLA NTA AND FULTON CO-UNTY SCHOOL SYSTE MS 1966-67 (B UD GET ED REV ENU ES 1966-67, DATA FURN ISHE D BY CITY AND COU NTY SCHOOL OF FI CIALS). SOURCE Dis t ric t Proper t y tax for · ope ra t ion ATLANTA Per cent Amo unt $29 ,686 ,-415 ' .-r FULTON COU NTY Amount Per cent $ 4 , 922,451 29.6 1,762 , 892 10.6 County Commi s s ion 780,000 4.7 Intangibl e Taxes 230 , 000 1.4 42.6 .55.4 County Wide Proper t y Tax State Min imum Foundat ion Prog ram Othe r State Funds Vocat ional Funds Na t iona l Defence Education Act 17,322, 038 32 .3 7, 074 ,76 1 425 , 013 628 ,449 .8 0 1. 2 58 , 000 .3 520,781 1. 0 65 ,400 .4 Ful t on County Schoo l Dis t r ic t 5½ mi 11 lev, for debt service Fede ral Impacted Area Funds 802,3 66 1.5 Ci ty Co unc il Payments f or Debt Service on Sch. Bond• 2,835,0451 s.3 Other Income 1, 358,747 2.5 Total Revenue Re ceipts 53,578,854 100.0 Beginning Cash Balance Sub-Total Fede ral Funds El em. & Sec. Act. 1961 GRAND TOTAL 1,3 50 , 000# 8. l 210, 000 1.3 159,500 1.0 $ 16 , 613 I 004 532,250 818 , 609 54, 111 , 104 17, 431,6 13 2,519,743 461,383 $56,630,847 $ 17,892,996 100 . 0 Not Incl uded in the operating budget . Continued-- �TABLE I - (Con t.) SOURCE Ave rage Dai 1y Attendance Jan . 1, 1967 Revenue Receipt s Per Pup i 1 in ADA~\- ATLANTA Amoun t Per cent FULTON COUNTY Amount Per cent 101 , 068 30 , 352 $ 530-. 0 1 $ 547.35 Excludes federal funds received under the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 which cannot be used for the regular school program. ' . ,,:· �-4The federal revenue s rece ived f rom t he Eleme ntary an d Secon da r y Educa tion Ac t of 1965 are a l so shown in Tab l e 1. These reve nues are shown s epa rately because they are al l earmarked f o r s pecia l purpos e s by the feder a l gover nme nt a nd can not be exp ende d for t he re gular sc hool p rog ram . Prac t icall y a l l of t hese reven ues mus t b~ expen ded for compen- sa tory ed uca t ion for the chi l dren of the disadvantaged . Cur rent Expe nditu res In Tab le 2 a n a nal ysi s of the budgeted curr en t expendi t ures of t he two s chool systems f or 1966- 67 is presen ted. Bo t h s ystems expe nd 75 pe r cent or mo re of total curren t ex pen d itu res for in s t ruc tion . Th i s i s ty pi ca l p ra ctice in large schoo l systems. Ca ut ion s hou l d be exercised in comparing t he different percenta ge all ocation s given to the same ex pendit ure functions in t he t wo systems. The se systems differ cons i derably i n t heir bases of fin anc ia l sup port , t he spread of popu l ation a nd ot her facto r s . al locates 3.0 per cent of its Fo r exampl e , Fu lton County current expenditu res to tra ns po r t at ion but At l an ta spends no funds for pup i l transpo rtat ion . The difference between the two systems i n curren t expen di t ure s per pupil is negligible. Fulton County $493.34. Atlanta budgeted $486.07 per pupil for 1966- 67 and The Research Division of the National Education Ass ociation estimated that the average current expe nditure per pupil in average daily attendance for the 50 states and t he District of Columbia was $564 In 1966-67. Therefo re, the current expenditures per pupil in both the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems are very low when compared with the national average. �TABLE 11 CURRENT EXPENDITURES OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67# (BU DG ETED EXPENDITURES FOR 1966-67) ACCOUNT FUNCTION 1. Adm in istration 2. Instruc t ion 3. _Ope r at ion of Pl ant ATLANTA Amoun t $1, 796,920 Per ce nt FULTON COUNTY Amount Per cent 3.7 $ 309,784 2. l 36,977 ,443 75.3 12,149,333 81. 1 4,224,543 8.G 1,228,200 8.2 2,810,500 5.7 663.550 4.4 96,368 .2 0 - - 4. Maintenance of Plan t " 5. Health Servi ces ' 6. Food Services 4 l, 209 9. Other 9,3 00 .l 0 - 444, 160 3.0 2,417,800 4.9 169,368 1. 1 1.5 0 7. Transportation 8. Fixed Charges •1 754,819* - TOTAL Average Daily Attendance Jan. 1967 49, 119,602 101,068 Current Expenditur ~s Per Pupi 1 in ADA $486.07 100.0 14 ,973,695 100. 0 30,352 $4~3-34 Data furnished by county and cit y schoo l off icial s. Expenditure accounts do not include expenditures from federal funds received from the Elemen- . tary and Secondary Act of 1965. This account consists principally of undistributed expenditures made from federal funds received under the National Defence Education Act. �-5I Financi~l Abil i1:_y . r·;· The best measure of the relative local taxpaying ability of the Atlanta and Fulton Co unty s chool systems is the: gross property digest per pupil in average daily attendance computed on the basis of 100 per cent valuation . This is due to the fact ihat most local school revenue is derived from property taxes. Following is t he adjus t ed 100 percent gross digest for 1966 of the Atlanta City School district estimated by the State Revenue Department: Atlanta City in Fulton County $. 4, 141,663,000 · Atlanta City in DeKa lb County 173 , 149,000 Tota 1· $ 4,314,812,000 The average dally a t t e ndance ~f the At1~nta City schools was 101,068 in Janua ry, 1967. Therefo re, t he gross digest of the At l anta Ci t y ~chool ~i strict adju s ted on a 100 pe r cent basis was $42,692 . per pupil. The 1966 . gross digest of t he Fu l ton Count y school d istrict adjusted ·on a 100 per cent basis was $982, 348 , 000 according t o da ta f urn,i shed by t he State Revenue Department. The gros s dige st .include s t he va l uat ion of homesteads even though homesteads up .to a valuat ion of $2, 000 are exempted from County operating levies for schools. It is necessary to include the valuation of homesteads in order to compute an accurate mea sure of the relative wealth of the two districts. · County schools in January was 30,352. was $32,365. The ADA of the Fulton · The gross digest per pupil In ADA Therefore, the Atlanta City schoo·1 system has a gross digest approximately 32 per cent greater than the Fulton·County school system. However, each of these school systems has considerably more wealth per pupil than the average school district In the United States. .,I �-6.Local Financial Effort to Support Education A valid measure of local tax effort to suppor t sch6ols can be obtained by dividing the taxes paid on the property . located in each school district by tbe adjusted 100 per cent gross digest of that district. It is difficult to compute exactly the local tax effort ~f the Atlanta City District because a part of that district is in DeKalb .:. County. However, the following is a fairly close approximation for 1966-67 . r. District property tax 2. Payments of City Council for debt ~ service on school bonds 2,835,045 The portion of the 1½ mill countywide tax and the portion of the approximation made by the County Commission which was paid on property located in the City 2,059,743 3. $29,686,415 TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS $ 34,581,203 The 100 per cent gross digest of the Atlanta school district for 1966 was $4~314,812,000 • . The total local taxes for schools .divided by the gross digest equals .008 o r 8 mills on the adjusted 100 per cent gross digest or true value of property. The local taxes for schools in the Fulton County school district In 1966-67 were as follows: $. 4,922,451 1. Dis tric t property tax 2. The portioh of the l½ mill countywide tax and the appropriation made by the County Commission which was paid on property located in the county district 3. Fulton County district levy of mills for debt service 483; 149 S½ TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS 1,350,000 $ 6,755,600 �I i . -7I' ' The 1966 gross dig~st of the County school system on lOO per cent basis was $982,348,000. The total local taxes fo~ schools divided by the gross digest equals .006877 or approximately 6. 9 mills on the gross digest on true valuation of property. It is evident that the Atlanta City school district made a greater local tax effort in proportion to its ability to support schools than Fulton County. If the Fulton County schopl district had made as great a tax effort In proportion to its ability as the Atlanta school district in 1966-67, it would have raised .001123 times $982,348,000 or $1,103,176 in additional local revenue in 1966-67. Special attention is directed to the fact that Fulton County could not legally have made this extra local effort in 1966-67. The District levied 25 mills of operating taxes which was the legal limit it could levy. Furthermore~ property was assessed at less than 25 percent of true value. However, the limitations on the taxing power of the Fulton County '. board of educa tion wi l l be eased somewhat in the future because of the ruling of the cour t in the Mclennon vs State Revenue Commission case. The cour t ru l ed tha t all proper ty must be assessed at a uniform percent of t rue va l ue regar dless of the c l ass of prope r ty o r whe re it was locat ed. Upon t he r ul •ing, the Revenue Commi s sioner o rde red that a l l count y d i ge sts be based on assessing all property a t 40 pe r ~ent of t r ue value. Th is wi l l ~ake it possible to increase consi dera bly th e loca l reven ue s of the Fulton County school district beginning with t he 1967-68 f isca l year. There are no legal limits on the amount of mills which the Atlanta City board of education may levy for the operation of the public schools of the ~Jty. Therefore, there ar~ no legal barriers to Increasing local school support for schools in Atlanta. (· '· �-8Actually the loca·J taxes for schools are extremely ·low both in Atlanta and in Fulton County when compared with - the school taxes levied in other sections of the nation. Recently one of the members of the staff making this survey participated in a study of school financing in all school districts of 20,000 population or more in Illinois. It was found that the average school district in Illinois levied local property taxes for schools equivalent to 12 mills on the 100 per cent true valuation of property. This is a fifty per cent greater local effort than the City of Atlanta. The local tax effort for schools in the Fulton County school district is only 58 per cent of the average effort in Illinois. Indebtedness The bonded indebtedness of the Atlanta City Council for schools totaled $52,905,000 in 1967. This was less than 3.8 per cent of the unadjusted gross digest. The . bonded indebtedness of the Fulton County school district was $22,661,000 in 1967. This was 9. 1 per cent of the unadjusted gross digest of the county school distri ct . This Is close to the 10 per cent consti- tutional limit on school indebtedness for the Fulton County district. However, the bonded indeb ted ness margin of Fulton County will be greatly increased when the property digest i s raised from an estimated 25 per cent of t rue value to 40 per cent. The unadjusted 1966 gross digest for the Fulton County district was approximatel y $248,000,000. Assuming that the 1966 digest was at 25 per cent of true value,the 1967 digest at ~O per cent of true value should be approximately $400,000,000 allowing for a reasonable amount of growth. than The present county school Indebtedness wouid be less 5.7 per cent of the gross digest at a 40 per cent valuation. �-9Another way of looking at the indebtedness of the two districts is to compute the pe~ cent that the school ind~btidness of each district is of the _a djusted gross dig·est of each district at 100 per cent of true value. In 1966 this figure for the Atlanta city district was 1.23 per cent and for Fulton County 2.31 per cen t. If . the ·two districts - were consolidated, it is assumed. that the territory that originally issued the bonds would continue to be responsibJe for the debt service on the - bonds that it had Issued. It does not appear that this would work any great hardship on either district because the indebtedness of neither district is excessive. Non-Property Local Taxes Some school districts in the United States have obtained . legal authority to levy non-property local taxes for schools. both for and against this practice. There are arguments Following are some arguments against the levy· of local non-property taxes for schools: 1. Usually only urban or metropolitan school districts are able to derive substantial funds from this source. 2. The state can collect most types of local non- property taxes more efficiently than local untts of government. 3. Local non-property taxes for schools place cities in competition with each other for industries. 4. If the larger urban districts are able to .levy local non-property taxes for schools, they may not support a state f i nancing program which helps the less · fottunate school districts. 5. Some type!,; of local non- property taxes make it possible for wealthy districts to shift a part of the incidence of their taxes on the residentj of less wealthy dlstricts • . I; .. d· �-10Some arguments fo r the levy of local non-propert~ taxes for schools are as follows: 1. The property tax is a regressive tax and public resistance to it is growing. If we main ta in the vigor of local school support, many believe that a source of loca l revenue more nearly related to ability to pay than the property tax must be found. 2. The more progressive areas of . a state desire a better quality program tha n the legi slature is usually willing to provide from nonproperty state taxes. Those areas should be given the authority to provide this higher quality program from some local source other than the property tax. 3. It is possible to select types of local non-property taxes the burden of which can not be shifted to the taxpayers of less wealthy areas. ' ! 4. The cost of administering local non-property taxes can be held to a reasonable level by using the state's tax collection machinery or by levying local non-property taxes by metropolitan areas rather than by ind ividual school districts. 5. The taxpayer should be given the choice of what type or types of local taxes he will kvy for schools in order to broaden the base of local taxation. As has been pointed out above, local property taxes for schools are very l ow both in Atlanta and in Fulton County. There is considerable leeway in both districts for increasing local property taxes for schools without those taxes becoming burdensome. · Therefore, there is no immediate urgency for the consideration of obtaining the authority to levy local non-property taxes for schools. �-11- If the Atl a nta and Fulton County school authorities - decide to study the possibility of levying local non-property taxes, it is recommended that consideration be given to t he following: 1. That any local non-property taxes that are levied for schools in the AtlaAta area be lev ied over the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta including all school districts in the following counties: Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett . 2. That a metropol itan s chool taxing authority be established with the sole responsi bil ity for collecting any local non-property taxes for schools authorized by law and for apportioning such t axes among the several school dis tricts in the f i ve counties named above in proportion to the average daily attendance of pupils. 3. That only t hos e types of non-property local taxes be levied, the burden of which cannot be shifted to tax payers residing outside of the Atl anta metropolitan area . Financing Education in a Reorganized District A number of reports have been presented to the people of the Fulton County and Atlanta School distric ts in which arguments for and against the consol itation of the two districts have been set forth. the purpose of this report to review those arguments. It is not Therefore, the di scuss ions of schoo l finance presented in this study have been focu sed primarily on the financing of schools in each district rather than on the financing of schools in a consolidated district. Certain suggestions particularly concerning the level of school financ ing have already been presented. Those suggestions are as app li cab l e to the financing of education in Atlanta and Fulton County as separate school districts as they wou 1d be app li cab 1e to the financing of education in a conso 1 i dated district. �-12- It wou ld no dou~t be possi ble to provide reasonably adequate sch~ol financing in each of t he t wo districts operating as separate districts. However, if the two districts were consolidated, it would be possible to establish a more equitable and more efficient financing plan. It has already been pointed ou t t ha t the 1966 gross digest adjusted at 100 per cent in t he ci ty of Atla nta ~ as $42,692 · per pupil In ADA and in the Fulton County district $32 ,365. If the two d1stricts were consolidated, the '. gross diges t at 100 per cent valuation· for the consolidated district would be $40,307 per pupil. It has also been pointed out that the taxpayers in the Fulton Coun ty schoo l district are making a lower tax effort to support schools in propo rtion to ability than the taxpayers•in the Atlanta City district . Therefore, consolidation of the two districts would equalize the weal t h. back of each child and it would also equalize the tax effort to suppor t schools in the Atl anta-Fulton County consolidated district. Consolidati on would a l so simplify local financing because there would no longer be a need for t he special l½ mill couhty equalizing levy or direct appropr iations from the County Commi ss ion. It has been s uggested in other st udies presented to the Local Education Commission of At l ant a a nd Fulton Cou nty that the consolidation of the two districts migh t resu l t i n t he l oss of some state school funds under present me t hods of s tate apportionment . If there is anything in present state laws that would place a penalty on des i r able reorganization of school districts, the Jaws shou l d be amended and the penalties eliminated. This should not be a difficu l t undertaking. As has already been po i nted out , improvements in s chool f inancing should be made In the Atlanta and Fulton County school distr i cts regard l ess ' .. r·i· �-13of whether they are consolidated. If . the two districts are consolidated, consideration should be given to the following financial recommendations: 1. The board of the consolidated district should be given the same power for levying taxes for school operation as that now possessed by the Atlanta City Board of Education and it should be fiscally independent of any other local body. · , I ·I 2. The board should be given th e power to issue bonds for capital . outlay purposes up to a reasonable per cent of the gross digest. The board should also be given the power to obtain tax anticipation loans to be repaid within the fiscal year. 3. Homestead exemption from school taxes should be abolished in the reorganized dtstrict. 4. Present outstanding bonds should be retired in accordance with the convnitments made at the time of issuance but all new bonds should be issued on a district-wide basis and retired from taxes levied thro~ghout the consolidated district. . . �BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION SERVICES The primary purpose of business administration is to provide the services netessary for obtaining the maximum return per dollar invested In public education. It is not the pu r pose of business administration to minimize educational expenditures. Business and industry have long been aware of the fact :that t he investment .of additional fu nds In an enterprls-e wi 11 freque ntly return more profi t s per dolla r -invested than a smaller Investment. Thi s same pril'lcip le applies to the educational enterp ri se. However, wasteful or ineffici ent ex pend i ture of fu nds ~anno~ be Justified by the returns rece i ved In either business or education. A limited survey was made of the bus iness administration service s and policies of the Atlanta an d Fulton County school systems. Th i s survey was made f irst to dete rm i.ne t he adequacy of t he bus iness adminis tration services of each school system and second to dete rmine whet her major economies in business adminis tra tion could be obtained by the conso l_idation of the two systems. The f i ndi ng s of that su rvey are set forth be low. Atlanta Ci ty School Sys tem The At lan ta City schoo l system has a we l l developed program of busines s a dm i n is t ration serv ices typical of cities the size of Atl anta. Except fo r s ta ff organization, business admin istrati on policies are generally consistent woth the policies recommended by authorit ies on school bus iness mana gement. Organh:atlon. The organization for school business management does no t follow the.pattern generally recommended by authorities in this fiel d. Fi nance, Inc luding administration of t he budget, Is under the supervision of a comptroller appointed by the Atlanta Ci ty boa rd of education and he Is directly ' ·I f �-2- responsible to the boai d. Legally the comptroller is not required to report to the _superintenden t noi is he under the supervis1on of the superintendent. i In practice however he works closely with the superintendent. An assistant superi~tendent for school plant planning and construction reports directly to the :superintend~ nt . All ot her busine~s administr~tion services are under the direction of an assistant-superintendent for administrative services who -~ W:.!.E _
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: December 29, 2017

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 26

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_026.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 26
  • Text: FINANCING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY A STUDY CONDUCTED FOR THE LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION BY DR. R. L. JOHNS (Revised by Dr. R. L. Johns - June 21, 1967) FINANCING THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY A comprehensive approach to a study of the financing of the public schools in Atlanta and Fulton County would involve an appraisal of the future policies of the State of Georgia and the federal government for school financing as well as a study of local school financing. Since such an appraisal is beyond the scope of this study, this section of the report will deal primarily with problems of local school financing in the two districts. However, most authorities on school financing anticipate that in the future there will be further increases in school financial support from the federal government and state governments as well as from local school districts. Although the public schools will no doubt receive increased funds in the future from both state and federal sources, strong local financial support of the public schools will have to be maintained by all districts that desire something better than a mediocre quality level cf education for their children. The following matters are treated in this section of the report: revenue receipts, current expenditures, taxpaying ability and local effort to support education, indebtedness, equalization that would result from consolida- tion, non-property local taxes and financial arrangements that would need to be made if the two districts were consolidated. Revenue Rece Table I shows the budgeted revenue receipts of the Atlanta and Fulton County school systems. It will be noted from this Table that 55.4 percent of the revenue of the Atlanta City schools is derived from the district property tax as compared with 28.4, percent in Fulton County. However, both of these percentage figures are deceiving. «Dis Just what percent of the revenue receipts of each school system is provided by property taxes levied on property located in each district? It will be noted that the Atlanta City Council paid $2,835,045 in 1966 for the debt service on bonds the City issued to construct school buildings. This amounts to 5.3 percent of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City Board of Education. This added to the 55.4 percent derived from the district property tax makes a total of 60.7 “percent of the revenue receipts of the Atlanta City schools derived from property taxes in 1966-67. It will be noted that Fulton County receives $1,762,892 from the county-wide tax (14 mills) and $780,000 from a direct appropriation from the County Commission and $720,000 from the County Commission for Teacher Retirement. This makes a total of $3,262,892 from these two sources. If it is assumed that the appropria- tion from the County Commission is also derived from property taxes, what part of this total is paid on property located in Fulton County but outside of the City of Atlanta? Since only about 19 percent of the digest of Fulton County lies outside of the City of Atlanta, only approximately 19 percent of this amount, or $619,949, is paid on the property in Fulton County lying outside the City of Atlanta, and $2,642,943 on the property in the City of Atlanta. This represents only approximately 3.6 percent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County Board. It will also be noted that 7.8 percent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County district is derived from the 5% mill levy for debt service. These two amounts, that is, 3.6 percent plus 7.8 percent added to 28.4 percent make a total of 39.8 percent of the revenue receipts of the Fulton County Board of Education obtained from property taxes paid on property located in Fulton County outside of the City of Atlanta. The Fulton County Board of Education receives 40.8 percent of its revenue from the state Minimum Foundation Program appropriations as compared with 32.3 percent for the City of Atlanta. The Minimum Foundation Program law was designed a to equalize educational opportunities among school districts that vary greatly in wealth. The 13 mill county-wide tax levied in all of Fulton County but al- located exclusively to the Fulton County Board also provides for considerable financial equalization at the local level. The equalization of educational opportunity is sound public policy. Later in this report, it is shown that the .adjusted gross digest is 32 percent greater per pupil in the City of Atlanta than in Fulton County. Table I shows the revenue receipts of the Atlanta Schools totaled $530.01 per pupil in 1966-67 as compared with $571.07 in Fulton County. This means that the State Minimum Foundation Program Law together with the 13 mill county-wide levy and the direct appropriation from the County Commission have gone a long way toward equalizing the financial support of the two systems. It should not be inferred from this comment, however, that educational opportuni- ties are equal in the two school systems. The Atlanta City school system provides kindergartens which are not provided in the Fulton County system. If Fulton County provided kindergartens, the revenue receipts per pupil in that school system would probably be no more than the revenue receipts per pupil in the Atlanta system. Both systems will benefit substantially in 1967-68 from increases from the Minimum Foundation Program Appropriation provided by the 1967 Legislature. It is estimated that the City of Atlanta will receive an increase of approximately $1,863,000 from this source and Fulton County approximately $1,075,000. TABLE I - SOURCES OF REVENUE OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67 (BUDGETED REVENUES 1966-67, DATA FURNISHED BY CITY AND COUNTY SCHOOL OFFICIALS) SOURCE ATLANTA FULTON COUNTY Amount Percent Amount Percent District Property tax for operation $29 ,686 415 55k $ 4,922,451 28.4 County Wide Property Tax 1,762,892 10.2 County Commission (for General Expenses ) 780,000 4.5 Intangible Taxes 230,000 1.3 County Commission (for # Teacher Retirement ) 720,000 4.2 State Minimum Foundation Program 17,322,038 32.3 7,074,761 40.8 Other State Funds 425,013 8 0 nee Vocational Funds 628,449 352 58,000 ‘3 National Defense Education Act 520,781 1.0 65,400 4 Fulton ae School 4 District 52 mill levy Sin 0 . for debt service 45320200 we Federal Impacted Area Funds 802,366 Led 210,000 1.2 City Council Payments for # Debt Service on Sch. Bonds 2,835,045 5.3 Other Income 1,358,747 205 159,500 9 Total Revenue Receipts $53,578,854 100.0 $17,333,004 100.0 Beginning Cash Balance 532,250 om 818,609 a= Sub-Total 54,111,104 —_ 18,151,613 -- Federal Funds- Elem. & Sec. Act. 1965 2,519,743 = 461,383 = GRAND TOTAL $56,630,847 <= $18,612,996 <— # Not Included in the operating budget. continued==- TABLE I - (Cont.) SOURCE ATLANTA FULTON COUNTY Amount Percent. Amount Percent Average Daily Attendance Jan. 1, 1967 101,068 30,352 Revenue Receipts Per Pupil in ADA * $530.01 $571.07 % Excludes federal funds received under the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 which cannot be used for the regular school program. af The federal revenues received from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 are also shown in Table I. These revenues are shown separately be- cause they are all earmarked for special purposes by the federal government and cannot be expended for the regular school program. Practically all of these revenues must be expended for compensatory education for the children of the disadvantaged. ‘Current Expenditures In Table II an analysis of the budgeted current expenditures of the two school systems for 1966-67 is presented. Both systems expend 75 percent or more of total current expenditures for instruction. This is typical practice in large school systems. Caution should be exercised in comparing the different percentage allocations given to the same expenditure functions in the two systems. These systems differ considerably in their bases of financial support, the spread of population and other factors. For example, Fulton County allocates 2.8 percent of its current expenditures to transportation but Atlanta spends no funds for pupil transporta- tion. Atlanta expended approximately $486.07 per pupil for 1966-67 and Fulton County $517.07 for current operating expenses. The Research Division of the National Education Association estimated that the average current expenditure per pupil in average daily attendance for the 50 states and the District of Columbia was $564 in 1966-67. Therefore, the current expenditures per pupil in both the Atlanta and Fulton County School systems are very low when compared with the national average. TABLE II CURRENT EXPENDITURES OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS 1966-67 tt (BUDGETED EXPENDITURES FOR 1966-67) ACCOUNT ATIANTA FULTON COUNTY FUNCTION Amount Percent Amount Percent 1. Administration $1,796,920 3.7 $ 309,784 2.0 2.. Instruction 365977 s4h3 75.3 12,149,333 77-4 3. Operation of Plant hy 22h5543 8.6 1,228,200 7.8 4, Maintenance of Plant 2,810,500 5.7 663,550 4.2 5. Health Services . 96 368 22 0 -- 6. Food Services 41,209 ok 9,300 ol 7. Transportation 0 -- Lhd, 5160 2.8 8. Fixed Charges 2,417,800 4.9 889,368* 5.7 9. Other 754,819%* 1:65 0 -- TOTAL 49,119,602 100.0 15,693,695 100.0 Average Daily Attendance January 1967 101,068 30,352 Current Expenditures Per Pupil in ADA $486.07 $517.06 Mata furnished by county and city school officials. Expenditure accounts do not include expenditures from federal funds received from the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965. *This account consists principally of undistributed expenditures made from federal funds received under the National Defense Education Act. **Includes $720,000 employees! contribution to teachers! retirement paid by the County Commission. =i Financial Ability The best measure of the relative local taxpaying ability of the Atlanta and Fulton County school systems is the gross property digest per pupil in average daily attendance computed on the basis of 100 percent valuation. This is due to the fact that most local school revenue is derived from property taxes. Following is the adjusted 100 percent gross digest for 1966 of the Atlanta City School district estimated by the State Revenue Department: Atlanta City in Fulton County $4,141,663 ,000 Atlanta City in DeKalb County 173,149 000 Total $4,314, 812,000 The average daily attendance of the Atlanta City schools was 101,068 in January, 1967. Therefore, the gross digest of the Atlanta City school district adjusted on a 100 percent basis was $42,692 per pupil. The 1966 gross digest of the Fulton County school district adjusted on a 100 percent basis was $982,348,000 according to data furnished by the State Revenue Department. The gross digest includes the valuation of homesteads even though homesteads up to a valuation of $2,000 are exempted from County operating levies for schools. It is necessary to include the valuation of homesteads in order to compute an accurate measure of the relative wealth of the two districts. The ADA of the Fulton County schools in January was 30,352. The gross digest per pupil in ADA was $32,365. Therefore, the Atlanta City school system has a gross digest approximately 32 percent greater than the Fulton County school system. However, each of these school systems has considerably more wealth per pupil than the average school district in the United States. Local Financial Effort to Support Education A valid measure of local tax effort to support schools can be obtained by dividing the taxes paid on the property located in each school district by the adjusted 100 percent gross digest of that district. It is difficult to compute exactly the local tax effort of the Atlanta City District because a part of that district is in DeKalb. County. However, the follow~ ing is a fairly close approximation for 1966-67. 1. District property tax $29 686,415 2. Payments of City Council for debt service on school bonds 2,835,045 3. The portion of the 13 mill county-wide tax and the portion of the appropriations made by the County Commission which was paid on property located in the City 2.642.943 TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS $35,164,403 The 100 percent gross digest of the Atlanta school district for 1966 was $4,314,812,000. The total local taxes for schools divided by the gross digest equals .00815 or approximately 8.2 mills on the adjusted 100 percent gross digest or true value of property. The local taxes for schools in the Fulton County school district in 1966-67 were as follows: 1. District property tax $ 4,922,451 2. The portion of the 14 mill county-wide tax and the appropriation made by the County Commission which was paid on property located in the county district 619,949 3. Fulton County district levy of 53 mills for debt service 1,350,000 TOTAL LOCAL PROPERTY TAXES FOR SCHOOLS $ 6,892,400 = Ja The 1966 gross digest of the County school system on 100 percent basis was $982,348,000. The total local taxes for schools divided by the gross digest equals .007016 or approximately 7 mills on the gross digest on true valuation of property. It is evident that the Atlanta City school district made a greater local tax effort in proportion to its ability to support schools than Fulton County. If the Fulton County school district had made as great a tax effort in proportion to its ability as the Atlanta school district in 1966-67, it would have raised -001134 times $982,348,000 or $1,113,983 in additional local revenue in 1966-67. Special attention is directed to the fact that Fulton County could not legally have made this extra local effort in 1966-67. The District levied 25 mills of operating taxes which was the legal limit it could levy. Furthermore, property was assessed at less than 25 percent of true value. However, the limita- tions on the taxing power of the Fulton County Board of Education will be eased somewhat in the future because of the ruling of the court in the McLennon vs State Revenue Commission case. The court ruled that all property must be assessed at a uniform percent of true value regardless of the class of property or where it was located. Upon the ruling, the Revenue Commissioner ordered that all county digests be based on assessing all property at 40 percent of true value. This will make it possible to increase considerably the local revenues of the Fulton County school district beginning with the 1967-68 fiscal year. There are no legal limits on the amount of mills which the Atlanta City Board of Education may levy for the operation of the public schools of the city. Therefore, there are no legal barriers to increasing local school support fcr schools in Atlanta. Actually the local taxes for schools are extremely low both in Atlanta and Fulton County when compared with the school taxes levied in other sections of the nation. Recently one of the members of the staff making this survey -8- participated in a study of school financing in all school districts of 20,000 population or more in Illinois. It was found that the average school district in Illinois levied local property taxes for schools equivalent to 12 mills on the 100 percent true valuation of property. This is almost fifty percent greater local effort than the City of Atlanta and 71 percent greater local tax effort for schools than in the Fulton County school district. Indebtedness The bonded indebtedness of the Atlanta City Council for schools totaled $52,905,000 in 1967. This was less than 3.8 percent of the unadjusted gross digest. The bonded indebtedness of the Fulton County school district was $22,661,000 in 1967. This was 9.1 percent of the unadjusted gross digest of the county school district. This is close to the 10 percent constitutional limit on school indebtedness for the Fulton County district. However, the bonded indebtedness margin of Fulton County will be greatly increased when the property digest is raised from an estimated 25 percent of true value to 40 percent. The unadjusted 1966 gross digest for the Fulton County district was approximately $248,000,000. Assuming that the 1966 digest was at 25 percent of true value, the 1967 digest at 40 percent of true value should be approximately $400,000,000 allowing for a reasonable amount of growth. The present county school indebted- ness would be less than 5.7 percent of the gross digest at a 40 percent valuation. Another way of looking at the indebtedness of the two districts is to compute the percent that the school indebtedness of each district is of the adjusted gross digest of each district at 100 percent of true value. In 1966 this figure for the Atlanta city district was 1.23 percent and for Fulton County 2.31 percent. If the two districts were consolidated, it is assumed that the territory that originally issued the bonds would continue to be responsible for the debt service -9— on the bonds that it had issued. It does not appear that this would work any great hardship on either district because the indebtedness of neither district is excessive. Non=-Property Local Taxes Some school districts in the United States have obtained legal authority to levy non=-property local taxes for schools. There are arguments both for and against this practice. Following are some arguments against the levy of local non~property taxes for schools: 1. Usually only urban or metropolitan school districts are able to derive substantial funds from this source. 2. The state can collect most types of local non-property taxes more efficiently than local units of government 3. Local non-property taxes for schools place cities in competition with each other for industries. 4 If the larger urban districts are able to levy local non=-property taxes for schools, they may not support a state financing program which helps the less fortunate school districts. 5. Some types of local non=property taxes make it possible for wealthy districts to shift a part of the incidence of their taxes on the residents of less wealthy districts. Some arguments for the levy of local non-property taxes for schools are as follows: 1. The property tax is a reneebaiin tax and public resistance to it is growing. If we maintain the vigor of local school support, many believe that a source of local revenue more nearly related to ability to pay than the property tax must be found. 2. The more progressive areas of a state desire a better quality program than the legislature is usually willing to provide from non-property state taxes. On Those areas should be given the authority to provide this higher quality program from some local source other than the property tax. 3. It is possible to select types of local non-property taxes the burden of which cannot be shifted to the taxpayers of less wealthy areas. 4. The cost of administering local non-property taxes can be held to a reasonable level by using the state's tax collection machinery or by levying local iohetoneety taxes by metropolitan areas rather than by individual school districts. 5. The taxpayer should be given the choice of what type or types of local taxes he will levy for schools in order to broaden the base of local taxation. As has been pointed out above, local property taxes for schools are very low both in Atlanta and in Fulton County. There is considerable leeway in both districts for increasing local property taxes for schools without those taxes becoming burdensome. Therefore, there is no immediate urgency for the considera- tion of obtaining the authority to levy local non-property taxes for schools. If the Atlanta and Fulton County school authorities decide to study the possibility of levying local non-property taxes, it is recommended that considera- tion be given to the following: 1. That any local non=-property taxes that are levied for schools in the Atlanta area be levied over the entire metropolitan area of Atlanta including all school districts in the following counties: Fulton, DeKalb, Clayton, Cobb, and Gwinnett. 2. That a metropolitan school taxing authority be established with the sole responsibility for collecting any local non=property taxes for schools authorized by law and for apportioning such taxes among the several school districts in the five counties named above in proportion to the average daily attendance of pupils. 4435 3. That only those types of non-property local taxes be levied, the burden of which cannot be shifted to taxpayers residing outside of the Atlanta metropolitan area. Financing Education in a Reorganized District A number of reports have been presented to the people of the Fulton County and Atlanta school districts in which arguments for and against the consolidation of the tio districts have been set forth. It is not the purpose of this report to review those arguments. Therefore, the discussions of school finance presented in this study have been focused primarily on the financing of schools in each dis- trict rather than on the financing of schools in a consolidated district. Certain suggestions particularly concerning the level of school financing have already been presented. Those suggestions are as applicable to the financing of education in Atlanta and Fulton County as separate school districts as they would be applicable to the financing of education in a consolidated district. It would no doubt be possible to provide reasonably adequate school financing in each of the two districts operating as separate districts. However, if the two districts were consolidated, it would be possible to establish a more equitable and more efficient financing plan. It has already been pointed out that the 1966 gross digest adjusted at 100 percent in the City of Atlanta was $42,692 per pupil in ADA and in the Fulton County district $32,365. If the two districts were consoli- dated, the gross digest at 100 percent valuation for the consolidated district would be $40,307 per pupil. It has also been pointed out that the taxpayers in the Fulton County school district are making a lower tax effort to support schools in proportion to ability than the taxpayers in the Atlanta City district. There- fore, consolidation of the two districts would equalize the wealth back of each child and it would also equalize the tax effort to support schools in the Atlanta- Fulton County consolidated district. Consolidation would also simplify local financing because there would no longer be a need for the special 13 mill county equalizing levy or direct appropriations from the County Commission. It has been suggested in other studies presented to the Local Education Com- mission of Atlanta and Fulton County that the consolidation of the two districts might result in the loss of some state school funds under present methods of state apportionment. If there is anything in present state laws that would place a penalty on desirable reorganization of school districts, the laws should be amended and the penalties eliminated. This should not be a difficult undertaking. As has already been pointed out, improvements in school financing should be made in the Atlanta and Fulton County school districts regardless of whether they are consolidated. If the two districts are consolidated, consideration should be given to the following financial recommendations: 1. The Board of the consolidated district should be given the same power for levying taxes for school operation as that now possessed by the Atlanta City Board of Education and it should be fiscally independent of any other local body. 2. The Board should be given the power to issue bonds for capital outlay purposes up to a reasonable percent of the gross digest. The Board should also be given the power to obtain tax anticipation loans to be repaid within the fiscal year. | 3. Homestead exemption from school taxes should be abolished in the re=- organized district. 4. Present outstanding bonds should be retired in accordance with the com- mitments made at the time of issuance but all new bonds should be issued on a district-wide basis and retired from taxes levied throughout the consolidated district. Estimated Local Tax Levy Needed for Financing Schools in the Reorganized District It is difficult to make an accurate estimate of the local tax levy needed for financing schools in the reorganized district for a number of reasons, The local tax levy for schools in the combined Atlanta-Fulton County School District will depend upon a number of factors including the following: the per cent of true value at which property is assessed, the quality and quantity of education provided, the economic growth rate of Atlanta and Fulton County and the additional amounts of revenue to be received in the future from state and federal sources. Assumptions must be made with respect to all of these items in order to estimate the probable tax levy in the combined district. In Table ITI, the estimates of the gross digest of the combined Atlanta and Fulton County School District for the years 1966-69 are presented, It will be noted that estimates at 100 per cent of true value and at 40 per cent of true value are both presented, TABLE III ESTIMATED GROSS DIGEST OF ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL DISTRICTS: COMBINED 1966 - 1969 GROSS DIGEST AT 100 PER GROSS DIGEST AT 40 PER YEAR CENT TRUE VALUE CENT TRUE VALUE 1966" $5,297,160,000 $2,118, 864,000 1967 5,519,641,000 2,207,856,000 1968 5,751,466 ,000 2, 300,586,000 1969 5 993,027,000 2,397,211,000 *Actual data reported by the State Revenue Department The 40 per cent estimate is used for computing the estimated tax levy because of the order of the Revenue Commissioner that property be assessed uniformly throughout the state at 40 per cent of true value. It was aw ie estimated that the gross digest would increase at the rate of 4.2 per cent annually. That was the approximate growth rate used in the estimates presented on p. 15 of District Reorganization For Better Schools in Atlanta and Fulton County Report of the Local Education Commission of Atlanta and Fulton County, Georgia, February 1966. In Table IV, estimates are presented of anticipated revenues of the reorganized district from non-local sources. estimated budget requirements, estimated local tax revenue needed and estimated local school tax levy needed for school operation. These estimates are for operation only and do not include revenues and expenditures needed for capital outlay and debt service. The methods used in making the estimates are set forth in the footnotes to Table IV, It will be noted that the average estimated tax rate for the two districts operating as separate districts in 1967-68 is 18.3 mills but that the estimated tax rate for the first year of operation as a combined district is 21.4 milis. This is due to the fact that it will take a considerable increase in school revenue to provide kindergartens for the Fulton County children and to increase the general level of educational opportunity provided in the reorganized system, It will also be observed that the estimated local tax levy for 1969-70 is 23.2 mills. This is probably an over estimate because it is based on the assumption that the 1969 State Legislature will not make any increase in the Foundation Program allotment per teacher. If the 1969 legislature would make the same propor- tionate increase in the per teacher allotment in the Foundation Program that it made in 1967, the estimated local tax levy for schools in the reorganized district would be only approximately 22.0 mills.
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 9

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_009.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 9
  • Text: MINUTES LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION FEBRUARY 26, 1965 The Local Education Commission met Friday, February 26, 1965, at 2 P. M. in the Soard Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with the following members present: Mr. P. L. Bardin Mrs. Allen Ritter Dr. Rufus Clement Mr. Kenneth Stringer Mr. Alan Ki>pper Mr. William Teem, III Dr. John Letson s Mr. Fred Turner Dr. James Miller, Jr. Dr. Paul West Mr. Thomas liiller Dr. Rufus Clement was introduced and welcomed as the new member of the Commission. Minutes of the December 11, 1964, meeting were read and approved. Mr. Stringer presented the bill from Dr. Truman Pierce for consultant services and expenses from July 1, 1964, through January 1, 1965, which totaled $2,585.60 ($2,400 consultant services, $185.60 expenses). Mr. Stringer moved that the bill be paid. Mr. Fred Turner seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Mr. Bardin briefly reported on a letter from Representative Jack Etheridge concerning the Interim Report. He also read a portion of the letter from Mr. Leonard Robinson expressing apologies for being absent as much as has been necessary and suggesting that the Commission recommend that the present Fulton County and Atlanta Schools be divided into two equal districts. Mr. Turner expressed disappointment that the Commission had received only two letters since the approval of the Interim Report. He said he had hoped that there wovld be considerably more interest in the work of the Commission than the two letters reflect. Mr. Kiepper stressed the importance of completing the report of the Commission in time for the legislators of Fulton County and DeKalb County to become thoroughly familiar with it before the first meeting of the next General Assembly. He stated that his experience has been that legislators do not have time for very many meetings and discussion periods after the General Assembly convenes. Dr. Letson reported that Mr. Hd Meade, Jr. from the Fund for the Advancement of Education had been contacted to ascertain interest in financing the current study of the Local Ecucation Commission. it was Mr. Meade's opinion that the foundation would not be interested in such a project. No formal request has been made but could be if the Commission desires. Mr. Bardin reported that Dr. Pierce's original contract expired in January of 1965, and recommended continuing it. Mr. Thomas Miller moved that Dr. Pierce's services be continued until the first meeting date of the 1966 General Assembly at a fee not to exceed $3,000 plus expenses. The motion was seconded by la. Kenneth Stringer and passed unanimously. it was agreed that if Dr. Pierce's services are needed beyond that date this could be arranged by mutual consent. Mr. Bardin stated that during the past month or so some questions and points have been raised concerning whether the Conmission should continue » with the same course of action. There seems to be considerable agreement that, if voted on today, the voting public would turn down the proposal to combine the two systems. This raises questions concerning how the Commission should proceed. He then suggested that the Conmission deviate somewhat from earlier plans and develop only a broad general outline for combining the two systems. This skeleton outline will be presented to the representatives as soon as this session of the General Assembly is over. Suggestions from the representatives will be included in the final draft of the report of the Commission. Mrs. Ritter asked what has happened to cause the Commission to consider aeviating from its previous position. It was pointed out that the people must decide whether the systems will be combined and, currently, it is be- lieved that they would defeat such a proposal. Also, funds to finance an elaborate study have not been forthcoming; some teacher groups are speaking out against combining the systems; and, the amount of work involved in de- veloping a comprehensive detailed outline would be somewhat meaningless unless there was some assurance that the plans could be implemented. it seems best to get approval of the idea before some of the specifics are developed. For example, to draft all of the bills required to merge the respective retirement systems would be an wnnecessary expenditure of funds and energy winless agreement had been reached that the two systems would be combined. Mr. Turner pointed out that we need to discuss the entire issue with teachers in both systems so that they will be well informed. Dr. Letson stated that before these discussion groups can be meaningful, certain questions must be answered. For example, it should be determined if adequate finances will be available on a lons range basis to operate a combined system equal to or better than what each system now has. Dr. West said that in his discussion with County teachers he had focused attention upon the need of combining the two systems, the need for additional finances and the point that the City was not trying to usurp the County's prerogatives. Also, he had pointed out that it would require several years to develop all the details for combining the systems into an entirely new system. One system would not be absorbed into the other. (2) It was agreed that a skeleton report should be developed which would outline the steps to be taken to combine the two systems and provide adequate information necessary to make intelligent decisions. This report should anticipate pertinent questions and attempt to answer them. For example, the report should state that the pension plaus currently in operation are not actuarially sound. If the systems combined, the retirement benefits for any teacher will not be reduced because of joining the two systems. Other points which must be presented pertain to the salaries, financing the new system, additiinal non-ad valorem taxes, time tables for certain phases of the program to be completed, the selection of Board Members and other per- tinent information. After this report has been completed the Commission will review it and make suggestions. Then the report will be reviewed by the two Boards of Education and by the representatives from Fulton and DeKalb counties. Suggestions from the various groups will be incorporated into the final draft of the Commission's report. Mr. Fred Turner then made the motion that the skeleton outline with appropriate information be developed and presented to the Commission for approval and to the two Boards of Education and the representatives from Fulton and DeKalb counties for suggestions. The motion was seconded by Mr. Teem and passed unanimously. Mr. Teem's suggestion that the report also show the cost for operating a combined system for a period of time, the cost for operating the two systems separately for the same period of time and the combined cost of operating each system separately was accepted. Mr. Bardin discussed a letter from Dr. Jerry Miller requesting that a talk outline concerning combining the two systems be developed. Mr. Alan Kiepper stated that all of the pertinent decisions of the Conmission to date were included in the Interim Report which he had used as a basis for speeches. Dr. Pierce summarized his interpretations of the decisions made during the meeting. They are as follows: a. The earlier decision of the Commission in favor of a single school district is unchanged but procedures and next steps are to be modified according to the discussion today, b. A skeleton plan for combining the two school systems shovld be developed which will give attention to the many vital questions which should be answered before the voters can make an objective decision on the issue, and ce. This plan will be reviewed by the Commission, the boards of edu- cation, and the members of the General Assembly from Fulton and DeXalb Counties. Their suggestions will be sought and given consideration in the final report of the Commission. The meeting was adjourned at 4 P. M. ECH: cw March 4, 1965 Recording Secretary Approved by: Chairman (3)
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 7

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_007.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 7
  • Text: Som MINUTES LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION DECEMBER 11, 1964 The Local Education Commission met Friday, December 11, 1964, at 2:00 p.m., in the Board Room of the Fulton County Administration Building with the following members present: Mr. P. L. Bardin Mrs. Alan Ritter Mr. Otis Jackson Mr. Wallace Stewart Mr. Allen Kiepper : Mr. Kenneth Stringer Mr. Earl Landers Mr. William Teems Dr. John W. Letson Mr. Fred J. Turner Mr. Thomas Miller Dr. Paul D. West The minutes of the October 2, 1964, meeting of the Local Education Commission were read and adcpted. The report entitled, “ONE DISTRICT FOR ATLANTA AND FULTON COUNTY SCHOOL SYSTEMS?”, which was presented by Dean Pierce at the October 2 meeting was discussed briefly. Mr. Otis Jackson moved that the report be accepted and thereby place the Commission on record as endorsing the position that the two school systems should be combined. Mr. Turner seconded the motion which carried unanimously. The question was raised concerning the number of Commission members reguired to constitute a quorum. Mr. Bardin read the following portion of Section 2 of the House Resolution No. 505-1246, “A majority of the persons serving as members of the Commission shall constitute a quorum to do business but a less number may adjourn from time to time.” He then ruled that ten members would constitute a quorum whether they were all voting members or not. A letter from Mr. L. H. Newsome stating that he had moved from Atlanta was read. Dr. Rufus Clement was unanimously elected to replace hin. Mr. Otis Jackson gave a brief report of the trip made to Charlotte- Mecklenburg, North Carolina, School System on November 4, 1964. Mr. Bardin and Dr. Letson made this trip also. Mr. Jackson reported that -2- all of the people contacted in Charlotte seemed to be well pleased wit. the new school organization and would not exchange it for the old structure. Mr. Jackson pointed cut that combining the North Carolina systems did not require as many changes in legal and financial structures as will be required for Atlanta and Fulton County. Financial expenditures have not been decreased through combining the systems because salaries and other services have been adjusted upward. Although operating the new system required more money than was required for the two systems, the representatives contacted believe that much better services are now being provided and that in general, the educational opportunities are of a higher quality. The public relations aspect of the consolidation was very important. Considerable effort was devoted to forming small discussion groups and other structures through which citizens were informed about combining the systems. A complete written report of the process of combining the two systems is not available. A tentative budget for the years 1965-66 for the sum of $86,480 was submitted to the Commission. It was pointed out that $10,000 of this amount had been appropriated by the Atlanta and the Fulton Co..aty School Systems. However, approximately $4,000 was spent for operating expenses during 1964. Mr. Turner expressed an opinion that every effort possible should be made by the County and the City to finance the Commission’s study and that if funds are not available locally, then financial assistance should be sought elsewhere. Mr. Teem moved that the budget be adopted as presented and that it be entitled a tentative operating budget. The motion was seconded by Mr. Stewart and carried unanimously. Places to secure funds for the budget were identified and the urgency for contacting foundations early in the year was stressed. Mr. Teem made the motion that the Ford Foundation be approached as a first step in attempting to obtain finances for the operation of the Commission. If the proposal is not received favorably by the Ford Es Foundation, then other sources should be contacted. The motion was seconded by Mr. Stewart and passed unanimously. It was agreed that in the meantime, the respective local governments and agencies should be notified that the Uormiscion mey ask them for funds to complete the siudy. Mr. Bardin stated that Cominission funds are now handled by the Comptroller of the Atlanta School System. He stated that Mr. Holley could continue to handle the funds but that Mr. Stringer, as Secretary— Treasurer of the Commission ,would authorize expenditures and make financial reports to the Commission. The Commission would approve all large expenditures but out of pocket funds could be authorized by Mr. Stringer or, in his absence by the Chairman or Vice-Chairman. Mr. Thomas Miller moved that this procedure be adopted. Mr. Stewart seconded the motion which passed unanimously. Dean Pierce then gave a report on the Interim Report which is to be filed with the Representatives of Fulton and DeKalb Counties and the Senators of the 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 38th, 39th, 40th, 41st, 42nd and 43rd Districts in the General Assembly of Georgia and with the Clerks of the superior courts having jurisdiction in Fulton and DeKalb Counties and with the City Clerk of the City of Atlanta on the first day of the next session of the General Assembly following January 1, 1965. Mrs. Ritter moved that the report be accepted. The motion carried unanimously. It was agreed that legal services be delayed until after monies to fund the budget have been obtained. The meeting was adjourned at 3:40 p.m. ECH:dh December 30, 1964
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021

Box 6, Folder 2, Document 3

http://allenarchive.iac.gatech.edu/originals/ahc_CAR_015_006_002_003.pdf
  • Result Type: Item
  • Item Type: Text
  • Title: Box 6, Folder 2, Document 3
  • Text: We ——__>> LOCAL EDUCATION COMMISSION FULTON COUNTY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING SEPTEMBER 10, 1964 The Special Committee appointed to determine legal assistance needed by the Commission met at 10:00 a.m., September 10, 1964, with the following in attendance: Mri P. L. Bardin Dr. John Letson Mr. J. P. Groton 5 Dr. Truman Pierce Mr. Otis M. Jackson Dr. Paul West Mr. A. C. Latimer Drs Curtis Henson After the meeting was called to order by Chairman Bardin, Dr. Pierce was asked to review the legal services needed by the Commission. He pointed out that the present study of the Local Education Commission must be much more pointed and specific than the previous studies. Legal steps necessary to abolish thé two existing school systems and to create a new one must be deseribed in detail, Since Mr. A. C. Latimer and Mr. James Groton have worked together for years and are already involved in the study, it was agreed that they be employed as the official attorneys of the Commission, however, the Commission reserves the right to employ additional legal counsel at any future time. The lawyers will develop a proposed budget for the legal services, and Dr. Pierce will draft a total proposed budget for the Commission. Financial assistance will be sought after the budget has been approved. The meeting was adjourned at 11:30 a.m. ECH/dh September 22, 1964 Recording Secretary Approved by: Chairman
  • Tags: Box 6, Box 6 Folder 2, Folder topic: R. Earl Landers | Local Education Commission | 1964-1967
  • Record Created: April 18, 2017
  • Record Updated: April 29, 2021