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Atlanta annexes Emory, CHOA despite disapproval by school system
DeKalb Neighbor - 12/5/2017
The city of Atlanta will be expanding in January 2018 after council members voted unanimously Monday on a 744-acre addition that includes Emory University, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children's Healthcare of Atlanta (CHOA).
"We are thrilled that the city council has approved our annexation petition," said Emory University President Claire E. Sterk. "Working together, Emory University and the city of Atlanta will continue building a stronger future for neighborhoods across the metropolitan area. We enter this new stage of our relationship with enthusiasm and great optimism for what lies ahead."
The annexation brings with it the potential for MARTA to build a line using city sales tax revenue that is not collected in unincorporated DeKalb County.
"Emory is not leaving DeKalb County," said Sterk. "We remain steadfastly committed to our colleagues and neighbors in county leadership and beyond. Alongside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and the other entities involved in annexation, we will pursue our shared mission of serving the common good in the greater metropolitan area and well beyond."
While representatives from Emory, CHOA and DeKalb County government have expressed approval and support of the annexation, Superintendent R. Stephen Green of the DeKalb County School District said the annexation would "prey upon (Atlanta's) neighbors and chip away at a less affluent school district's ability to serve its children."
"The desire of the families in the Druid Hills community is clear; to maintain the 100-year alignment with DCSD. The inclusion of the APS boundaries in the proposed annexation ignores that while establishing a dangerous precedent," continued Green in a statement. "The facts in this unfettered overreach and deal-making are clear. The expansion is irrelevant and unnecessary: it was not included in the original plan and was shoehorned in at the 11th hour. The expansion is about money: the change in boundaries impacts just 10 students yet will strip $2.5 million in vital resources from DCSD. The expansion is about power: APS' legislative agenda is to use annexations as a springboard to slice swaths of resources from its eastern neighbors."
Now that the annexation has been approved, the school system will now "face the reality that precious resources will be forcibly taken from (DeKalb) students," according to Green.
This is a developing story. Check back with www.neighbornewspapers.com for updates and more information.