Taken from a Message from DeKalb County Board of Education Member Nancy Jester
(received via e-mail; edited for publication)
This is advance notice about an issue that is surfacing now in the Georgia General Assembly that will affect your area, your schools and your taxes. Current work concerns reapportionment and “shrinking” the DeKalb School System Board of Education (BOE) pursuant to legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly last year. That legislation calls for the DeKalb County BOE to be resized from 9 members to not more than 7 nor fewer than 5.
You may recall that Nancy Jester opposed this legislation because she did not agree with the assumption that a smaller board will be more effective and produce better student achievement results in DeKalb. She was also quite concerned about gerrymandered districts by the DeKalb legislative delegation. The DeKalb delegation is controlled by factions that are connected more with the “friends and family” modality than with educational achievement results. Unfortunately, Nancy Jester’s fears are being realized.
On Tuesday (yesterday), a new map (the Mosby Map) for the DeKalb Board of Education (BOE) was approved by the DeKalb legislative delegation sub-committee. This map has 5 single member districts, instead of the 7 districts most voters were expecting. You can view what the Mosby Map looks like by clicking the photo above. The X’s show where the 5 board members whose terms will continue live. As you can see, the reps will be heavily concentrated in south DeKalb.
The moment this map is approved, you will hear a loud sucking sound as property taxes will be raised to the maximum amount by the BOE (thanks to gerrymandering, 4 of the 5 members live in South DeKalb). North DeKalb property owners who pay the highest taxes that support DeKalb County School System and DeKalb County will be victims of taxation without duly elected representation. Meanwhile, South DeKalb property values continue to decline as a direct result of the greed and ignorance of those who make up the majority of the BOE.
The 5 members who will represent the Mosby Map areas include Nancy Jester, Sarah Copelin-Woods, Donna Edler, Jay Cunningham and Gene Walker. The remaining 4 board members, who would otherwise have been up for reelection this year, will see their terms sunset. There will be NO election in 2012.
The Mosby Map has Lakeside and its Oak Grove, Briarlake, Henderson Mill Elementary and Henderson Middle feeders, placed in a district represented by Gene Walker. This district snakes all the way down to Snapfinger Road, including Miller Grove Middle School. It turns right and goes to Redan Elementary and Rock Chapel Road. This does not represent a community of interest in our opinion. In fact, this gerrymandered “district” on the Mosby Map was designed so that both Gene Walker and Jay Cunningham (whose sister dates Howard Mosby) can stay on the BOE, even though they are neighbors.
Also, Sarah Copelin-Woods will be the representative for Sagamore Hills Elementary, Druid Hills HS and much of its feeder pattern.
On Thursday, February 9, 2012, the entire DeKalb legislative delegation will meet and see the Mosby Map. We do not have a time yet, but we wanted to alert you as soon as possible. We will follow-up once we know a time.
If you care about education in DeKalb County … if you are concerned about the constant rise in property taxes with no improvement in education … if you are ready to ferret out corruption in DeKalb County School System, here is what you must do NOW:
1. Attend the DeKalb delegation meeting if at all possible.
2. Alert your networks, parent groups, PTAs, etc.
3. Contact the media to voice your concerns.
4. E-mail your legislative representatives — indeed, e-mail the entire DeKalb delegation — if you are concerned about these developments. DeKalb delegation email addresses are at the bottom of this email. (Copy Governor Deal and the media on your e-mails.)
If you have any questions for Nancy Jester, please contact her directly. She will be sending an email through her “Constant Contact” distribution list later but wanted you to be alerted as soon as possible.
Nancy Jester (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Legislative Email List:
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, Rahn.firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nancy Jester has posted a new map offering seven districts for the delegation to consider. Download a full sized pdf here or click on the map to the left to view as a jpg.
Also, the DeKalb Delegation meeting will be held today, Thursday, February 9th at Noon; 605 Coverdell Building (across from the Capitol). Please note that the meeting may be delayed depending on the time that the Session ends.
Parking for the meeting: You can park for $5 in the deck on Jesse Hill.