by Kim Gokce
Those who have followed DeKalb School Watch blog know that I was an early contributor and that my bailiwick has always been my perception that Cross Key attendance area schools get the short end of the stick. I outlined my call for equity in the 2009 piece, “One of These Things Is Not Like The Others …,” … sadly; four years later it is time for “Part Deux.”
A lot has transpired since 2009 in DeKalb Schools as we watched indictments, dismissals, betrayals, suspensions, appointments, interim leaders who became semi-permanent, permanent leaders who vanished along with a kaleidoscope of programs that were sure to turnaround our academic results. Now, a new day dawns as a populist leader tries to rally DeKalb.
Yet through it all some things seem to never have changed. Can you see it in the “exploded donut” herein? Just as Sesame Street-aged children could recognize the gerrymandered attendance area on that map in 2009, so, too, our Elmo-loving scholars of today can divine the inequity represented by this SPLOST spending donut presented here.
Of the approximately $425m in capital invested in our “North DeKalb” school clusters after SPLOST I, about $36m in SPLOST funds, a virtual donut crumb, has been spent on the 6,500 Cross Keys area children and their seven schools.
At times, I know my rants in the comment threads of DSW and DSW2 irritated many of my neighbors. I often sense my railing for equity for the children of the Cross Keys attendance area is off point and diluting to some of more important discussions going on in Dunwoody, Chamblee, Tucker, Lakeside and elsewhere regarding the future of DeKalb governance or independent schools or charters or Common Core or the many valid complaints of parents from these regions about their kids’ schools.
I say, “Too bad!” These capital numbers are devastating and I don’t think I need to make excuses or apologies for insisting that we examine them and ask how they are possible in the year 2013 in the United States of America. So with no further editorializing, here they are for your consumption. I pray that one day soon I’ll not feel the need to pen, “One of These Things is Not Like the Other – The Trilogy.”
Capital spend and planned spending as represented in SPLOST II – IV*
Cross Keys $35,896,936
*Source: DeKalb County School District SPLOST and CIP reports.
ADDENDUM: For an up-close look at the ‘wonderful’ track the Cross Keys students get to run on, watch this Belly Cam video: