We downloaded the 2013 enrollment numbers for DeKalb from the state DOE’s website. This document lists enrollment and demographic data for each public school in DeKalb county. We simplified the chart to make it more readable and began to see some interesting correlations.
Overall, we discovered that there are 98,298 students enrolled in DeKalb schools. If you subtract the 2,996 Pre-K students (since they don’t earn FTE dollars), we only have 95,302 students enrolled in K-12. Of the larger total which includes Pre-K, 66,256 or 67% are Black / 10,881 or 11% are White / 13,410 or 14% are Hispanic / 5,773 or 6% are Asian / and 1,978 or 2% are ‘Other’.
When you drill down, you find some revealing information, much of which dispels some of the notions people currently hold about race and segregation in DeKalb. For example, we often hear references to all the ‘white schools in the north end of the county’. In reality, of 132 schools on the list, the following schools, mostly North DeKalb schools maintain a majority white status:
Oak Grove (72%)
Coralwood Diagnostic Center (72%)
The Museum School (CHARTER) (62%)
These schools have more white students than other races, however, they make up less than 50% of the total school population:
Dunwoody Elementary (48%)
Dunwoody High School (46%)
Ashford Park (46%)
Laurel Ridge (46%)
Sagamore ES (42%)
Contrast that with the fact that of the 130 total schools in DeKalb, 94 schools have a majority black student population, and 47 of those schools are comprised of 95% or more black students. It is true that these majority-black schools are concentrated in south DeKalb, but many are in Central DeKalb. And Central and North DeKalb also play host to several schools with balanced, diverse enrollments, in that every racial group is represented and there really is not a solid majority. They are:
Peachtree Middle School (12% B / 44% W / 25% H / 8% A/11% O)
Chamblee Middle School (38% B / 33% W / 14% H / 11% A / 3% O)
Henderson Middle School (28% B / 31% W / 31% H / 7% A / 3% O)
Evansdale Elementary School (25% B / 33% W / 30% H / 8% A / 4% O)
Henderson Mill Elementary School (27% B / 22% W / 37% H / 8% A / 5% O)
Huntley Hills Elementary School (29% B / 19% W / 33% H / 16% A / 2% O)
Some other items of interest include:
We still have some seriously tiny programs, some are charters, that certainly cost exponentially more per student to operate. Destiny Achievers Academy of Excellence has only 110 students, DeKalb Preparatory Academy Charter has 286, Museum School Avondale Estates; 264, Wadsworth Magnet School for High Achievers; 232, Leadership Preparatory Academy; 299, Dekalb Early College Academy; 259, DeKalb School of the Arts (grades 8-12); 327, DeKalb Alternative School; 263, and Gateway to College Academy; 93. Each of these schools has its own building, library, cafeteria, teachers, principal and staff.
It appears that the ‘DeKalb Early College’ (259 students) and ‘Gateway to College Academy’ (93 students) still function as separate entities. One of them may be completely under the control of Georgia Perimeter College, but it seems that these programs could consolidate resources and staff to save money.
Wadsworth program for high achievers is a duplicate of Kittredge, and only has 232 students. Kittredge has 415. Originally designed as a program to integrate schools in response to the federal court order, Kittredge is currently 57% White and only 20% Black. Wadsworth is 91% Black. Obviously, the mission of integration has been diluted in this program and we now have two almost ‘separate but equal’ elementary magnet programs. In addition, we still provide special transportation for students in these programs, costing several million dollars and taking money from the classrooms of DeKalb.
In the arena of Special Education Schools, we find it very interesting that the demographics do not represent the overall system demographics (67% Black / 11% White / 14% Hispanic / 6% Asian / and 2% ‘Other’). Special Education needs cross all races, and therefore one would expect the numbers to align with the proportions of the total system. However, they are very much out of alignment. The numbers lead us to believe that special needs are being identified and addressed at a much higher rate for White children in DeKalb. In fact, the the 244 student population at Coralwood Diagnostic Center (which is slated for over $10 million in SPLOST IV renovations, including a therapy pool) is 72% White. Contrast that with the 378 students at East DeKalb Special Education Center with demographics of 53% Black / 29% White / 13% Hispanic / 3% Asian. Although this school serves more Black children, it is still not in balance with the overall countywide system demographics. Again, White students seem to be identified and enrolled in Special Education at a higher rate than Blacks. The Hispanic number seems close to the demographic of 14% of the total. Margaret Harris Special Education Center also has interesting demographics: 70% Black / 20% White / 9% Hispanic but the racial make-up of even this school does not correlate with the system’s racial make-up.
In other areas, we noticed that many of our schools are not serving boys as well as girls. For example, our high achiever and magnet programs enroll more girls than boys. You have to get this data directly from the original spreadsheet from the state (linked below), but of the 1,276 students enrolled at Arabia Mountain High School – Academy of Engineering, Medicine and Environment, 758 (almost 60%) are girls. And SW DeKalb (magnet program) has 717 girls with only 664 boys. Kittredge is well-balanced by gender (211 girls and 204 boys) but Wadsworth has 122 girls and only 110 boys. DSA is even more out of sync: 261 females to only 66 males. The same is true for the Elementary School of the Arts (98% black): 377 females to 139 males. In addition, DeKalb PATH Academy Charter School, a school a refugee, immigrant and local children from the Chamblee, Doraville and Clarkston shows 200 of their 370 students are female. DeKalb Early College (88% Black) has 164 girls and only 95 boys. Other charters and theme schools show the same trend – many more girls are enrolled in these boutique, specialty schools than boys.
So where are all the boys? First, they are in our traditional, neighborhood schools, most of which show more boys on the rolls than girls. In addition, they are in the alternative programs. Beginning with DeKalb Alternative School: 59 girls, 204 boys. Elizabeth Andrews has 275 girls and 363 boys. East DeKalb Special Education Center has 113 girls and 265 boys. Even Margaret Harris Comprehensive School shows only 27 girls to 39 boys and UHS of Laurel Heights has 11 girls and 26 boys. Coralwood has 139 boys and 105 girls.
So overall, yes, we do think there is segregation in DeKalb schools. Although, much of it is self-selected, either by choosing where you live, or by choosing to apply for and attend a theme, charter or magnet school, some is by way of special education or remedial education. The schools that have a majority of white students are located mostly in the north end, however, the percentages are not solidly majority white — these schools are home to every demographic at some level. Arts schools heavily serve girls while alternative schools serve many more boys. Special education needs a deeper look – it appears as though there is a problem with identifying everyone who has special needs and getting them enrolled in helpful programs. Coralwood, an intense, cutting edge sensory integration program is heavily geared toward serving white children, but behavioral-based programs are serving more black children.
Read through the documents and let us know the stories you ‘see’.
Click here to view the original Excel spreadsheet from the GA DOE.
Click here for our simplified Excel spreadsheet.
Click here for a PDF version of our spreadsheet.
Click here to see the detailed budget including school by school allocations.
Click here for the FY14 Consolidated Budget ($1.25 Billion).
Click here to check out school by school spending at Stan Jester’s Fact Checker blog.
To dig deeper, take a look at the per pupil funding document we received via Open Records in March, 2011. This shows the disparity of funding per pupil from school to school – not including special transportation.