I’m beginning to wonder if Doraville, the only city without a High School, is actually where SPLOST projects go to die. Everything that gets promised, everything that seems rational and logical where Doraville is concerned, just seems to disappear.
In a letter dated November 18, 2016, Donna Pittman, the Mayor of Doraville, wrote to Superintendent Green thanking him for dedicating the $5 million in E-SPLOST monies to Doraville. Interestingly, Mayor Pittman recaps their recent meeting with the Superintendent saying, “Thank you also for listening to me tirelessly advocate for a high school in Doraville.”
Either the Superintendent wasn’t paying attention or he forgot, because at the last E-SPLOST project list presentation to the board, I specifically asked the Superintendent if the Mayor of Doraville advocated for a high school. The Superintendent responded ‘no’. If you click on E-SPLOST project list presentation, you can see the latest E-SPLOST V presentation, read a transcript of the board Q&A, and watch the video for this agenda item. If you go to the last few minutes of the video you will hear the discussion where the Superintendent states that there was no discussion of a high school for Doraville.
There seems to be a number of crossed wires. In addition to the confusion about a high school, when asked to comment about the last meeting with Mayor Pittman, Dr. Green said “the Mayor didn’t realize at the time that a new elementary school would be brought into the area.” Strangely, the school district’s most recent E-SPLOST project list (presented at the very same board meeting) doesn’t include a new elementary to that area. So for those keeping score, here’s what we have:
(1) The Mayor thanks the Superintendent for listening to her “tirelessly advocated for a Doraville High School”
(2) The Superintendent doesn’t recall any discussion about a high school for Doraville despite receiving gratitude from the Mayor for listening to her advocacy at their last meeting
(3) The Superintendent told the Mayor at their last meeting that Doraville was getting a new elementary school
(4) The latest plan doesn’t have a new elementary school for Doraville.
(5) And, of course, everyone continues to ignore the obvious need for Doraville to have their own high school.
I asked for clarity from Dr. Green regarding these discrepancies. He said it would take 3 weeks to get back to me. I will get an answer to this question and others on Friday Dec 2. It’s all very peculiar.
From: Donna Pittman
Title: Mayor, City of Doraville
Date: November 18, 2016
Thank you for speaking with us today. I wanted to say that we really appreciate the efforts you have made to dedicate SPLOST dollars to schools in Doraville. The money for the renovations of Cary Reynolds is much needed and a long time coming. We are also very excited about funding for a new grade school that could potentially be located in Doraville. We understand that the location for this school is still in the exploratory phase and many variables come into play when considering the final plan for this school. Our City manager will be reaching out to your staff to meet and discuss a possible location that we have identified in Doraville.
Thank you also for listening to me tirelessly advocate for a high school in Doraville. You and I both agree that the priority now is the overcrowding and physical condition of schools in Doraville. A high school is a priority but, I understand will have to come at a later date. We hope that we can continue to have conversations about ways that a high school could be funded.
Thank you again for your time, and please call me if you ever have a question about where the City of Doraville stands on these issues.
Sadly, it’s true that in DeKalb, attention is paid to the squeakiest wheels and insiders. A community rep/parent in Doraville needs to step up. The mayor needs help – obviously. She is apparently advocating to a deaf ear.
After seeing this bait and switch with ESLOST funds, I will never vote for this again. I know several of my neighbors feel the same.
The Cross Keys Cluster from day one needed two elementary schools to alleviate over crowding and that was the plan.
Cross Keys Redistricting Plan
The Cross Keys Redistricting plan to temporarily help with over crowding was implemented this Fall. The plan was to temporarily redistrict 700+ students out of the Cross Keys Cluster.
Cary Reynolds is still 200 students over capacity. Dresden – 165 students over, Woodward – 235 students over.
If we built two elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster, like the district committed to, and moved all the students back, all the elementary schools in what is now the Cross Keys Cluster will be at roughly 100% capacity when both elementary schools open. Without that second elementary school, all those students will have to stay at Fernbank, ISC and Briar Vista.
This letter is the first I have read that suggests that the Doraville City Manager has a potential building site identified for the nixed elementary school. That is a start. Rumor has it that was how the Austin Elementary land swap process began, with help from the Dunwoody city manager, advocating on behalf of the city to improve the school conditions.
This is why SPLOST needed to have a specific list on the ballot language. Games, politics, behind-the-scenes trades and deals were guaranteed without this.