Davis: 'I Have Nothing Against Small Schools'
With two to three SW Atlanta schools targeted for closure, Atlanta's school superintendent said a host of factors are considered when shuttering a facility.
APS Superintendent Dr. Erroll Davis has nothing against small schools.
“We have some very high-performing small schools,” Davis told Cascade Patch on Monday. “What I look at is, how much parental involvement is present, how many local businesses have partnered with that school, etc.
“Also, I need 15 kids in a classroom to get state money to pay for teachers. If I don’t have that, I have to look at how I’m going to pay the teachers.”
At a Jan. 31 APS redistricting meeting at Young Middle School, several southwest Atlanta parents urged the APS to keep its smaller schools open rather than closing them.
“I’m not looking to shut down small schools just because they’re small,” Davis said. “These schools were built because the population was there at the time. Some of those populations simply aren’t there anymore.
“I’m interested in the job that people are doing with the resources they have. If a small school is performing strongly, why would I want to close it?”
Davis also said he looks at what will become of the facility when closed.
“I‘ve seen closed down schools that became eyesores in the community,” he said. “When I close a school, I want to know what’s going to be the impact – whether it can be reprogrammed, or simply torn down. I’d prefer to tear it down if it can’t be used for some other purpose.”
Demographers have presented two options for redistricting Atlanta public schools. Public commenting on the proposals will continue through Feb. 24, after which the demographers will incorporate the public’s comments into its recommendations.