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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Article misleads public on opposition to Buckhead school land sale
June 18, 2013 04:56 PM | 1343 views | 0 0 comments | 132 132 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Everett Catts’ June 12 article titled “Those against Buckhead school land sale silent at meeting.” Atlanta Public Schools, as part of its strategy to offset a $60.9 million budget shortfall for fiscal 2014, has offered $6.1 million to sell the old North Fulton High School property in Buckhead to Atlanta International School, which has leased the land for its campus since 1995.

EDITOR:

I just wanted to respond to your article regarding the AIS [town hall] meeting in which you stated that the opposition was silent. The implication in the article is that there is not visible opposition to this sale. However, this was a meeting that was announced two days before it was held, and was hosted by AIS with the express purpose of informing their neighborhood association and parents about the sale to clear up misconceptions. North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools [a group of parents supporting North Atlanta High and its feeder schools], on the day before the meeting, encouraged people to attend if they wanted to hear about the sale from this perspective or voice their opinion, and we did have NAPPS representation there to listen.

However, this was not a proper venue for APS parents to express themselves, especially in light of such a small turnout. Furthermore, the APS constituents are not really in need of clarification as to why this is the right choice for AIS at the current time. We clearly understand why buying the property before the 2019 reappraisal benefits their school and its community. We also are well informed as to why this deal makes absolutely no sense for any APS parent, teacher, student or taxpayer. We are confident that the Atlanta Board of Education will make the right choice in deciding not to sell and they are the focus of our energy.

Please don’t mislead the public into thinking that the AIS sale is supported by APS parents or our community. In one week’s time, over 300 people have signed a petition against the sale of the North Fulton property to AIS and that number will certainly grow as people return from their summer vacations.

Kim Zemmali

North Atlanta Parents for Public Schools board member and Buckhead resident

Editor’s note: To view a copy of the statement the group has sent to the media and residents and a copy of Buckhead resident Tom Tidwell’s letter to the school board, visit http://bit.ly/11hR5M7. To view the online petition of residents against the proposed sale, visit http://bit.ly/13RnS90.
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