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State senator previews 2014 Lakeside, Tucker cityhood bills
by LaTria Garnigan
October 23, 2013 11:41 AM | 1311 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The suspended DeKalb school board members, career readiness and cityhood were the main issues District 40 State Sen. Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody, discussed last week.

Millar was the guest speaker at a luncheon sponsored by the Tucker Business Association and said while the state has a AAA bond rating, the focus needs to shift more to small businesses.

“The biggest detriment we have in this state is education,” said Millar.

“Every kid doesn’t have to go to a four-year college in my opinion. And the reason I say that is that we graduate 56 percent after six years.”

The emphasis, he said, should be on getting students prepared to be productive citizens in the workforce with career readiness skills. Millar said because the majority of homes are not two-parent households, many students are not aware of the multitude of opportunities that are out there for them.

“We need to let them know in sixth- through eighth-grade what opportunities are out there,” he said. “By ninth grade every child is supposed to have an individual graduation plan.”

Millar said the plan would mainly be a motivating factor to get the students thinking about a future plan for their careers.

“If we don’t get them by sixth- to eighth-grade, they’ve dropped out mentally,” he said. “So we’ve gotta get them educated.”

Elsewhere on the education front, Millar mentioned the upcoming ruling from the Georgia Supreme Court in November on whether or not the Georgia Legislature’s suspension of the DeKalb Board of Education members was legitimate.

“I spent a lot of time with the governor on this particular situation — do I think the individual school board members got due process? The answer is ‘no’,” he said.

“Now on the other hand you have 100,000 kids who could lose accreditation, which was more important? For me the 100,000 kids losing accreditation was more important.”

While he said he could not guess as to how the high court would rule, Millar did say the next question would be if those individuals would run in next year’s school board elections.

“So we did what we could as a legislature to keep DeKalb schools on a positive frame and I think so far it’s worked,” he said.

Cityhood bills for Lakeside and Tucker could hit the legislature in the upcoming session, but the main issue with those are the overlapping boundaries of the two areas.

There is the potential for viability for either, if they can resolve the boundary issues, said Millar.

Viability would also depend on the outcome of the economic feasibility studies being done on both areas. While he is not championing for one over the other, Millar said he is a proponent of giving residents the opportunity to vote on the form of government they want.

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