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Gwinnett County School Board Redistricting Plan Concerns Parents

by Barbra Murray

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Last November, the Gwinnett County School Board announced their redistricting effort to balance enrollment and establish new attendance zones for two new schools. The redistricting will affect 31 existing schools and 6,800 current students, according to a statement released by the school board.

meeting was held on Jan. 7 about plans that affect the Duluth, Lanier, Meadowcreek, Mill Creek, Mountain View, Norcross and Parkview clusters. Parents of the children who will be moved from Sugar Hill Elementary School to Sycamore Elementary School due to redistricting voiced their concerns at the meeting.

Parents said that proximity to a landfill and lower test scores were the reasons why they were concerned about their children being moved from Sugar Hill Elementary School to Sycamore Elementary School.

Parents Protest Gwinnett County Redistricting

One of the parents, Jon Morris, said that he chose his current home over one near Sycamore Elementary because he smelled the landfill that is located near the school.

One resident asked Dr. Robert McClure, a board member, about having a conflict of interest due to McClure’s ownership of about 20 acres in Lilburn, which is to become a subdivision.

“There are no houses there now; there are no kids there now,” McClure said. “No one’s being rezoned there. It has no effect there on anybody as far as school-age children.”

One Mill Creek parent, Christy McCall, said that she believes that the school board is trying to boost the value and the test scores of Mountain View. She told the board her family bought a $500,000 home in order to be in the Mill Creek cluster because it ranks higher than Mountain View, the proposed redistricting cluster.

Eric Johansen, speaking on the behalf of Woodward Mill development LLC and Cal Atlantic Homes, disagreed with moving students from North Gwinnett to Lanier.  The two developers have a combined $18 million invested in building homes in the North Gwinnett cluster. Johansen said that builders had already made financial decisions based on where properties were before the proposed redistricting.

“I really do appreciate the passion,” McClure said in closing at the meeting. “It’s that kind of passion that makes our schools successful.”


Photo credit: Michael Rivera, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:School_buses_at_Dewar_Elementary_School.JPG

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