I spend inordinate amounts of time thinking about DeKalb Schools and one of the questions I have continued to be plagued by is this: Why are the facilities in DeKalb in a state of such disrepair, especially compared to other Metro Atlanta school districts? I began to look at the traditional arguments: “Other districts have more money to invest in their schools,” “That district’s buildings are newer,” “Those districts have wealthier students,” or “Those districts spend more money per student.” I’m not entirely convinced that those answers explain why DeKalb’s buildings suffer more than other districts.
On Wednesday, the LCI team released their preliminary findings of their area, and I was a bit surprised by some of their analyses and recommendations. Most notably: the Buford Highway corridor population has remained relatively stagnant over the past few years, and they project that it will stay that way for at least the next several years. Interestingly, their recommendations are similar to those of the expert planners in DCSD. While they do suggest that the corridor plan for the "continued densification" (more people) of BuHi, they also suggest that development be planned "for the long term in phases."
When Black families moved to DeKalb, this triggered another wave of white flight, as white families moved even further away from the city of Atlanta. As one former teacher at my old, predominantly white private school told me: “The Blacks ruined our schools in DeKalb. We used to have some really good schools, but I hate to say it: the Blacks really ruined them.”