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Home Park's Biggest Concern: Schools, Not Crime

It's school redistricting that has many residents on edge.

There’s been some in Home Park.

But that's not the biggest concern in the neighborhood, said civic association leader Dan Noyd at a meeting Tuesday night. 

"Even more of an issue than crime," he said, is the current redrawing of Atlanta school districts.

Some of Atlanta Public Schools' proposed options zone the approximately 1,200 households of Home Park out of the desirable Grady High cluster.

Currently, Home Park kids go to , and .

“All we want is things to stay the same,” Noyd, president of the Home Park Community Improvement Association, said in the parking lot of after the group's monthly meeting Dec. 13.

Home Park is an affordable neighborhood with good schools, and as a result young families have moved in, he said.

"Home Park has had the very good fortune to be in one of the best school districts in APS," resident Kathy Boehmer wrote in an email to the community Tuesday.

But there are capacity issues at elementary, middle and high schools that serve Home Park, Midtown and other nearby areas.

Both Inman Middle and Grady High are over capacity and projections show enrollment will continue to increase. The overcrowding can only be solved by sending fewer students to the schools because there is little or no room to expand on the campuses.

APS has proposed four options for the Home Park neighborhood. In all four scenarios, Centennial Place remains the elementary school for the area and Kennedy Middle School replaces Inman Middle. Two proposals send students to Grady High. The other two options transfer Home Park high-schoolers to Frederick Douglass High School.

Some Home Park residents view Kennedy and Douglass as "underperforming" schools compared to Inman and Grady.

"No matter how you measure, the impacts would be extremely negative for the neighborhood -- sending our children from overachieving schools to underperforming ones, cratering home values and driving families from the neighborhood," Noyd said in a letter to residents Tuesday night.

He urged residents to complete a demographic survey for APS to share the neighborhood's complaints. "Before it is too late, we must make our voice heard by the Atlanta Public School system," Noyd said.

The deadline to submit the survey is Friday. Take the survey online.

APS be evaluating proposed scenarios into spring of next year, school Superintendent Erroll B. Davis Jr. . Community meetings will be held in January.

"If the redistricting goes through, you can bet that all our property values will be dramatically affected and families will not want to move to our neighborhood unless they plan on sending their children to private school," Boehmer said. "Not only will property values be affected, but just the whole flavor of the neighborhood."

Click here for more coverage of APS redistricting.

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