Student who are entering grades 5, 8, 11 or 12 will also be allowed to remain in their respective school systems until they finish those years.
Education property taxes collected on properties annexed by the city will be allocated to City Schools of Decatur. Decatur schools will then distribute to the DeKalb County School System an amount equal to all taxes collected on properties zoned commercial or mixed-use properties where the primary use is commercial.
Maggie Fehrman, City Schools of Decatur superintendent, said she was happy to collaborate with DeKalb County and “hopes that this is the first of many new partnerships to come.”
“I honestly believe that this will be a great relationship,” she said.
DeKalb County schools raised concerns about how annexation could affect its funding when in 2017 the city of Atlanta annexed 744 acres, including Emory, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
DeKalb County schools filed a lawsuit against Atlanta, seeking to retain the students and tax dollars affected by the annexation. Atlanta Public Schools in 2019 settled with DeKalb schools, and both districts agreed to evenly split an estimated $2.7 million in annual property tax revenue collected from the annexed area for five years.
Another bill signed into law by Kemp, Senate Bill 209, addresses the sticking points of that annexation battle. It says Atlanta Public Schools’ boundaries can only change with legislation passed by the Georgia General Assembly or through an intergovernmental agreement between DeKalb County and the city of Atlanta. It also allows students entering grades 5, 8, 11 and 12 students to stay with their school systems until they finish those years.