Carstarphen: APS should be part of city’s Emory annexation

Atlanta Public Schools should expand with the growing city limits, the superintendent said Friday, in a reaffirmation of the district’s stance about the city of Atlanta’s proposed annexation of the area around Emory University.

“We anticipate that the public and the community will understand that we are a district that wants to grow with our city. We don’t want to be a separate entity, and we want to do a good job for people who live here today and anyone who wants to come into the city in the future,” said Meria Carstarphen.

She made the remarks in a Friday press conference after her annual State of the District Address when asked about the city's proposed eastside expansion of 744 acres in DeKalb County.

The soonest Atlanta City Council could vote on the plan is Nov. 6.

The current proposal doesn’t change school attendance zones between Atlanta schools and the DeKalb County school system.

Officials have said fewer than 10 public school students live in the area, which includes Emory and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But Carstarphen said the APS charter is clear: The district is to grow along with the city.

“We had no petitioners said they had an issue with Atlanta Public Schools. I spoke to the mayor personally -- he didn’t say he had an issue with Atlanta Public Schools and coterminous growth,” she said.

Carstarphen dismissed the notion that APS' stance has held up the annexation vote by city council. 

“I don’t think it has anything to do with APS. They have their process. I respect it, but we’ve made it clear we have charter rights to grow in a coterminous fashion with the city,” she said.