Lawmaker pushes legislation that could let Dunwoody run schools

Dunwoody’s hopes for an independent school system were revived Monday when a state lawmaker made modest progress with a resolution that aims to end the near monopoly Georgia counties have on public education.

The House Education Committee approved Rep. Tom Taylor’s (R-Dunwoody) House Resolution 4, which calls for a constitutional amendment allowing cities to carve their own school districts out of county systems. The legislation has more stops in the committee process before a vote on the House floor that would send it to the Senate, and the deadline is Friday. A similar measure by Taylor stalled in the House last year after getting about as far.

In arguing for his proposal Monday, Taylor told lawmakers that DeKalb County is growing too big and has had, “to be frank, some serious malfeasance issues.” A bid-rigging scandal landed former school Superintendent Crawford Lewis in jail. New cities such as Dunwoody cannot have their own school systems because of a constitutional ban around the end of World War II. The handful of cities that already had their own systems, such as Decatur in DeKalb, were allowed to keep them.