Officials: Gov. Kemp vetoes DeKalb annexation bill

Dekalb County Board of Education Vice Chairman Marshall Orson speaks about his concern with the annexation of Emory University and its impact on the Dekalb County school district during the Atlanta City Council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM
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Dekalb County Board of Education Vice Chairman Marshall Orson speaks about his concern with the annexation of Emory University and its impact on the Dekalb County school district during the Atlanta City Council meeting on Dec. 4, 2017. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM

Gov. Brian Kemp apparently has vetoed a bill that would have protected the DeKalb County School District against future annexation.

Word that the veto was likely began Friday morning on social media from several state legislators and DeKalb County Board of Education member Marshall Orson. Before noon, several people confirmed the veto. Kemp’s office has yet to announce his veto.

The bill stated that boundaries of the school district may not be extended by annexation unless approved in a separate referendum, should provide for effective dates, student transfers, that in some cases school district boundaries may not change, among other things.

“I’m shocked,” said Marjorie Snook, president of DeKalb Strong, an advocacy group. “It feels like a sneak attack, a bait-and-switch. There’s real concern now (about further annexation).”

According to local news site Decaturish, City Schools of Decatur paid $10,000 for a lobbyist to see that the bill not get Kemp's signature. Decatur school district officials told the site the bill was "bad for Decatur."

DeKalb County School District officials are currently in litigation over a recent annexation of several properties, including Emory University and the Centers for Disease Control. School district officials said the annexation resulted in a loss of 10 children, but more than $2 million in tax revenues for the district.

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