Hundreds Attend DeKalb Redistricting Meeting

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DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - A potential student shuffle in DeKalb County brought hundreds of parents to a gymnasium in Lithonia and even more are expected at meetings that continue Wednesday night.

The DeKalb County School District is asking for input on two redistricting options that officials said will save the district money by consolidating schools.

Five hundred parents attended the first public hearing at Miller Grove High School on Tuesday night.

LINK: 2020 Vision: DeKalb School Redistricting Plan

"We're trying just to talk to our neighbors in other schools. The key is we want to keep our neighborhoods intact," said parent Jim McMahon

School officials said they are considering closing up to 14 schools to save money on 11,000 empty desks across the district.

The two plans shuffle magnet programs. District consultant Edward Humble told Channel 2 Action News the decentralized plan would scatter those students throughout the district.

Humble said the centralized plan does the opposite. "The concept behind a centralized one is to bring all those programs to a centralized location, bring students to that," Humble said.

Parents at the meeting said they wanted to know how much moving the students will cost and if it will hurt strong schools in strong communities.

"There's a lot of moving kids around to kind of fill some spots," said McMahon.

The school board is expected to make a final decision in March.

Five more public meetings are set, including a meeting on Wednesday night at Druid Hills Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

Meeting Schedule Jan. 19 -- Druid Hills Middle School Jan. 20 – Chamblee High School Jan. 25 – McNair High School Jan 26. – Bethune Middle School Jan. 27 – Stone Mountain Middle School