Angry parents speak on slated East Lake closing

Updated:

ATLANTA —

Atlanta Public School leaders heard from angry parents Saturday morning about a plan to close East Lake Elementary School.

It's the first of two hearings scheduled, intended to give parents a chance to talk about how the proposed school closings will impact them.  Some parents raised concerns that the proposed closings are an attempt to segregate the children by sending minority students further south to make room for mainly white students.

"I don't know what the East Lake community has done to the superintendent of the Atlanta Public Schools, but they can't really say they are taking the best interest of our children at heart," said Mia Evan Buckner, referencing APS Superintendent Erroll Davis' redistricting plan.

Davis insists his plan, which proposes the closing of 13 schools is a cost-saving effort to address a needed downsizing that stems from a population shift in the district.  He said some schools have empty classrooms, while others are overcrowded.

Another meeting will be held at East Lake Elementary School March 22.

The Atlanta Board of Education will hold a public hearing 1 p.m. Saturday at Thomasville Heights Elementary, another proposed closing.  Under the proposal, students living in the Thomasville Heights zone will be reassigned to Benteen Elementary School.

APS is in the process of determining the future use of the Thomasville Heights facility.