Parents fight to keep Coan Middle School open

Updated:

ATLANTA,None - Dozens of parents spent their Saturday rallying in hopes of keeping Coan Middle School open.

Coan, located in east Atlanta, is among the 13 middle and elementary schools on Atlanta Public Schools' list of proposed closings. The slated closing will mark the district's largest redistricting plan in almost a decade, reported Channel 2's Sophia Choi.


Choi spoke to parents at the weekend event, where some said they were blindsighted by the proposed changes targeting the historic middle school.

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"The closure of this school came as an absolute shock to us, because this was never in any of the recommendations of the demographers in any of the maps in any of the community input meetings," Sally Alcock, a parent, told Choi.

APS Superintendent Erroll Davis, who said the district has more than 13,000 empty seats, insists the proposed closing will reduce that number by more than half and save the district money that will be used directly for student education.

But some parents said they still oppose the proposed changes.

Many of the parents walked to the rally with their kids, who attend Toomer Elementary, which feeds into Coan Middle. They fear closing Coan will mean their children will eventually have to ride a  bus instead of walking to classes.

"They're still sending us five miles away to attend another school while allowing the school to remain open for another neighborhood to come in and use it as a sixth-grade annex," Alcock said.

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson, who represents the community of the school that serves families in Eastlake, Edgewood and Kirkwood, also said Coan should stay open.

"The best schools are the schools closest to the parents so they can connect and be part of the PTA, so I think it would be wise to keep this school," Johnson said.

Parents will have a chance to voice their concerns to the superintendent March 16, when a public hearing will be held on the matter.


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