The city of Dunwoody may spend up to $50,000 to finance a study of the feasibility of operating a city school system.

Members of Dunwoody City Council informally agreed during their March 11 meeting to spend the money. The council is expected to vote on the expenditure during its April 1 meeting.

“Time is of the essence,” Councilman Terry Nall said. “We need the study to be completed by October to be effective in the Legislature.”

Rep. Tom Taylor, a Dunwoody Republican, has introduced legislation calling for a constitutional amendment that would allow Dunwoody and other cities created since 2005 to start their own school systems or to combine with other new or contiguous cities to create school systems.

Taylor told council members March 11 that his bill has been assigned to the education committee in the state House of Representatives, so no feasibility study is required. But, he said, he thought a study – similar to ones done during the process of starting new cities – would help him convince other lawmakers to approve the bill.

“I need to go down there with ammunition,” he said. “I need to go down there with a concise study.”

Taylor said the time required to win approval of the necessary legislation meant a vote on the constitutional amendment would not be held until next year. The earliest a new school system could be created, he said, would be in 2016.

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.