Atlanta Public Schools is considering selling its old North Fulton High School campus, which it currently leases to Atlanta International School, to make up a budget shortfall.

Parents pick up students from Atlanta International School on May 13, 2013.
Parents pick up students from Atlanta International School on May 13, 2013.

The private school has leased the building on North Fulton Drive from APS since 1995. The anticipated sale price would be $6 million. Atlanta International School is an International Baccalaureate school. All schools in APS’ North Atlanta cluster are IB schools. IB is a diploma program for students that parents see as beneficial for college applications. The IB program approaches education with a multicultural and global worldview.

“The price that has been discussed includes both cash ($6 million) and services (approximately $2.5 million) with the amount negotiated as the result of two appraisals of the property,” APS Chief Financial Officer Chuck Burbridge said via email. “The discussion has also included a profit-sharing provision should the property be sold at a future date unimpaired by the existing long-term lease.”

An email from parents at Sarah Smith Elementary said that the $2.5 million for in-kind services from would be related Atlanta Public School IB programs. Sarah Smith parents believe the in-kind services would be used to benefit other clusters outside of North Atlanta.

“We believe the value of the services is greatly inflated,” the Sarah Smith email said. “The IB accreditation body, International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), only recognizes IBO authorized training. We believe and are the only authorized trainers.”

The current parcel includes both AIS and Garden Hills Elementary. The Tax Assessor estimated the total value of the entire parcel to be $11.3 million, including the value of the buildings.

APS Property Manager Carla Pennyman said the parcel would be divided and portion containing AIS would be 9.2 acres. Pennyman indicated in her email that the school would be sold to AIS.

Calls to AIS seeking comment were not returned as of May 10.

APS is crafting its Fiscal Year 2014 budget and is looking for ways to make up a $60.9 million shortfall. The AIS sale would be one of several options, including pulling $20 million out of the school system’s reserve accounts.

Dan Whisenhunt wrote for Reporter Newspapers from 2011 - 2014. He is the founder and editor of