Houston & Peach

Board drew attendance lines, attorney says

FORT VALLEY — School board attorney Buddy Welch told Peach County Board of Education members at Tuesday’s meeting the attendance lines for the two new elementary schools were drawn by the school system, not the U.S. Department of Justice.

But in January, Superintendent Susan Clark, after going through a brief history of the 40 years the school system has been under court-ordered desegregation, told people the attendance lines were drawn by the department last year after it received a complaint from a Peach County resident that the new elementary school sites — on U.S. 341 north of Fort Valley and on Kay Road south of Byron — would further segregate the school system.

Welch said the school system prepared 15 different plans for the attendance zones to meet court-ordered desegregation requirements and gain department approval.

The attendance zones for the two schools were earlier criticized by the Rev. Randy King of Fort Valley, who said it amounted to busing students to the Kay Road school and could lead to higher taxes for residents to pay for buses and their maintenance.

“Though I’m standing here alone tonight, I’m not alone in my cause,” King said.