Breaking: Dekalb Cancels Plan for Marine Academy
The DeKalb County school system announced this afternoon that it has canceled plans to open a military academy this fall.
The Associated Press reports:
The school district was unable to reach an agreement with the Marines for opening the state’s first public military academy, district spokesman Dale Davis said in a news release Friday.
“An initiative of this magnitude requires a significant commitment from all entities involved,” Davis said in the statement. “We will continue our discussions in hope of reaching a mutual agreement that is in the best interest of both institutions.”
He declined further comment until a school board meeting scheduled for Monday.
APN has been unable to obtain the news release at this point but will share it here when we receive it. (See below for the full statement from Dale Davis, director of media/public relations for the DeKalb County school system)
DeKalb had plans to open the school this fall with 150 cadets, all 9th graders, with plans to expand the school over the following years to include 10th-12th graders for a total of 650 students.
A Marine commadant, whom DeKalb hired in March, would have handled issues not related to academics while a principal would have overseen academics.
Students, dressed in Marine ROTC uniforms, would have focused heavily on math and science. Despite officials insisting the school was a choice for students and their parents, a coalition of antiwar veterans and peace activists raised strong objection to the plan.
APN wrote a story in March about the origins of public military academies, what purpose they serve, and quotes from opponents laying out their arguments.
In April, citizens publicly expressed their concerns before the board of education. You can read that APN story here.
The Georgia Peace and Justice Coalition had planned a press conference at 5 p.m. Monday in front of Lakeside High School before the school board meeting at 6 p.m. APN will be at the press conference (should plans for it remain) as well as the school board meeting.
Check back here and with Atlanta Progressive News for more details about this story as they emerge.
UPDATE: Here is that full statement:
There has been a change to our plan of launching the first of its kind DeKalb County Marine Academy Institute this fall, August 2009. An initiative of this magnitude requires a significant commitment from all entities involved. As a public educational institution, it is our responsibility to ensure that all partnerships meet the policies by which we are governed. While we are excited about the opportunity to partner with the Marine Corps, it is not feasible for either party to move further at this time. We will continue our discussions in hope of reaching a mutual agreement that is in the best interest of both institutions.