June 11, 2022

Pettitt Pushes Annexation Resolution through GSBA

Pettitt Pushes Annexation Resolution through GSBA

The Georgia School Boards Association approved the addition of Hall County’s Annexation Resolution to the Association’s Legislative Positions.

The Resolution, adopted by the Hall County Board of Education in December 2021 calls for the Georgia General Assembly to address Municipal Annexation Effects on School District Boundaries. The full position can be read here:

“GSBA urges the General Assembly to adopt meaningful reforms to the annexation dispute resolution law so that any future municipal annexation will have no effect on the county or municipal school district boundaries, property tax base, or enrollment of students.”

Under current Georgia law, annexations taken by city councils can create chaos for local school districts, if the city has an independent school district. Students can be upheaved from their schools and placed into a new district overnight. Local school boards currently have no legal recourse or input into the annexation process, even though the bulk of the property tax revenue directly impacts education.

“For too long Local Boards of Education have sat idly by, with no legal recourse, as municipalities engaged in ‘cherry picking’ of tax-rich commercial and industrial parcels.” Pettitt said. “The loophole written in Georgia law decades ago must be closed immediately. Families deserve to know where their students will attend school when purchasing a home, without worrying about annexations that can uproot them from their schools.”

The Georgia School Boards Association has previously adopted a separate annexation position that addresses fiscal impacts of annexation to a school system’s general fund budget. That position can be read here:

“GSBA strongly urges the General Assembly to examine legislation on annexation that provides for input from school systems that are affected. School systems often budget two to three years in advance and changes in district lines can dramatically affect school budgets. GSBA further urges that the General Assembly should consider extending the period of enactment of the changes in district lines to give systems more time to adjust their budgets.”

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