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DeKalb Board of Education To Discuss Controversial Cell Tower Plan At Meadowview Elementary

Board members also slated to discuss fate of Peachtree Hope Charter School

The DeKalb County Board of Education is slated to discuss two controversial topics tonight when it convenes at 5 p.m.

The first is the proposal allowing T-Mobile USA Inc. to lease space at and 11 other DeKalb County school properties.

Some parents are vehemently opposed to the proposed agreement. They have expressed concern about the potential long-term effects cell tower radiation on their children.

But Gene Walker, who represents the South DeKalb portion of East Atlanta Patch, has expressed his support of the initiative, saying he didn't believe they pose a health hazard.

He also has said the deal would improve communication on mobile devices and give the school additional funding.

The other issue before the board that is of interest to East Atlanta Patch parents is the fate of Peachtree Hope Charter School.

Peachtree Hope, which is in Atlanta's Parkview neighborhood, is one of 16 state-chartered schools with an uncertain future following a recent Georgia Supreme Court ruling that said such institutions were unconstitutional.

The court ruled the law creating the Georgia Charter Schools Commission unconstitutional and that the state's constitution only gave the authority to create elementary and high schools to local school districts.

Peachtree Hope, which opened last fall and has a student body of 610, is seeking a one-year waiver.

While operating under a one-year waiver, the school would be able to apply for a regular charter to operate, placing it under the authority of DeKalb County. The waiver would allow Peachtree Hope to remain open for a five-year period.

Tonight's meeting is at the DeKalb County School Systems offices, in the Cabinet Room of the Administrative & Instructional Complex, 1701 Mountain Industrial Boulevard, Stone Mountain.

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