COLLEGE PARK, Ga. -- For three years, kids at an apartment complex in College Park have watched as their new school was built across the street.
College Park Elementary School is now finished, but the 80 kids who live at College View Hills apartments won't be able to walk across the street to class for another year. Instead, students from another area will be bused in.
Fulton County Schools officials say this was the plan all along even though, on the surface, it doesn't make sense. Officials say it was all part of a one-cent sales tax plan set years ago.
The students from the area attended College Park Elementary when it was closed three years ago to make way for a new school. The kids were sent temporarily to three different schools, including Conley Hills Elementary, which is three miles away.
Now, Mt. Olive Elementary is under construction, so the district decided to keep everyone from that school together and move it to the new building for one year.
"I sympathize for them, but they will not be able to attend due to the fact that we have Mt. Olive students there," said Gondola La Cava, area superintendent at Fulton County Schools.
Parents who believe their apartment complex should be allowed to join the Mt. Olive group staged a protest on Monday afternoon.
"What we're asking is for our 82 children who live here in College View Hills Apartments to be able walk there across the street to school," said community activist Clara George.
But the district says adding those 82 kids would push Mt. Olive's enrollment to 810, and it's unfair to let the apartment kids go and not all the kids who are temporarily at other schools.
The parents also say the district is wasting taxpayer dollars by busing the kids. The district says it would cost more to bring in portables, more teachers and supplies. They say for one more year, sending the kids to Conley Hills is the only option.