Were Atlanta schools cheating to compete with the Northern Suburbs?

Last week while I was on my electronic rehabilitation program there was an interesting article in the AJC about the Atlanta Public School cheating scandal. The headline of the article was “Scandal could hamper city’s business growth” and you can read the whole thing here.

The entire school cheating scandal is a disappointing chapter in Atlanta’s history but one of the most intriguing components of the story is the entanglement of the Atlanta business community in the sordid affair. What I found unique about this particular article is that it hints the City of Atlanta is losing businesses to the cities in North Fulton County because of our superior schools:

The Atlanta Public Schools scandal will deeply hamper the city’s efforts to attract new businesses and jobs, perhaps for years, business and company site selection experts say.

Quality of the local school system is a top factor in company location decisions, especially among large corporations with employee bases that are substantially made up of families.


Atlanta in particular has struggled over the past few years as companies have located outside the city limits, especially in the northern suburbs. Instead of going downtown, the job growth of late has been with companies such as NCR Corp., which moved to Gwinnett County from Ohio, and in the numerous technology firms that now call Alpharetta home.

“The city of Atlanta faces much stiffer competition than it did a decade ago,” said Ron Starner, general manager of Site Selection magazine, an industry periodical.

That’s important because school systems in the northern suburbs — some of which are nationally recognized — are generally considered stronger, which allows the metro area to stay competitive in drawing companies, Starner said. That, however, bypasses the city of Atlanta. (emphasis added)

What? Do you mean to tell me that Atlanta with all those MARTA trains and hundreds of billions of dollars worth of transit infrastructure is losing the competition for jobs because other cities including the ones in their Northern suburbs have better schools and are more conducive to raising families? Whoda thunkit?

Well there was this… and this… and this… and this

I think you get the idea by now but if you aren’t convinced you can use the site search to the right of this screen and find dozens of examples on GA Jim which document what makes Alpharetta and our neighbors in the North Atlanta suburbs special and enables us to attract jobs even in this atrocious economic climate. We provide a superior environment for executives and their employees to raise families at a substantially lower cost than an urban environment.

It really is that simple. If you build a great city for families they will come… and they will bring their businesses with them.

Welcome to Alpharetta, Agilysis!

The AJC had another great piece of news for the City of Alpharetta this week. This article explains that information technology company Agilysis is relocating its corporate headquarters to Alpharetta:

Al Nash, executive director of Progress Partners of North Fulton Atlanta, an initiative of the Greater North Fulton Chamber of Commerce, said technology companies are coming to the area because of low taxes and an extensive fiber optic system.

“That’s a huge sector for us,” he said. “We have a high concentration of data centers because of our fiber optics, as well as a good quality of life and low cost of doing business.”

I’m glad to hear Mr. Nash acknowledge that Alpharetta continues to attract new businesses by providing a superior quality of life in a setting conducive to businesses. In today’s world a high quality of life and healthy business climate are more endangered than snail darters and it isn’t an accident that in Alpharetta they not only exist, they thrive.

Alpharetta has a great quality of life and an extraordinary business environment because our residents (and until recently our elected officials) realized that those two elements will give us a competitive advantage in any economic climate. When you provide a great climate for business in an environment perfect for their employees’ family you don’t need trains. You don’t need skyscrapers. You don’t need bells and you don’t need whistles. All you need is good schools (which we have), relatively low taxes (which we have) and elected officials that aren’t suckered in by every Tom, Dick and Consultant that says he has a magic green potion to make Alpharetta better (which we had).

What we offer in Alpharetta is great technology infrastructure in a fantastic place to raise a family while you build a business. That may not be enough for every corporation in the world but we don’t have anywhere to put them all anyway.

Technology, families and business are what Alpharetta does very well. If those aren’t enough then there are hordes of cities out there that offer trains, high rents and high taxes. Changing what Alpharetta already does so well would doom us to more congestion, bad schools and higher crime while forcing companies that share our values, like Agilysis, to look elsewhere. No thanks.

Welcome to Alpharetta Agilysis!

You have chosen well and we are glad to have you as a neighbor. If there is anything we can do to help you settle in just let us know.