December 11, 2009
State Charter Schools Commission
Recommends Five Petitions for Approval
Recommendations underscore group’s commitment to quality
ATLANTA – The Georgia Charter Schools Commission announced Thursday that it has recommended five charter petitions for approval.
Charter petitions for the following schools were recommended for approval when the Commission holds its regularly scheduled meeting, Monday, Dec. 14, at 9 a.m.:
- Atlanta Heights Charter School. Originally denied a charter by the Atlanta Public Schools, the proposed school would serve students in grades K-8, and is backed by National Heritage Academies, Inc.
- Fulton Leadership Academy. Originally denied a charter by the Fulton County Public Schools, the proposed school will serve students in grades 6-12, and feature a rigorous academic environment with a focus on aeronautical careers.
- The Museum School of Avondale Estates. Originally denied a charter by the DeKalb County Public Schools, it would serve students in grades K-8.
- Pataula Charter Academy would serve students in grades K-8, living in Baker, Calhoun, Clay, Early and Randolph Counties in southwest Georgia.
- Peachtree Hope Charter School. Originally denied by the DeKalb County Public Schools, the proposed school would serve students in grades K-12, and is backed by SABIS Educational Systems, Inc.
Commission reviewed, considered more than 30 petitions
Back in August, more than 30 petitions were submitted to the Commission, a seven-member alternative authorizing group created by the passage of House Bill 881 during the 2008 Legislative Session. The Commission’s members were appointed by the State Board of Education on the recommendation of the Governor (3), Lieutenant Governor (2) and House Speaker (2).
The petitions were then divided for review among seven panels, each headed by a Commission member. The panels consisted of education professionals from throughout the country.
Of the five petitioners recommend for approval, three consulted with the Georgia Charter Schools Association, prior to submitting their petition.
“While we know many of the petitioners are disappointed, the number of approvals is an illustration of what we expected from the State Charter Commission: a commitment to quality, which our Association wholeheartedly supports,” Georgia Charter Schools Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Roberts, Ph.D. said. “With continued planning and some modifications, some of the petitioners may want to reapply at the next opportunity. Our Association will be happy to assist them in any way.
“I hope this will alleviate the fears of many who thought the Commission would be an automatic rubber stamp for charter school approvals,” Roberts said. “To the contrary, the Commission is fully dedicated to approving only those petitions that are of the highest quality, and that will provide families and communities all over Georgia with the absolute best public educational choice options.”
Commission had previously approved two schools
If approved, the newly recommended charter schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2010, and join the Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (Statesboro) and Ivy Preparatory Academy (Norcross) as charter schools approved by the Commission.
Charter schools approved by the Commission are eligible to be funded at the same level as the traditional public schools in their respective districts, which was not the case prior to the creation of the Commission.
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Click here to view the full list of petition recommendations.
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Q&A with Georgia DOE Associate Superintendent Andrew Broy
BROY: “Charter schools that are not approved this year can certainly reapply next year and use the feedback in the individual recommendations to strengthen their applications. The Commission has no current plans to reconsider applications again before the start of the 2010 school year. ”
Will the denied petitioners receive feedback from the Commission?
BROY: “Yes, there will be posted recommendations on the website before the vote. That will be the principal feedback.”
When is the date/deadline for the next petitioning process? Will those groups that were denied this time be able to re-apply or must they wait another year?
BROY: “August 1, 2010 is the next deadline for submission of a Commission applications. “