Administrative fee for Commission reduced from three to two percent, Odyssey School and Georgia Cyber Academy approved as two separate Commission Charter Schools
(February 18, 2011) SAVANNAH – The Georgia Charter Schools Commission approved two important measures at its monthly meeting on Thursday, each of which will have a positive impact on the state’s charter schools.
The Commission voted to lower the standard fee it charges Commission-approved charter schools from three percent to two percent of the per pupil funding revenue the schools receive, and to grant individual charters to Odyssey School in Newnan and Georgia Cyber Academy/K12, which had been operating under the same charter.
Lower fee will help Commission charter schools
Georgia’s only charter school authorizers are the local school districts, the state Board of Education and the Commission. Until Thursday, each had charged the schools it approves a standard administrative fee of three percent. The Commission voted to lower its fee to two percent, which will provide a bit of a much-needed financial boost for the schools.
“The Commission is focused on providing high quality customer service in a cost-effective manner for our schools,” said Georgia Charter Schools Commission Executive Director Mark Peevy. “This reduction will provide more operating dollars for our schools as they serve their students”.
“We hope this action will send a signal to school districts having the privilege of overseeing charters they have approved,” said Georgia Charter Schools Association President/CEO Tony Roberts. “These are tough times for all charters and an administrative fee reduction in the districts is prudent and will help their charters meet their objectives. We commend the Commission for this remarkable reduction in administrative charges.”
The Commission also agreed to examine the issue again in August with the possibility of lowering the fee even further to one percent.
Odyssey School and Georgia Cyber Academy now two separate schools
Odyssey School, which serves nearly 300 students in grades kindergarten through eight, and Georgia Cyber Academy/K12, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade, had been operating under the same state charter – granted by the state Board of Education – since 2007.
This was due to the fact that prior to the creation of the Commission, the only way to gain approval for a statewide attendance zone was to do so as a State Chartered Special School.
Originally denied by the Coweta County School Board, Odyssey School, located in Newnan, was approved by the state Board of Education in 2001 and opened as a State Chartered Special School in the fall of 2004, serving students in Coweta County. Georgia Cyber Academy, a virtual online school, gained approval in 2007 to partner with Odyssey on its state charter, serving students throughout Georgia.
However, the creation of the Commission made it possible for the two schools to have their own charters and operate as separate entities. Both will become Commission-approved charter schools officially on July 1. Odyssey School will be funded at nearly the same per pupil level as traditional public schools in Coweta County. Georgia Cyber Academy, which serves 6,000 students in 150 counties, will be funded at $5,800 per student.
“The boards of the two schools decided to see if it made sense to split and become two separate schools,” the Association’s Roberts said. “They agreed that it did. This move will help each school continue to provide a quality public educational option for students in Coweta County and throughout Georgia. Again, we commend the Commission on this well thought out decision.”
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CONTACT: Seth Coleman, GCSA Director of Communications | firstname.lastname@example.org | 404-406-5570
ABOUT THE GCSA
The Georgia Charter Schools Association is the only non-profit membership organization for Georgia’s charter school operators and petitioners. Established in 2001, the mission of the GCSA is to be an effective advocate and service provider for all charter public schools in Georgia by:
- Advancing awareness of charter schools and their mission.
- Increasing awareness that charter schools are public schools.
- Communicating charter school needs to state and local officials.
- Supporting legislation to strengthen charter schools in Georgia.
- Facilitating opportunities for networking/collaboration among charter schools in Georgia and nationwide.
- Developing and implementing programs and services that advance student achievement, accountability and success in all of Georgia’s charter schools.