Conference convenes 1 month before charter school constitutional amendment vote
Atlanta, GA (October 1, 2012) — The Georgia Charter Schools Association convenes its 10th Anniversary Conference , October 4-5 at the Georgia World Congress Center, Building B. The two-day event is the largest annual gathering of charter school advocates, with more than 40 exhibitors, and hundreds of public charter school leaders, teachers, and parents and from around the state.
Keynoting the conference on Thursday morning is charter school pioneer Ember Reichgott Junge, a former Minnesota State Senator, who authored Minnesota’s 1991 first-in-nation charter school law. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the passage of this historic charter legislation, Reichgott Junge has written a history of the bi-partisan origins of the charter school movement entitled: Zero Chance of Passage: The Pioneering Charter School Story.
Also highlighting the opening day of the conference is an Awards Luncheon (beginning at noon) honoring individuals who have had an impact on children and on the growth of high quality public charter schools in Georgia. The Coca-Cola Foundation will once again award $50,000 to the Charter School of the Year, to be announced at the ceremony.
2012 Honorees include:
- Children’s Impact Award – Coy Bowles, guitarist, arranger and member of the GRAMMY Award-winning Zac Brown Band
- Charter Impact Awards —
- State Representative & Speaker Pro-Tem, Jan Jones
- Dr. Arlinda J. Eaton, Dean, Bagwell College of Education, Kennesaw State University
- Linda Zechmann, Immediate Past Chair Charter School Committee, GA State BOE
- State Senator Chip Rogers
- State Representative Brooks Coleman, Chair Education Committee
- Coca-Cola Foundation Charter School of the Year – to be announced
- Charter Leader of the Year – David Jernigan, Executive Director KIPP Metro Atlanta
- Charter Teacher of the Year – Chi Wu, DeKalb PATH Academy
- Power to the Parents Award – Kelly Marlow, Cherokee Charter Academy
The 10th Anniversary Conference comes just 30 days before a critical vote on a constitutional amendment that would allow the state to provide for an appeals process for public charter schools that are denied by local school boards.
There are 314 public charter schools in Georgia. All are tuition-free public schools which operate with more freedom from state and local regulation than traditional public schools. Charter schools are held to high academic standards in return for more flexibility and autonomy.