GCSA assisted three of the four approved petitioners;
three “brick and mortar schools,” one virtual school
ATLANTA – The Georgia Charter Schools Commission (GCSC) approved four charter school petitions at its monthly meeting, Thursday.
The four new charter schools are:
- Chattahoochee Hills Charter School. Located in South Fulton County, the school will serve students from Carroll, Coweta, Douglas, Fayette and Fulton Counties in grades K-8.
- Cherokee Charter Academy. This will be the first charter school in Cherokee County and will serve students in grades K-8.
- Georgia Connections Academy. This virtual school will serve students statewide in grades K-12.
- Heritage Preparatory Academy. Located in Atlanta, the school will serve students in grades 6-8.
Two other petitions for virtual schools – Georgia Cyber Academy High School and Odyssey School – have been recommended for further study by the Commission staff.
More details about each charter petition can be found on the GCSC website: www.gcsc.georgia.gov
Funding increased for virtual schools
The Commission also approved a measure that will increase per-pupil funding for Commission-approved virtual charter schools from $3,400 to $5,800. This will go into effect for all virtual schools approved by the Commission going forward
Commission staff reviewed, considered 23 petitions
Back in August, 23 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 four petitioners recommend for approval, three (Chattahoochee, Cherokee and Heritage) consulted with the Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) through its CharterStart and CharterStart EMO programs, the utilized the Associations’ consultation services prior to submitting their petition. The fourth petitioning group, Georgia Connections Academy, has worked for some time with the GCSA to improve the legislative landscape and make it possible for more educational options in Georgia.
Commission has approved nine schools thus far
If approved by the full Commission on Thursday, the newly recommended charter schools are scheduled to open in the fall of 2011, and join the following schools as Commission-approved charter schools:
- Atlanta Heights Charter School (Atlanta)
- Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (Statesboro, Bulloch County)
- Coweta Charter Academy (Senoia, Coweta County)
- Fulton Leadership Academy (Fulton County)
- Heron Bay Academy (Henry County)
- Ivy Preparatory Academy (Norcross)
- The Museum School of Avondale Estates. (Avondale Estates, DeKalb County)
- Pataula Charter Academy (Edison, Calhoun County)
- Peachtree Hope Charter School. (DeKalb County)
“We are excited that there will be four more quality public charter school options for parents and students to choose from next fall,” said Georgia Charter Schools Association Chief Executive Officer Tony Roberts, Ph.D. “While many traditional public schools do a wonderful job educating students, charter schools are there to serve those students who need a different academic experience to reach their full potential. The GCSA is committed to increasing the number of quality charter schools throughout Georgia, giving parents all over the state the option of sending their child to a top-notch charter school.
“We recommend that all charter school petitioners that were not approved in this cycle seek support from the Association to address any Commission concerns and to strengthen their proposals for the next approval cycle.”
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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.