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Fulton Science Academy Wants School Board to Reconsider its Charter

Several Sandy Springs students attend FSA. The school may close for at least a year if it can't get a state charter.

 

's governing board wants the Fulton Board of Education to reconsider its charter renewal request with revisions. These changes the governing board said it was making as a compromise never made it to the school system in time for the Dec. 20 meeting, during which

Susan Hale, spokesperson for the Fulton County School System, said staff worked more than a year on the charter application with Fulton Science Academy Middle School. The Fulton School Board voted on Dec. 20 on "more than an issue that was two weeks old," she said.

"It's main consideration was the fact that we could not reach an agreement with the length of the charter," Hale said.

The superintendent's office wanted all three schools involved in the nearly $19 million in bonds to build a new school campus to be on the same charter cycle. Restricting Fulton Science Academy Middle School's charter renewal to three years would match it with Fulton Sunshine Academy and Fulton Science Academy High School.

Hale said the charter school's governing board has three options:

  1. Do nothing and allow the school board decision to take affect;
  2. Apply to the Georgia Department of Education for a state charter;
  3. Come back to reapply in Fulton's next charter system cycle.

Reapplying with Fulton wouldn't be possible for a year, so the school would be closed for about a year, Hale said.

The publicly funded charter school said today it never received an email from the Fulton County School System telling them of the 4 p.m. deadline until after the meeting.

"At 11:59 p.m. yesterday [Dec. 20], we received the e-mail that was sent by the Fulton County School System yesterday morning.  The delayed receipt of this e-mail resulted in Fulton Science Academy Governing Board’s amendment request not be presented at the Fulton County Board of Education meeting last night," said Katherine Dion, the charter school's public relations director, in an email to Patch and other media today, Dec. 21. "This amendment request was an effort to reach a compromise by specifying the waivers and agreeing to an 8 year term instead of 10."

the day before the meeting.

Dion said the charter school is asking the Fulton Board of Education to call a special meeting via teleconference as soon as Thursday to vote on these changes.

"We are currently awaiting response from the Fulton County school system. We appreciate FCSS reaching out to us yesterday and we look forward to bring to a successful conclusion to the renewal process," Dion said.

Hale said Fulton School System staff is working on a transition plan to help the families of the more than 500 students at the charter school, placing them in other schools next year. Most of the students live in North Fulton, and would attend schools in this area if the charter school closes.

John December 22, 2011 at 04:40 PM
Fulton County Board of Education is not playing straight. They want to close this successful school that makes them look "not so good" Board of education is ignoring the will of the people who elected them. This will have consequences! It is known that some board members are bragging that they are in that position for life. Don't count on it!
David Davis December 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Two words - Milton County
Peggy December 24, 2011 at 06:25 PM
Totally agree Milton County. Fulton County board of education is a disgrace. Dr. Avoosa should resign. He is not acting at all in the best interest of our children education. See you at the election day board.
Peggy December 24, 2011 at 06:26 PM
To help the school stay open go to the school website www.fsamiddle.org Thank you

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