Clock Ticks for Cherokee Charter
By Friday, the Cherokee County School District wants a list of all enrolled students and other data.
As the Cherokee County School District prepares to deliberate the fate of the county's first charter school, one of 16 state-commissioned charters left in the lurch after a recent state Supreme Court ruling, the school system asked organizers of Cherokee Charter Academy to turn over two pieces of information by Friday.
"This is an official request, pursuant to the Georgia Open Records Act, for a list of all students enrolled in Cherokee Charter Academy," district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby wrote in a letter that charter officials received today. "Additionally, we are requesting that you provide projected enrollment for each of the remaining four years of the proposed five-year contract."
The letter arrived one week after the state Supreme Court struck down state commissioned charter schools as unconstitutional and four days after dozens of charter school supporters showed up at Thursday's Cherokee County Board of Education meeting.
With the beginning of Cherokee Charter's inaugural school year just months away, supporters hoped the board, which twice rejected the academy's petition, would reconsider.
Board members said they could not recall a vote from last year but asked school officials to resubmit a revised petition to address flaws in the last one. When the district denied Cherokee Charter in July 2010, board members were concerned with the lack of local budgetary oversight and control as well as the autonomy that would be given to an out-of-state entity. Florida-based Charter Schools USA is the operator of Cherokee Charter.
An email to academy spokeswoman Colleen Reynolds has not been returned.
Lyn Carden, a parent working to help found the school, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the group did not know when the revised petition would be ready.
"We got the letter this morning and are busy trying to fulfill those requests," Carden said.
See the PDFs on this page for the text of the letter as well as the full explanation of the board's July 2010 denial.