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Cherokee Charter Academy Gets Extension, Adds High School

The Georgia Board of Education accelerated the charter approval process during their Thursday meeting.

Cherokee Charter Academy was one of 14 Georgia charter schools that got a welcome surprise in the form of an early charter approval from the Georgia Board of Education.

Although the petition to renew all the charters was included on agenda for the Thursday evening, they were originally going to be presented as information items only and were not to be voted on until a meeting next month.

A spokesman from the Georgia Department of Education told the Cherokee Tribune that instead of waiting until February, the board moved all the petitions to their consent agenda for that night's meeting and approved the agenda unanimously.

Cherokee Charter Academy's newest petition included plans to open a high school, which will allow the school to serve students from Kindergarten to 12th grade.

The school's new charter will run from July 1, 2013 to June 30, 2018.

Frank Jones January 22, 2013 at 12:27 AM
Sounds like the Georgia Department of Education is operating behind closed doors. If the charter applications were to be presented and then voted on in February, then why were they voted on without due notice, and possibly, due consideration. In the case of Cherokee Charter Academy, this is a school that is in its 2nd year and its 1st year results weren't anything great. If you remember, their year-end test scores were no better, and in many cases, were worse than surrounding schools. Now, without additional test scores, without any Form 990s for review, and without any consistent results, their charter has been approved for another 5 years AND they've been approved to offer high school classes...WOW. Any reasonable person and an unbiased governmental agency would take caution before giving CCA and its parent CSUSA five additional years. Unfortunately, with Amendment One, this will be standard operating procedure..."Give charters everything they want!"
Thomas Hart January 22, 2013 at 02:23 AM
Frank, I followed your browbeating of the charter effort over the last year. You had to bend like a a pretzel to cherry pick and dismiss the first year results. We know where your heart is, Frank. Regardless, it is good to compare the charter to the TPS's in cost and effectiveness. It brings a new consciousness to the existing educational bureaucracy. Something they have not benefitted from till now. I hope we can all pull for this effort and the positive potential it brings to our community.
KELLI January 22, 2013 at 01:46 PM
There must be a hell of a lot of For-Profit loving republicans in GA... They want to rush through as many of these For-Profit schools as they can, even when the process isn't kosher...and the charter schools aren't performing well.. (as Frank Jones has eluded to).... If not performing well, why push them through without due process? ...For corporate profits $$$ down the line?
KELLI January 22, 2013 at 01:57 PM
School costs may be lower 'now' for these charters, only because they are trying to gain favor with the community... but once they have done that - I don't see costs staying low. And, isn't it a burden on parents wallets? I understand parents are shelling out more and more money every year for things related to schools that used to be FREE.... Charging for student parking... charging for all kinds of extracaricular fees... Band costs, etc. I don't have the whole list of extra costs on the parents in Georgia, that never were in public schools in other states - but you can research this yourself...
Frank Jones January 22, 2013 at 06:42 PM
Thomas...I didn't have to cherry pick anything to dismiss the first year results. All I had to do was read the results. The information was readily available for anyone who can add and use a little common sense. As to your "cost and effectiveness" argument, that holds no water. CCA received a million dollar-ish donation (shall we say loan) from CSUSA in order to balance its books in the first year. Further, CCA does not provide all of the same services that TPSs do. All the while, the financial information and success of the 2nd year are yet to be seen. One must wonder why CCA doesn't post its budget on its website. One must wonder why CCA doesn't post its operating results on its website. One must wonder why CCA doesn't use an open public bidding process for its services. One must wonder why CCA doesn't file its Form 990 with the IRS timely. Oh, I forgot. They don't do any of that because they don't want people seeing what they're up to.
Thomas Hart January 23, 2013 at 03:34 AM
Frank, you're just a wet blanket. You should try really hard to say something nice every once in a while. Persuasive people are positive people. By the way, the CCA budget in on their website. While you're at it, take a look at CCSD's budget on their site. Let me know how they compare.
Frank Jones January 23, 2013 at 02:02 PM
Thomas...Name-calling, how very mature of you. Grow up and use facts and logic in your positions. My mistake in respect to their budget being on their website. It previously wasn't there and I'm glad that they've finally decided to put their budget online. Hopefully, they'll also put their actual results online as well. I have read the CCSD budget as it has always been available. In respect to CCA's budget, the glaring figure is the $892,000 of CSUSA Management Fee which is 11.7% of their projected revenue. That fee is excessive as it is 1/5 of the total compensation & benefits for school personnel.
hope January 23, 2013 at 06:38 PM
Five...more...years. Rock & Roll! Congrats CCA.

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