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Unfiltered: BOE Vice-Chair Supports School Choice

Charter Schools USA, the operator of Cherokee Charter Academy, must submit an amendment to its previous petition, Kim Cochran says.

Editor's note: Cherokee County Board of Education Vice-Chair Kim Cochran and other colleagues did not reply to Canton-Sixes Patch's emailed request for comment on . However, district spokeswoman Barbara Jacoby responded with a PDF file of web links that explain the district's protocol. That document can be viewed on this page. Cochran sent the following email to a Patch reader and charter school supporter this morning.

Thank you for your recent email regarding Charter Schools USA’s potential Charter Academy located in Cherokee County. Please know that as a public servant I have reviewed all correspondence I have received regarding this matter and have been keeping abreast of the situation as it has developed.

I am and always have been a proponent of school choice, and I have met and worked with officials involved in the proposed Cherokee Charter Academy in the past.  Both in 2009 and 2010 I was prevented from voting on this issue; in July of 2009 I was forced to recuse myself from the vote on the grounds that a family member was involved in a business negotiation as a result of the proposed Charter School, and in June of 2010 I could not be present at the meeting as I was just being released from the hospital following the birth of my son.  That I have not been able to vote on this issue has been a disappointment in the past, and I look forward to being involved in the decision-making and not just the process this time.

That being said, please know that no vote can take place on Thursday May 19th.  This is unrelated to whether or not the issue is on the agenda; we simply cannot recall a vote from approximately one year ago, especially as we now have three new board members.  There are several reasons for this, and they will likely be discussed at Thursday night’s meeting.  The BOE is certainly not attempting to avoid this issue.  Indeed, though the item will most likely not appear as an agenda item, it will be discussed under section “B” for School Board Members.  During that time, we hope to give a bit of information on the process that is available for re-submitting a petition that can, hopefully, result in a timely and successful outcome for all involved.  To be clear, the first step to a resolution of this matter is for CCSD to receive from Charter Schools USA an amendment to their previous petition.

While board members may be discussing a potential submission of an amendment to Charter School USA’s former petition, we will not discuss the specific aspects of the previous petition or an amendment (should that be submitted to CCSD by Thursday night) since we will not be voting at that time.  Finally, as this is the second meeting of the month (we also met May 5th), there is no public participation on the agenda.  The meeting scheduled for June 16th , however, will have a portion for public comment.  Further, your voices have been and continue to be heard via your other methods of support and communication for this proposed Charter School.

Should you wish to attend Thursday night’s meeting to listen to our overview of what those interested in this topic can expect in the coming weeks, certainly feel free to do so.  But, to reiterate, please remember that this discussion will be very general in nature and will not be preceded by public comment.  Again, thank you for your sincere responses to the issue at hand.  I look forward to working towards a successful resolution.

Sincerely,

Kim Cochran

Post 7

Vice-Chair

Cherokee County Board of Education

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