School officials held the second charter system town hall meeting Tuesday night with meager turnout from county citizens.
Superintendent Wanda Creel told those in attendance that the charter petition is moving forward and believes the change “will take our system to the next level.” The Barrow County School System has to declare by 2014 if it is going to be a charter system, the superintendent said.
“It is very progressive for the system to move forward as a charter system,” Creel said. “We don’t want to remain status quo.”
Currently, four school systems in the state have been approved as charter systems with more in the process of changing.
Claire Miller, assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction, outlined the five areas, including governance, education programs, goals and assessments, fiscal responsibility and operations which are required by the state for a system putting in for a charter petition.
Miller explained how the governance for charter systems is comprised of four levels: school governance teams, cluster governance teams, district governance teams and the board of education.
During the initial two years, each governance team will receive training and the BOE will continue to operate as it has been doing. School systems have the option by the 2013-2014 school year of putting in a charter system petition — which Miller said allows the most flexibility — investing in education excellence or remaining status quo.
Local school officials spent 1.5 years studying the options and the BOE voted unanimously in July to go the charter route. It was explained Tuesday night that moving to a charter system will not take away requirements of No Child Left Behind. The BOE is considering approval of the submission of the charter petition in the fall of 2010. The implementation year is targeted for 2011-2012.
Questions from those in attendance included one about how the change would impact funding for fine arts programs. It was explained that a charter system would not make a difference in whether programs are cut.
Tuesday’s meeting was the second on the charter petition process.
The first was held at Apalachee High School May 6.