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Charter school ruling not an issue here
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Forsyth County News


The state Supreme Court's recent ruling to allow only local school boards to approve charter schools is unlikely to have an impact in Forsyth County.

The county has no students enrolled in any of the 17 commission charter schools in Georgia.

“It does say an awful lot about our school system,” said Forsyth Board of Education member Nancy Roche. “I just think we offer a very, very good education for our students.

"We keep on top of what we need and what we offer to make our students successful.”

Forsyth’s school board signed a resolution in 2009 supporting the nearby Gwinnett County School System's fight against the charter schools commission, which was designed to give a second look at charter schools that had denied.

Forsyth Superintendent Buster Evans said he has concerns that “public money going into private entities was not a very transparent dispensation of tax dollars.”

While Gwinnett and a handful of other school districts rejected schools allowed by the commission, Forsyth has turned away just one charter school and it never sought state help.

The local school board voted in 2008 to deny Florida-based Charter Schools USA's bid to open a charter school. The reasons cited ranged from an unrealistic timeline and unchallenging performance objectives to duplication of services and contradictory or inadequate goals.

The company returned in 2009, only to withdraw its application after generating little interest from the community.

Roche said the county might be open to such schools, but it would depend entirely on “what the charter school would offer."

"We just haven’t seen one yet that offered anything unique,” she said.

Evans said with the court’s decision, it’s up to school districts to make sure they’re serving their entire student population.

“We who are entrusted in our jobs in public education need to ensure that we’re working to do the very best we can to meet the many, many expectations that are out there in regards to innovative education options for our students,” he said.