Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Charter cluster maneuver

In his AJC article "Druid Hills parents may use charter law to gain control over school cluster", Ty Tagami updates us on on how some parents are trying to improve local schools by taking more direct control over decisions that affect their schools:
The parents are empowered by a 2010 law that allows schools autonomy if they commit to improved performance. It was aimed at larger, mainly urban school districts, since many rural systems have only one high school. DeKalb is Georgia’s third largest system, with 21 high schools and 99,000 students. 
“It allows for decisions about education to be made closer to the student,” said Dan Weber, a former state senator who co-sponsored the law. “They know what their needs are, and the needs vary dramatically across a county as large as DeKalb.” 
The proposal for the Druid Hills cluster would make an International Baccalaureate program the centerpiece of the high school and at Druid Hills Middle. Five elementary schools are included: Avondale, Briar Vista, Fernbank, Laurel Ridge and McClendon.
As to the actual process...
The parents and staff at the affected schools must write a charter, then hold a vote with at least 60 percent approval. It’s up to those affected to determine how much autonomy they want. The cluster, which would not get any additional taxpayer money, can manage some services on its own while looking to the district for others, such as busing, food service and human resources administration. 
Read the whole thing @ AJC!