DeKalb Schools Conversion Charter Guidelines 05/12/2014 – not fully autonomous
Options for DCSD conversion charters up for renewal
Fulton Schools Charter System Application – Not fully autonomous – (Page 50 has a good chart of their flexibility)
McNair Conversion Charter Petition – Autonomous personnel and financial decisions – Page 33 – “The school will implement a rigorous interview process to select and hire highly qualified teachers”
State Memo – charters must be autonomous
Across the state, the autonomy of conversion charters has been optional until now. The Georgia Department of Education released this memo, dated June 2014, saying,
Charter School Autonomy is No Longer Optional
- Charter renewal applicants – including conversion charter school applicants – that are not granted full autonomy by their school districts will be recommended for denial.
- Full autonomy means that the charter school’s Governing Board must have the final authority in personnel decisions, financial decisions, curriculum and instruction, resource allocation, establishing and monitoring the achievement of school improvement goals, and school operations.
The DeKalb Schools Board recently approved a Conversion Charter with full autonomy including personnel and budget decisions. The DeKalb College & Career Academy Conversion Charter School petition says, “The school will implement a rigorous interview process to select and hire highly qualified teachers and staff.”
Moving forward, I look forward to all Conversion Charters being implemented with the same amount of personnel and budget autonomy.
DeKalb Schools is holding public meetings regarding the district wide migration to a Charter System. The meetings will be at 6 p.m. at the following high schools and dates:
- Lithonia High on Aug. 26
- Lakeside High on Aug. 27
- Dunwoody High on Aug. 28
- Towers High on Sept. 2
- Stephenson High on Sept. 3
Ahh…..but what about “Charter Systems?” And what happens to the existing conversion charters once DeKalb goes to that model?
As you know, all school districts in Georgia must make a Flexibility Decision. The “Charter System”, which DeKalb Schools has chosen, is “Charter” in name only. The district is allowed waivers and can maintain central control over financial and staffing decisions at each school.
Fortunately, Conversion Charters still exist within a Charter System. I’m happy to see DeKalb Schools has embraced the full autonomy of conversion charters.