The Marietta Daily Journal reports that Cobb County officials are considering applying for charter status in the coming years. The move would likely make them one of the first to do so under the Charter Systems Act, which passed the Senate this week by a vote of 53-2. The bill now heads to the House.
Schools receiving a charter under the bill would be released from regulations imposing class-limit sizes and hiring practices if they promise to meet certain education standards.
Senate Bill 39, the Charter Systems Act, backed by Republican Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, would eventually allow school boards to apply for the same flexibility for their entire systems that are already granted to charter schools.
Cagle’s plan would create a pilot program in which five systems would be allowed to pursue charter status as early as next year.
“This model would promote bottom-up management, where parents, teachers and principals would be empowered,” said Sen. Dan Weber, R-Dunwoody, chairman of the senate’s Education committee who sponsored the bill on Cagle’s behalf. “They need the freedom to innovate; we need to untie their hands.”
Charter schools are created when groups of parents, teachers and administrators petition the state. Often based on innovative concepts, the charters are free from state and federal regulations and are required only to meet standards negotiated between the school and state education officials.
Read the entire article, the MDJ did a great job covering the impact on Cobb County. They note that Cobb is not likely to among the first five school systems to apply for a charter, but that, according to Cobb Schools Superintendent Fred Sanderson, Cobb “would carefully watch those five to see if it should follow suit.”