Education Victory in Americus

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone, but I’m a school choice proponent. I really like public charter schools.  So when I heard about the Sumter County Board of Ed approving a charter petition, there was a swell of joy in my heart.

The Americus Times-Reporter has the whole story, but last night the BoE approved a petition for Furlow Charter School. It was also a vote 6-3. While I’m generally more comfortable with landslide votes, a 6-3 shows that there is a clear majority in support of choice and not just 50%+1 majority.

Some of you may be wondering “Big whoop, there’s a charter school in south Georgia. What’s the big deal?” This is important for several reasons. First it shows that the State Charter Commission is having an effect. Having two authorizers ensures that quality charter petitions will be approved.

This also shows that charter schools can service rural areas and that a market does in fact exist. That market isn’t going to be as robust as a City of Atlanta or a Fulton County market, but it is a market none the less.

Finally, and most importantly, this is a win for the kids. They now have another option for their education. If they aren’t being served at the traditional public school, they will have a new option. And that’s what the charter movement is all about. Ensuring a quality education so our youth so they can succeed.


  1. Dr. Monica Henson says:

    Just to add this, Jon– there are many high school students in South Georgia already being served online by Provost Academy. We are a Commission charter high school that’s been in South Georgia for two years, working with underserved populations, including returning dropouts and juvenile offenders released from custody We celebrate and applaud the great work happening in Sumter County!

  2. ChildrenFirst says:

    Eric, you make a great point about the State Commission. A quality application is much less likely to be rejected without fair consideration if local boards know that the SCSC will likely approve it if it has merit.

    As a member of the SCSC, I am never disappointed when a good application is approved locally. If we were left reviewing and governing only those schools with multiple-district service areas, that would be just fine with me.

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