No To Cherokee Charter Academy
We are opposed to Cherokee Charter Academy for the following reasons:
1. The school will be run by a Florida based for profit company which will use your tax dollars to purchase a building that Charter Schools USA will own for their school. According to the current petition, CCSD will be responsible for maintenance of the building (more money) that is owned by the Florida company.
2. Cherokee County School District is currently ranked #2 in Georgia and outperforms metro districts on CRCT and SAT tests. (92% of CCSD schools met AYP in 09-10; whereas only 35% of Charter School USA schools met AYP in the same year)
3. Cherokee Charter Academy does not offer a truly "unique" education as compared to CCSD schools.
4. Over $6 Million of federal, state and local funds which would have funded programs in CCSD schools (serving over 38,000 students) will go to Cherokee Charter Academy (serving 700+ students) in the first year alone.
5. CCSD Board of Education will not have the ability to approve the budget for the charter school, yet, Charter Schools USA will hold Cherokee Board of Education responsible for any monetary expenditures in excess of the budget. This is the potential to take more unspecified funds out of CCSD. In addition, taxpayers have no say in the budget or expenditures of their tax dollars. This includes parents whose children will attend the school. Finally, if Cherokee Charter Academy comes in under budget, the management company proposes to "sweep" or keep the left over funds into their for-profit corporation.
6. Cherokee Charter Academy proposes reduced class sizes and personalized education plans for each student resulting in a better education for their students. All with less experienced teachers, less technology in the classroom and while spending 48% of their budget on the classroom as compared to the 68% spend in CCSD schools. HMMMM.
7. CCSD and Cherokee Charter Academy share the same gifted pull-out model for elementary school; however, Cherokee Charter Academy will only offer advanced classes in middle school if the enrollment numbers warrant them.
8. Cherokee Charter Academy's promotes smaller class sizes of 18-22; however, their petition shows they will be 1 student less than CCSD 2010-2011 average in K-5 and the same in 6-8.
9. There are seemingly inherent peculiarities in the "lottery" selection process.
10. Cherokee Charter Academy does not adequately represent the demographics of CCSD students, nor did they provide any enrollment or formal information on the school in any language other than English. Keep in mind, this is not a magnet school with unique class offerings. It is simply similar classes as our current schools, serving a chosen few (2% of CCSD students - with many enrolling from private schools.)
If it is approved, not only will class sizes for the remaining 38,000+ students increase there will be educational entity not bound to the same standards as CCSD schools which will continue to tax the dwindling funds for traditional Cherokee County public schools.
It truly seems unfair to put the wants of a few over the educational needs of the majority of students.
Please add your child's school or school zone (i.e. Etowah Zone, etc.) in the Comments section. Email address is required, but will not show in the signature list.
**** IN ADDITION, PLEASE EMAIL THE SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS YOUR OPINION ON THE PROPOSED CHEROKEE CHARTER ACADEMY. ****
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