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County Schools Boss Firm: Deny Fulton Science Middle School Petition

At a key Dec. 20 vote, Fulton County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is urging the Board of Education to vote down Fulton Science Academy Middle School's charter to operate for eight more years.

At a key Dec. 20 vote, Fulton County Schools Superintendent Robert Avossa is urging the Board of Education to vote down request to operate for eight more years in Alpharetta.

"It has never been my intention to close the school," Avossa said at a press briefing a day before the BOE vote. But he argued that an eight-year extension is inappropriate for financial reasons, and insisted on a three-year extension.

Yet a three-year extension is not one of the BOE's options in the vote scheduled for Tuesday. The charter school insists on eight years, and that's what their application says. So the BOE must either discard Avossa's advice and charter for eight years, or kill it altogether and wait for a new application by the school.

If the county and FSAMS fail to agree on how many years to renew the charter, the school's permission to operate expires in June 2012.

FSAMS originally asked for a 10-year renewal, so eight is already a compromise in their opinion.

It's not clear what FSAMS' strategy will be if they lose their eight-year request. FSAMS governing board member and parent Edith Wichser would not be drawn out on particulars, but said her board "would like to sit down with Dr. Avossa" for more talks.

Avossa wants three years because the middle school has yoked itself into a $19 million bonded building project with two other charter schools:   and Fulton Sunshine Academy.  Their charters run out in June, 2015 and Avossa said syncing all three will make the schools easier to oversee.

"We cannot consider the finances of the three schools separately," he said. Because Fulton's 12 charter schools are publicly funded, the board oversees them as well as public schools. In the past few years, two unrelated Fulton charters have failed for financial or operational reasons.

FSAMS parent John Traynor attended the briefing and opined afterward that both sides should be satisfied with an eight-year bond because it would presumably synch the schools during the next charter renewal cycle.

Three isn't enough, he thinks: "it hurts the ability to recruit teachers, it hurts the ability to plan."

But the other two schools might not necessarily get their renewals in a five-year increment next time.

In the past few days, the school and Avossa cleared up another of his objections. The school wanted a broad waiver to enable them to hire personnel not certified in Georgia. The school has backed down and amended their proposal. In line with other schools, they will make more detailed proposals for hiring non-certified staff rather than getting a blanket waiver.

Elif Oz December 21, 2011 at 05:52 AM
If you want to see prejudice go to http://www.gulencharterschools.weebly.com look up the EEOC lawsuits against this group from non-gulenists and particularly female teachers.
MarkMunoz December 21, 2011 at 07:21 AM
http://www.istockanalyst.com/business/news/5608331/fitch-downgrades-fulton-science-academy-ga-s-revs-to-bb-rating-watch-negative Fitch downgrades FSA's rating to a BB cites inability to facilitate Charter renewal process.
juan December 21, 2011 at 05:02 PM
What the hell are you taking about? The best middle school in GA & the only argument you have are smears & negativity. Where is GA in academics -- oh yes at the bottom. And what is FSA doing -- doing what educators do teach children!
Radha December 22, 2011 at 01:50 PM
With the likes of a VERY real Elif Oz, Munoz, and Brain..and the smear campaign does not reduce the importance of the success of a school. If FBI was investigating and in your twisted minds you wish it's so and it's far from that the school got a NATIONAL award. So for your own good get real. ... get some REAL facts and this time study them. Oh I forgot, anti socials don't do that especially those tinted with phobias of non whites... This is where Nazis began....
Jim December 31, 2011 at 12:57 PM
You are right. You are matching wits with someone who is unencumbered by thought. In poor economic times the weak rely on rumor and innuendo to disparage classes of people that are different. Edmund Burke said, "Evil prevails when good men fail to act". The action of the legislative delegation is a first step. Good men and women won't remain silent. Justice prevails. I hope you have a blessed and peaceful holiday.

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