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Fulton Science Academy Middle School Could Lose Its Charter

The National Blue Ribbon School wants more than the superintendent's office is willing to give, so a recommendation to deny its charter renewal has been made.

, named a earlier this school year, could lose its charter at the end of the school year with a vote by the Fulton County Board of Education next week.

The charter school's governing board filed to renew its charter with Fulton County Schools, but the superintendent's office isn't budging on two points.

The charter school first asked for a 10-year charter and a "limited, but broad" waiver of Title 20 regulations. Title 20 requires all professional employees in Georgia public elementary and secondary schools to hold state certification.

After a report from the superintendent's office and response from the charter school, School Board Chairman Linda Schultz said the charter is on the discussion agenda in its Dec. 20 meeting.

Visit Fulton County School's website to view a video of the board meeting. (Advance to 1:12:26 for the start of this agenda item.)

"After several months of discussion, we have come to a mutual understanding on all but two items. We have repeatedly indicated that the system will not grant a ten year contract and will not grant full flexibility from Title 20, commonly termed a 'blanket waiver,'" Superintendent Robert Avossa said in a reading from the executive summary that recommends denying the charter renewal.

"It makes no sense to close the school, or handicap it with prescriptive measures that has parent and community support as evidenced by its applications exceeding its enrollment by more than double and Alpharetta's issuance of approximately $19 million in bonds to construct a new campus," said Angela Lassiter, parent representative of the charter school's governing board.

Speaking before the board on Dec. 13, Lassiter said the school was not seeking a blanket waiver. Adoption of school system policies in the charter put some restrictions in place.

Under its own charter system application to the Georgia Department of Education, individual school charters are limited to three years.

Fulton Science Academy Middle School, Fulton Science Academy High School (formerly known as TEACH), and Fulton Sunshine Academy have jointly solicited an $18.9 million bond to fund building a new campus to house all three schools.  The three schools are liable for repayment of the bond. It's the Fulton School System's position that a three-year renewal would place all three schools in the same renewal cycle, ensuring adequate monitoring of the financial liabilities.

The Fulton County School System is no obligated to repay the bonds, board attorney Glenn Cook said.

The charter school's governing board said it needs the 10-year charter to ensure financial stability and enrollment, and to save millions in interest on its bonds. A shorter term for the charter would increase interest rates on the payback. Lassiter said the charter school offered a compromise of eight years to put all three schools on the same renewal schedule.

Fulton Science Academy gets almost its entire budget from taxpayer dollars through a grant from Fulton County Schools. The school system provides $3.9 million annually, according to Fulton Schools Chief Financial Officer Robert Morales.

Fulton Science Academy's governing board disputes the superintendent's office statement that previous charter schools have failed because of blanket waivers.

Victory Charter School's renewal was denied in 2005 as it had no special education teachers, its board was not bonded and the building was cited by the EPA.

Fulton County Charter High School for Mathematics & Science closed in 2004 when it revoked its own charter, citing financial difficulties.

Fulton Science Academy Middle School consistently gets the highest ITBS scores and outperforms other North Fulton middle schools, Lassiter told the Fulton School Board as she asked them to reject the superintendent's recommendation to deny the charter renewal.

Timeline

  • 2001                       First charter contract approved
  • 2006                       Charter contract renewed
  • Aug 21, 2011           Charter renewal application filed
  • Nov. 3, 2011            Charter school, school system representatives meet
  • Nov. 11, 2011          Another meeting
  • Nov. 21, 2011          Final charter application
  • Dec. 6, 2011            Final meeting before school board meeting
  • Dec. 13, 2011          Superintendent's office recommends denial
  • Dec. 20, 2011          School board schedules more discussion before a vote
  • June 30, 2012          Current charter expires
Cheryl December 15, 2011 at 07:27 PM
Mark - the racist undertones and emotions are clouding your perspective. You are making sweeping generalizations, illogical linkages and conclusions which no logical person would come to. It's not possible to have a discussion with someone if they are not going to stick to the facts of this situation. Could we please get this discussion back onto the issue of school choice (FSA is not for everyone and obviously Mark you would not choose FSA for your child) and should our elected officials be the ones to decide on choices for our children? As a Christian parent, I want choices and FSA was the right choice for my daughter after being in Fulton County Public Elementary school. She is getting the push and education that I chose for her at this time. She's also being introduced to diversity in all shapes, colors and beliefs which has allowed us to have amazing conversations about the world. The next generation needs to have a global perspective so that they can understand and thrive peacefully.
Karen W December 15, 2011 at 08:44 PM
For the record, the campus is NOT being built with taxpayer $. Charter schools do not receive any SPLOST $. The Fulton Science Academy Inc., Fulton Educational Services, Inc and Fulton Sunshine Academy Inc. are liable for repaying the 19 million bond that was floated by Alpharetta Development Authority to build the new campus. Hey guess what...they are saving us $.
Zehra Guller December 15, 2011 at 09:25 PM
See who MarkMunoz actually is http://goosenetwork.tumblr.com/post/10570103524/marys-story-a-former-gulen-charter-school It is shame that she does not even put her real name. She does not even live in Georgia. Now this successful school has to deal with this non-sense.
Zehra Guller December 15, 2011 at 09:27 PM
See who Elif Oz actually is http://goosenetwork.tumblr.com/post/10570103524/marys-story-a-former-gulen-charter-school It is shame that she is keep changing usernames and commenting here. MarkMunoz and Elif Oz same people. These two names are not real either. It is very sad that this successful school has to deal with this people who cannot even put their real names.
Zehra Guller December 15, 2011 at 09:39 PM
See who MarkMunoz is http://goosenetwork.tumblr.com/post/10570103524/marys-story-a-former-gulen-charter-school
Alexis December 15, 2011 at 09:43 PM
I am a STUDENT who GOES to the SCHOOl. And I love it. The school taught we meaning and individually, I hate being lost in the crowd and NOT being cared about. FSA DOES GIVE ME HOPE. I made friends and connections, I wouldn't be able to love without. Being an 8th grader and here for 3 years has been an amazing experience. FSA's teachers care about me and my education. Other public schools don't (or the one I would be going to without FSA.) You are fools to think FSA is evil and all it is, is some stupid Turkish school. SAVE FSA!
Terry December 15, 2011 at 09:59 PM
Your comments are laughable. You don't think FSA MS is a huge success, huh? Check out this link from FULTON COUNTY SCHOOLS listing of test scores which shows FSA MS as having the highest ITBS scores in the County in EVERY subject. If you look at archived scores you'd see FSA MS on top 4 straight years. I'd like to know what your definition of successful is... In regards to all the Gulen comments, again, you don't know the school at all or you'd know that it isn't true. Like the person above mentioned, there's no hidden agenda at FSA MS, just diversity and a global perspective, which our children need to not be narrow-minded...
Terry December 16, 2011 at 01:33 AM
Forgot to post the link I mentioned above - here is link about the test scores. I am sure it will be available on FCS website at some point too. http://alpharetta.patch.com/articles/itbs-scores
shannon December 16, 2011 at 03:55 AM
My kids have loved attending Fulton Science Academy, both elementary and middle. We really do not want to see the board of education not renew the charter. My son raised his reading level by 2 grades last year and I know this wouldn't of happened at his old school. (His old school is a top rated school in Roswell) We have been really happy with the school and don't want it to close. My daughter has always done well in school and has really thrived on the opportunities that she has been offered at FSA middle. The teachers are approachable and caring. They offer the children much more than an education. They offer the children the opportunity to learn about tolerance. Our society today is still segregated no matter how much we don't want to admit it. These children are able to learn and accept other cultures with respect. I wouldn't have it any other way. They are experiencing what they will need in the future in working with everyone. How can you close a school that received a National Blue Ribbon, when the rest of the state can't even compare. Georgia is near the bottom in education. We came from New York/ Connecticut and we were looking for the best possible education that we could give our children. This is why we send our children to FSA. We shouldn't lose something that actually allows students to excel.:) Remeber the real reason we have schools; it is for the children!
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:15 AM
Blah Blah, here it comes again from Cemaat. Geez don't you guys know you are obvious. First of all these schools are known for changing scores and this has been witnessed by many American teachers that have or teach at these Gulen Schools. Your Marketing is the same from school to school, you fool no one. You even slam the online "Great Schools" board to give yourself high marks, like Americans are stupid and can't see through your miserable lies. Don't worry, you probably will get your renewal but not under the terms that you want without accountability. Who do you think you are taking bond financing, pushing your Gulen brand of Turkocentric teaching without any regard for American values and honesty? You are very arrogant and maybe not this time, but the next school application will be denied. If you are keeping score it is Gulen Schools Denied 74 Gulen Schools pending or accepted 35 See you at the next Board Meeting, America will win.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:17 AM
Fake test scores!!! Alexis, you are not a student there. You all try WAY too hard to convince Americans that you are some kind of great scholars. Take your bribes elsewhere.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:20 AM
Zehra you gave it up that you are Hizmet, now why would you post that libelous blog if you were NOT followers of Gulen? The Kazler is TOO big for you to figure out, you have way too many people worldwide that don't like your stinking group : from Journalists to Teachers Unions, Kurds to American Tax Payers. The list grows every every day, country to country.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:25 AM
Cheryl when you guys are losing your arguments you push out the "race card" or "Islamophobe" First of all Turkey is not a race, they are an ethnicity and not everyone in turkey is Tukic. I am not Islamophobic, I am islamic aware. Funny thing is other Islamic groups don't recognize Islam according to Gulen the 5th grade scholar. Hizmet leave while you can for Canada, the run in America is coming to an end. Get your exit visas ready, You know the h1-b Visas you charged to the American taxpayer then stole their jobs by bringing in your unqualified and unlicensed brethren so they can Tuzuk back to Gulen's foundation. You fool no one. It is just a matter of time.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:33 AM
Terry your comments are laughable, another trait of some Gulen schools is to give good grades to a few select students then get their parents to praise the school because their kid is FINALLY getting an A. Here is from another article, care to talk about the conflict of interest at your Gulen Grace Institute? As the school prepared to apply for renewal, the district investigated its finances and found problems with the $156,000 contract with the Grace Institute. County school officials criticized Fulton Science for failing to follow the procurement process and said that relationships between the school and the nonprofit were a “conflict of interest” because they shared common board members, said Laura Stowell, the charter liaison for Fulton County Schools. The principal and the executive director have since resigned from the Grace board. They said they were not paid for their work. Like I said; You probably will get your renewal but NOT for the terms that you are demanding. Hide behind a few American parents that you bused in and keep giving their darlings A's and make them appear like they are getting some sort of European education.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 04:38 AM
If Hizmet wasn't so arrogant you would have amended your renewal for 3 years. But no you are greedy and want 10 years of NO accountability. Why don't you ask for permission before you cause problems for the school district? Don't you think you have to follow rules in AMerica? Oh that is right you just have your opposition arrested in Turkey, like the 160 Journalists that dare write about your cancer group. Here is more about FSA. Good reading... The charter campus paid more than $150,000 to a nonprofit without first putting the contract out for bid, creating an apparent conflict of interest. The school’s executive director and principal served on the board of the Grace Institute for Educational Research and Resources, which contracts with schools to provide technical support, professional development and purchasing services. School district staff has advised Fulton Science that it could amend its application and reapply for a three-year contract. The shorter term would bring the middle school under the same renewal schedule as its affiliate campuses, Fulton Science Academy High School and Fulton Sunshine Academy. The schools joined together to borrow $18 million in revenue bonds from the city of Alpharetta’s Development Authority to help pay for a new campus, which opens in the fall. It will eventually house all three schools.
Cheryl December 16, 2011 at 04:53 AM
Wow it's obvious the impersonator "Mark" (see the links to who MarkMunoz truly is) is not focused on FSA but has an ulterior agenda....the values and honesty "Mark" references are obviously not America's. Maybe "Mark" should go back to the basics, by reading the United States of America's Constitution. Further, I'm tired of outsiders like "Mark" trying to take over local discussions. "Mark" has never been in Roswell and is not a voter in our state. Having now vented.....okay back to our discussion about school choice....
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 05:00 AM
PLEEZ...there you go again throwing our Constitution around like you really believe in it and understand it. Don't take our civil liberties in the USA for granted!. Besides most of your are not even American citizens, so mind your own business. This is what Gulen likes so much about operating out of the USA where he hides like a rat in the Poconos, PA mountains on 20 acres. Your group abuses the liberities we have in the USA as in your country, you would have been arrested after your HocaEfendi's "moving through the arteries famous speech" Russia has thrown you out, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and you are under investigation in about 1 dozen countries. Where will it hit next? Who is the next ex-Gulenist that will come forward with information about your "lighthouses" and migration around the world setting up schools and businesses that only benefit your group? When? Where? will it happen next. stay tuned.
MarkMunoz December 16, 2011 at 05:03 AM
There is a reason this school is being investigatied as they all are. Do research on the articles in NY Times by author Stephanie Saul, USA Today by Greg Toppo, CNN, Fox News, PBS and other leading worldwide journalists who are determined to get the truth out about Imam Ordusu. Say how is the Harmony School of Political Science going with all the lawsuits? http://www.harmonyparenttruth.blogspot.com Spare me the reading of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. I am an American and know if better than you.
Bill December 16, 2011 at 07:19 AM
Thats really funny tossing out the Bill of Rights like that. Send a copy of that to your president GUl and to Baba Gulen. Maybe you would not have have over 100 journalists in jail for writing and investigating the Gulen Movement. We all know the pull Gulen still has in Turkey. How about those children under the age of 15 you boys tossed in prison who came here to the USA for the music festival because they sang a song. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dobh81Tu7r4 I guess its acceptable for American Children to sing in Turkish but not alright for Turkish children to sing in Kurdish. Even if they were in America when it happened. You want to throw the Bill of Rights? Most of the money taken in by these schools goes back to Turkey to enforce these laws against human rights. You send your child to one of these schools you are paying them to kill another child in another part of the world. Yes the American government is perfectly aware of this. But it is up to you the parents who has to choose. Is it really worth it over a few phoney awards? Do your research and use the brains that God gave you people. I for one would have problems sleeping at night. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT9Gk3tkGsk&feature=results_video&playnext=1&list=PL0E804D4B4414F7AA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1JH6jD73n0&feature=related
Bill December 16, 2011 at 07:20 AM
Do your research folks. The Gulenists are 5 million in numbers. 70% control the police and education in Turkey. This guy wants to hide behind our Bill of Rights as an argument. The GUlenists built the Harmony School of Political Science in Texas if you let them continue this may not be your children today but it will be your grand children tomorrow.
Cheryl December 16, 2011 at 01:30 PM
Everyone "MarkMunoz" has now switched to the "Bill" alias. Because I so strongly believe in the rights and freedom's of the USA, this continued discussion without facts continues. "Bill" will not allow us Roswell citizens, (I'm born and raised in the USA and actually live in Roswell unlike "Bill", member of the DAR via my mother, and an educated registered Republican), to continue our discussion of FSA but has instead taken over the site for her political agenda. And the tone just continues to be that of an uneducated, bigot who is spewing the same arguments we've heard every century when America tries something new. We can no longer pretend our education system is working. Too many other countries are ahead of us and we need to once again be a power house for business innovation and growth and this requires we give our children a solid foundation in Math and Science.
Elif Oz December 16, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Everything these people are saying about the Gulen movement and their schools is the truth. All you have to do is read our Turkish news (except for Gulen controlled Todays Zaman) Soon the parents will grow tired of being used by the movement, as the local politicans and academia have. Gulen Movement doesn't have enough money to bribe everyone.. This is the same tactics they tried in Turkey, Netherlands, etc., twisting our laws and Constitution for their benefit. In Turkey this group is despised, hated as they are taking jobs from us and only putting in their members of Cemaat. We have over 300,000 unemployed teachers in Turkey because of the cheating on exams of the Gulen people and now they have a Gulenist (Ozcun) who is ahead of the higher education. Gulen Movement "works to the arteries of the system and will either place their own in power or manipulate the numbers with a few useful idiots" They are wrong America is above average in international rankings for education. On the last OCED report of 36 countries - Turkey fell BELOW Average at 34 just above Chile And Mexico. Gulen Movement cares NOTHING about education, and are not out to promote intelligent children in America or anywhere else. This is about creating Feto's "Golden Generation" try to buck their board once like other Americans that served on their school boards...........see how fast they take your rights away and your children's rights away when you disagree with them.
Elif Oz December 16, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Here is an example of one Turkish article on Gulen Movement and their losing schools. http://www.turkishnews.com/en/content/2011/12/15/turkey-hearing-casts-spotlight-on-gulen/ In Turkey we have the highest rate of dropouts at 2,000 a day and over 14 million cannot read or right. Of Course, the Gulen Movement will say it is only Kurds as they hate Kurds and want to eliminate them. Still trying to put in schools in Northern Iraq for the Oil rich area of the Kurdis, and it will all backfire. As that poster said earlier, you will probably get your renewal - but not under your terms. Those American families that you paid to bus in to protest will soon wake up, no one stays uneducated to your lies forever. http://www.turkishinvitations.weebly.com
Bill December 16, 2011 at 05:02 PM
Ha ha the paranoid mind of a Gulen follower.Again by your actions and behaviors is another example of how creepy your cult really is. What?? Not more than one person could be on to your little scheme? What does your so called political affiliation have to do with the price of meat in Timbuktu? Fulton Science Academy is also under Cosmos Foundation. The School like Cosmos mishandles public funds. There Harmony School of Political of Science has a half million dollar leanagainst it for not paying the contractors who did the work. Also Pelican Foundation has avery suspicious 990 tax form with over 7 million dollars in travel expences. Thats an awful lot of people like mayors, governors, congressmen etc being sent to Turkey to sway there decision on Gulen Charter Schools. There is no bigotry here. Just an observation of your behaviors, actions and deeds. Like your blanket clause asking for no accountability the Gulen Movement has and its cult members has no accountability. Like the manger of Abramson Charter School in La. There is no such thing as a bad employee. Just bad mangers who have no accountability for there actions. When you go to work there is something that you have to do when you are there. Its simple, you work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKyUBjDWDCE There is also a class action lawsuit for ex teachers and employees against the Gulen Schools. Be sure to pass this along to others who have been mistreated by staff. http://www.charterschoolwatchdog.com/
Bill December 16, 2011 at 05:09 PM
you said: "We can no longer pretend our education system is working. Too many other countries are ahead of us and we need to once again be a power house for business innovation and growth and this requires we give our children a solid foundation in Math and Science." Let us see where Turkey is on the list of the world's ranking of Math and Science Teachers. Your cult wants unlimited freedom, lack of over-site with our children and tax money? Dream on, your children are not safe at any of these schools. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_gc_0MtuNA&context=C3dc50a9ADOEgsToPDskIlCBfTdP0R0xHlXoF-wYaW
Amy December 18, 2011 at 02:14 PM
Bill you are just a white supremist arrogant person. Anyone not white is a cult. I'm sorry the society has to put up with you and your likes of extremists racial beings. Take your views and made up anti main stream AMERICAN words to the red neck woods where you belong! Waste of time.
Bill December 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM
Anyone non white is in a Cult? That is taking your point of view to an extreme isn't it? What I want to know is how could a so called parent from Georgia be certain of ones race over the internet comment board. But if you really want to get into back woods red neck comparisons your Gulen cult makes up the majority of the AKP party back in Turkey which heavily supports your president Abdula Gul. When he was 29 he had raped then married is 14 year old cousin. In this country that could get one twenty years in prison but in yours you get elected to become president. Very shameful. Which is why like in in your other Gulen Charter School in Az. when a student is sexually harrassed by a teacher you concile that information and tried to hide it from parents. In Oklahoma when the rape occured on campus the first reaction reported by staffers was that the first thing out of the Turkish principals mouth was how do we cover this up. Then in Texas after reviewing the comment boards the Turkish staff again attacked the comment boards pretending to be parents and students to defend Grishams Reeves thinking that would deflect the damage already caused to the school. The same thing happened in Louisiana. Your principal tried to blame the teachers for not doing there jobs. I would not call that red neck behavior because that would be insulting to American red necks.
Bill December 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM
No I would call a bunch of animals with no shame no guilt absolutely no conscience when it comes to the safety of our children. With a track record like this why would Fulton even be given 3 years ? I would have had you all pay that money back to the state and federal with fines and interest, your visas canceled and plane ticket back your third world country where you can worship Gulen from across the sea while applauding your inbred cousin raping dictator. Even the Queen of England was offended by the Turkish first lady. First impressions really are ever lasting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WydlXGjIeRM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=20a4VATOMAA http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fFz5w1u98Gc http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-4Y3DCfJ_s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpR84XF7N5s How can anyone take your cult or country serious at all or even if children are even safe. The worse thing of it all is that over hear you are being on your best behavior which isn't saying much at all.
Bill December 19, 2011 at 11:18 AM
Finally for good measure now that we covered Fethullah Gulen Cult leader. Your child raping inbred cousin marrying president and now your mighty Pasha Prime Minister Erdogan . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OsLq6Cmd6hk&feature=related I see three of the worlds biggest baffoons on the planet in which your cult worships. I really do hope the people of Georgia does it research and reconsiders even thinking of letting this charter go through before another nickle is wired back to Turkey to advance there cause.
Kristin December 19, 2011 at 11:49 AM
Hey fellow FSA Parents, I love that we are all so passionate about our school and want to defend it, but this person obviously enjoys trying to get a rise out of people and I feel it is best to ignore her. Anyone actually involved in the school knows how amazing it is and loves it, so we don't need to pay any attention to conspiracy theories or paranoid delusions. Anyone reading this blog is smart enough to see that this troll (troll= someone who shows up on internet boards to stir up trouble) knows nothing about the school and obviously has some issues that have nothing to do with us or our school. I urge you to join me in ignoring this person, since heated responses are what she is here to receive. I will not be posting again on this thread.

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