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State Board Denies Fulton Science Academy Middle School Charter

Board members criticize the school's Governing Board and management over noncompliance, bond issues.

lost its appeal to the state Board of Education for a charter this morning, so the school will be closed in July.

The school's charter through Fulton County Schools expires June 30.

Angela Lasseter, a representative of the school's Governing Board asked the state board to wait 30 days to make their decision so all the information could be heard and documents read.

"It impacts so many of our parents, including me. "Hearing both sides and all of the documentation is critical to making an informed objective opinion," she said.

But the board members said Department of Education staff have been working with the school's administration for months, ever since the December 2011 charter renewal application denial by Fulton County. Another 30 days won't change the facts.

The school's governance and financial stability were called into question, particularly regarding the issuance of $19 million in bonds and the construction work on a new school campus.

State Board Member Dan Israel said even though bond documents say the state, county and city aren't liable for anything doesn't mean they can't be sued.

"It's not just looking at Fulton Science Academy in isolation. This has precedence for what we do for other charter schools that come behind," he said.

If the state board approved this charter, the next school to come before them with bonds already issued would point to Fulton Science Academy and expect its charter also to be approved, Israel said.

Board member Larry Winter said parents don't seem to understand the process.

"The Fulton Science Academy Governing Board and school management have acted during the past five months as if the state charter process is an opportunity for them to strike a deal so they can have a charter. The state charter process is instead an appeal by the school to the state," Winter said.

The school is asking the state to overturn the Fulton County School Board's charter denial because it was not properly considered. But that's not what the state found, Winter said.

"Thirty more days won't change a thing," said Board member Brian Burdette. "They had the opportunity to work with the department and that didn't happen."

Roswell Parent May 10, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Unbelievable. This is not in the best interest of the kids. I can only hope that someone does a postmortem on this debacle and gets to the real truth.
Kelly Williams May 10, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I'd like to thank Linda Schultz, president of the FCBOE for leading this charge to close the county's best middle school. Way to go Linda! THEY ARE ALL BUREAUCRATIC JERKS that care more about "processes" than our kids' educations. Vote these idiots out of office as soon as possible.
tina May 10, 2012 at 03:54 PM
That's what happens when you try to run rough shot...this is unfortunate and it serves as a reminder that charters cannot be measured by test scores alone
Betty Boop May 10, 2012 at 05:58 PM
Well said Tina! Noncompliance came back to bite them in the behind!
Kelly Williams May 10, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Tina and Boop - You really think the kids should be punished for "non-compliance"? You're both idiots
Adam May 10, 2012 at 07:37 PM
We want education free from politics !!! Maybe this explains why Georgia lacks so far behind the rest of the nation. Sincerely,
Jim May 11, 2012 at 12:58 AM
You go Tina and Betty boop. Let's have more schools like hopewell middle school that covers up abuse by a teacher and has to use our tax dollars to settle lawsuits. A huge win for Georgia education! You guys keep leading the charge to close more high performing schools that keep our kids safe while we leave other pathetic low performing schools in Fulton county open! No wonder Georgia spends more money and gets less out of it in the nation
Jim May 11, 2012 at 01:04 AM
Oh by the way. The school that Fsa was going to build at no cost was not going to cost Fulton county or ga anything. Now those fiscally responsible leaders of Fulton county are going to spend millions on increasing the size of middle schools to house the 500 students from Fsa Or if their like me my children they will never see the inside of a dysfunctional Fulton county school system
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 10:09 AM
You mean test scores that are "altered" Some parents cannot get over the fact these schools are not unique or special in any way just because their kids started to get easy A's and awards at the Gulen own contests and events. The most comical is their Turkish Olympiads. These Gulen "inspired" schools are a cookie cutter of one another. WATCH THIS SUNDAY EVENING 60 minutes IS DOING A SPECIAL ON THIS MAY 13, 2012 HERE IS A PREVIEW: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08 PREVIEW A worldwide Islamic movement that has inspired scores of public charter schools here in the U.S. is led by a Turkish cleric living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Lesley Stahl reports on Fethullah Gulen and his message of education on Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 10:11 AM
or why Georgia is tops in altering test scores at Charter Schools. Watch 60 Minutes this Sunday, May 13, 2012 to learn more about the Gulen "inspired" charter schools. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08 PREVIEW A worldwide Islamic movement that has inspired scores of public charter schools here in the U.S. is led by a Turkish cleric living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Lesley Stahl reports on Fethullah Gulen and his message of education on Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET/PT.
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Too bad Jim, maybe you can speed dial your TUSKON businessmen for another loan or just join the ranks of the other Gulen "inspired" schools that are closing down in the USA: Truebright Charter Academy (PA), Mokapu STEM School (HI) Abramson Science and Technology (LA), Knoxville Charter Academy (TN) and SO MANY other Gulen "inspired" charter schools DENIED (92) and under investigation. You poor FSA parents have been had. Now you can send your kids to a school that will give them an A when they deserve it. Sorry but dancing the Kolbasti and learning to make Baklava isn't exactly necessary and American Tax payers shouldn't be paying for this.
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 10:17 AM
Watch 60 Minutes this Sunday, May 13, 2012 to learn about the Gulen "Inspired" charter schools in the USA. Here is a preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08 PREVIEW A worldwide Islamic movement that has inspired scores of public charter schools here in the U.S. is led by a Turkish cleric living in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania. Lesley Stahl reports on Fethullah Gulen and his message of education on Sunday, May 13 at 7 p.m. ET/PT. You FSA parents have been fooled to fight the battle for a controversial group that has a leader that was kicked out of Turkey for anti-secular speeches of hate toward others. Google Gulen "Getting into the arteries of the System"
tina May 11, 2012 at 09:31 PM
Education is a political act period …it always has been and it always will be right or left. This school was shut down because the executive board was completely irresponsible and insular. This board had no regard what so ever for the teachers and they did everything they could to privatize this public school. The executive board ran rough shot and used public dollars to do whatever they wanted to do without regard for the teachers or families. They were misinformed and had no respect for the very entity that was feeding them. They solicited personal funds for a charter that had not been secured and they created academic rules such as 70% on quizzes and tests without the input of teachers or parents. feed up former FSA mom
tina May 11, 2012 at 09:34 PM
FSA is being sued by teachers who signed contracts and believed they had a job next year...what about these men and women?
Roswell Parent May 12, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I'm looking forward to watching 60 minutes. PBS did a special on this too. Check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aE0amMPP4gA
Roswell Parent May 12, 2012 at 10:12 PM
Kelly - I campaigned for Linda Schultz. I will now be campaigning doubly hard to get her opponent elected.
Roswell Parent May 14, 2012 at 12:13 AM
I must have watched the wrong '60 Minutes' report. Unless I'm supposed to be afraid that good education is coming to America. http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7408162n&tag=contentMain;cbsCarousel
tina May 14, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I didn't say the kids...Don't misconstrue my words. First of all my child attends the school and has for two years. As I mentioned in my previous post he was upset ~ don't be so simple minded. I said the children and the teacher's are being punished for the non-compliance of the executive and governing board. They were not victims, they should've been more responsible because of the children and the teachers ! What about the teacher's who trusted them to create a solid proposal that didn't have so many holes in it ? Kelly please learn how to effectively evaluate a situation before you call anyone an idiot. Name calling and insulting those who disagree with your stance is neither smart nor is it effective civic engagement. It is simple minded and immature ... this is particularly sad coming from a mother
MarkMunoz May 14, 2012 at 10:37 PM
Dear Kelly; A typical and usual method of the Gulenists is to play victim, blame others or throw the "but it's for the children" in the mix as a shield. Rather than assuming personal responsibilty, the Gulenists who operated these sham of schools push the blame on others, cut corners, cheat, hand out easy grades and contest awards, etc., They then jump into their media frenzy and publicize the school(s) as something that they are not. These are hardly character traits and values that American children should be learning. They don't feel they need anyone's permission to fulfill the end result of their Hocaefendi. They care less about you or your children in America, they are just part of the tools for that end result of absolute power. In fact, the Gulenists (mostly men as it is a male centered organization/cult) have a sense of entitlement in every country they spread their roots into, they believe they have every right to your tax money, your politics, your media, your children, etc., The funny thing is Turkey's education is below standard in international rankings. They have been given the rope let them hang themselves with their indignent attitude and sense of entitlement.
MarkMunoz May 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Adam or is it Ahmet? Do you want education free from Politics or free from scrutiny and audits. Do Charter schools (publicly funded yet privately managed) have the right to do as they please with American Educational Tax monies? The problem here is that the charter school laws were very lax and as a result many people / organizations were getting approvals on charter school application without much oversight. That is changing, many charter schools are getting closed down and denied in the USA (not just the Gulenist operated ones)
MarkMunoz May 14, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Yawn When will you give up the pathetic online comments that are thinly disguised to create propaganda for Gulen "inspired" schools? It isn't working.

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