Why Charter Why Now?
By state law, all school systems in Georgia will be required to make a decision to be a Charter System, an IE2 System or Status Quo System by 2013. Floyd County Schools has been a leader in education in Georgia and thus elected to begin the decision process early in the selection window. We wanted to take our time and thoroughly study the issue and involve our entire community in the process.
How was the decision made?
A citizens committee made up of parents, business representatives, teachers, and principals studied flexibility options available to local school systems and recommended to the superintendent that Floyd County Schools seek Charter System status. Local control and decision making opportunities were top priorities for the Flexibility Study Committee and a main determining factor in the community committee selecting Charter System status. Charter system requires each local school to have its own governing body and moves many decisions down to the school level.
The superintendent made the recommendation to the Floyd County Board of Education and the board approved the recommendation of the committee to petition the state for charter status. The process was community driven from the beginning with no central level school system administrators involved in the Flexibility Study Committee as voting members.
The Flexibility Committee then developed the application to seek charter system status from the state. The study group held Innovation Discussions in each school community to get teacher and community input into what our schools could look like under charter system status. The ideas generated from those Innovation Discussions were then used by the committee to develop the charter application.
At the state level, the application was first reviewed by the Charter Advisory Committee. The Charter Advisory Committee then made a recommendation to the Georgia Board of Education. The Georgia BOE holds final approval of charter status. Floyd County Schools was approved as a Charter System by the State Board of Education on Thursday, May 13, 2010. Floyd County was the sixth school system in the state to be approved as a Charter and the largest school system in Georgia to seek Charter status.