Gov. Deal to sign bill at charter academy
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
May 03, 2012 12:00 AM | 1551 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
CANTON — Cherokee Charter Academy will be visited by Gov. Nathan Deal this morning, as he plans to have a bill signing ceremony for House Bill 797.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the school located at 2126 Sixes Road in Canton.

The bill provides for the establishment of a state charter schools commission and for requirements for state-created charter schools. HB 797 is contingent upon the passage of House Resolution 1162, a corresponding constitutional amendment that will appear on the ballot in November.

Danny Dukes, a member of the school’s local governing council and said he was thrilled the governor chose Cherokee Charter Academy.

“It’s definitely an exciting event,” Duke said. “Any time the governor and Georgia’s first lady visit it’s a big deal.”

Stephanie Mayfield, a spokeswoman with the Office of the Governor, said there has been an “overwhelming concern and opinion” on charter schools within Cherokee County.

The governor chose Cherokee Charter Academy for the signing because of “overwhelming community support” and the school’s high number of applicants, Mayfield said.

The bill comes after the Georgia Supreme Court struck down the Georgia Charter Schools Commission in a 4-3 vote last May, declaring the commission had no authority to create or fund charter schools over the objections of local school boards.

Cherokee Charter Academy, along with a several other charter schools throughout the state, secured a one-time funding grant from Gov. Deal, which helped the school to open its doors for the 2011-12 school year.

In response to the Supreme Court decision, the Georgia Senate approved House Resolution 1162 in a 40-16 roll call vote. If passed, the resolution will let voters decide whether the state can authorize charter schools.

HB 797, the corresponding bill, will re-establish this commission and identify how charter schools will be authorized and funded by the state.

After a heated debate, the Cherokee County Board of Education approved a resolution during their April 19 meeting urging voters to reject the measure at the polls this fall.
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