The contract calls for the charter school to add grades nine to 12 in the next few years.
Total expenses to operate the school for 2014 exceed $7.7 million and in 2018 are projected to surpass $12 million, according to the academy’s five-year budget submitted as part of the petition.
“The state board is likely to approve their charter next week, although it could wait until February to approve it,” Erste said in an email Friday.
According to an information item on Thursday’s agenda, the recommendation for renewal will occur at the Feb. 21 board meeting as a K-12 state chartered special school to run from July 1 to June 30, 2018.
The plan to add high school grades to the K-8 school on Sixes Road in Canton was revealed by Georgia Charter Educational Foundation Chair Lyn Carden after the governing board’s October teleconference meeting.
According to the budget, the school plans in the future to add 61,000 square feet to its 84,000-square-foot facility for a new high school.
In its charter petition, school officials tout students’ standardized test performance as at or above Cherokee County School District levels for the CRCT exam, which is a requirement of its charter in addition to posting a 2 percent increase of its students each year that meet or exceed state standards for the CRCT. It has the same guidelines for students taking the state End of Course Test.
It also proposes to exceed state or local district graduation averages — whichever is higher — by 3 percent. The proposal also includes plans to encourage middle school, high school and college readiness among its students.
The charter school recently hit a peak enrollment of just over 1,000 students, compared to CCSD’s over 38,000 students. The school projects a total enrollment of about 1,745 students by the fifth year of its charter term.
The supporting documents for the application also include budget projections, including a management fee to Charter Schools USA of $689,050 and board operating expenses of $236,787 for fiscal year 2014.
The school’s rent for the building, which is leased from a private company, is budgeted to cost $563,024 for 2014. Maintenance and utilities are projected to cost $290,000 for the year.
In 2018, the fifth year of the schools five-year charter, those numbers are expected to increase with the increased number of students. Rent projections are over $1.2 million and maintenance and utilities to cost approximately $340,000.
The petition does not include a copy of the management agreement between Georgia Charter Educational Foundation and its educational service provider, Charter Schools USA, as the application deadline was Nov. 1.
“The final executed management agreement will be provided at an agreed upon date per the Georgia Department of Education,” the petition states.
The board approved a management agreement with CSUSA during its Nov. 28 teleconference meeting in a move that Georgia Press Association Attorney David Hudson called unlawful.
After only discussing the contract in executive session, the contract was not released for public view until the vote was taken.
“There is no exception in the open meetings law that allows a closed session to go over a proposed management contract,” Hudson said in an email.
One of the most apparent changes to the new agreement is that the Florida-based education management company is now entitled to compensation for its service in an amount not to exceed 15 percent of revenues from overall budget from both the Cherokee school and Coweta Charter Academy.