Thursday, April 30, 2009

Georgia's Charter Schools to Celebrate National Charter Schools Week, May 3 - 9

Bus tour in Atlanta, reading initiative in Statesboro, proclamation readings in Alpharetta and Baconton, Principal for a Day event in Riverdale among the many activities

Charter schools statewide – from Atlanta to Baconton, Alpharetta to Statesboro – will commemorate National Charter Schools Week next week, May 3-9, with various events and celebrations.

Bus tour highlights events throughout the stateA V.I.P. bus tour, sponsored by the Georgia Charter Schools Association, aimed at legislators, board members and community leaders, is the highlight of the week’s activities. The tour, which will include state Rep. Kathy Ashe (D-Atlanta), will visit Neighborhood Charter School (K-5) and University Charter School (K-8) in Atlanta.
(9 a.m., Thursday, May 7)

At Amana Academy (K-8) in Alpharetta, a number of business and political leaders will join the school community in the reading of an official proclamation from Gov. Sonny Perdue, dubbing the week “Charter Schools Week in Georgia.” The proclamation lauds the achievements of Amana, Baconton Community Charter School in Baconton (250 miles south of Atlanta) and Neighborhood Charter School.
(2 p.m., Monday, May 4 – Baconton Community Charter will host a similar event, scheduled for 9 a.m., Tuesday, May 5)

In Statesboro, students from the Charter Conservatory for Liberal Arts and Technology (6-12) will read to pre-school and elementary school children at the Statesboro Regional Library, each day during Charter Schools Week.

In Riverdale, Scholars Academy Charter School (K-5) Principal Elsa Celestine will be “shadowed” by a young college student who aspires to be a school leader during a “Principal for a Day” activity. (Monday, May 4)

State Rep. Jan Jones to receive national honor
Nationally, State Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton) will join U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and Cumberland, R.I. Mayor Daniel McKee, as recipients of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools’ 2009 Champions for Charters Award, in honor of their leadership and outstanding contributions to the development of high-quality public charter schools. They will be honored during a Capitol Hill Reception, scheduled for 5:45 p.m., Tuesday, May 5, in the Rayburn House Office Building.

Rep. Jones worked to establish the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an independent, statewide charter school authorizing body, by sponsoring and securing the passage of House Bill 881 in April 2008. During this year’s legislative session, Rep. Jones co-sponsored and ensured the passage of House Bill 555 to give charter schools access to school district facilities without rental charges.

Charter school movement expanding rapidly in Georgia
Charter schools are independent, tuition-free public schools that are allowed to be more innovative than traditional public schools, and are held accountable for improved student achievement. Even before President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently expressed their support for the establishment of more charter schools, the movement has been strong in Georgia. The state has 113 charter schools – twice as many as there were two years ago – serving more than 30,000 students, up 20 percent from 2007.

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