On Monday the Atlanta school board unanimously approved the Atlanta Classical Academy, a K-8 charter school scheduled to open for the 2014-15 school year. With about 10 percent of APS students attending locally approved charter schools, the district continues to be a leader in offering public school options.
The board approved the new charter school despite objections from Superintendent Erroll Davis, who argued that the board should reject all charter applications until the Georgia Supreme Court rules on whether charter schools should have to contribute toward payment of the district’s pension liability of more than $500 million. Atlanta charter school teachers do not receive benefits from the district’s pension system, but the district is withholding $2.8 million from the district’s charter schools in an effort to force them to pay part of last year’s unfunded pension.
While Davis recommended denial, the district’s review committee found that the petition was worthy of approval based on the quality of the application. Davis’s opinion is another example of public schools placing the needs of adults over students.
Commendably, the board prioritized providing students with high quality options and approved the school.