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CANTON: Cherokee charter school's appeal moved up | Education

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CANTON: Cherokee charter school's appeal moved up

CANTON, GA -- Supporters of a new Cherokee County charter school will ask their board of education to save it on Thursday, but time is running out.

Cherokee Charter Academy had planned to open in August, but it was one of 16 charter schools struck down by a Georgia Supreme Court ruling last month.

The court ruled that approval given by the Georgia Charter School Commission violated the state's constitution.

The high court upheld its decision this past Monday.

Several Metro Atlanta area school districts, but not Cherokee County, had sued because charter schools siphon off local tax dollars.

Now the 16 charter schools will have to seek approval from their local boards.

Cherokee Charter Academy was already set for the board's June 30th meeting, but one board member put it on Thursday's agenda as a matter of urgency.

Cherokee County's Board already turned down the academy twice last year.

Even if they are denied again, the school can still appeal to the State Board of Education, which does have constitutional power to approve charter schools.

State approval would only guarantee state and federal funds, but no local tax dollars if the local board objects.

Earlier this week State School Superintendent John Barge said the Department of Education is working with the 16 charter schools to try and help them win local approval.

"We're going to make sure that those students that they're serving don't miss any of their education, so we should know within the next few weeks ...the outcome for all of these schools," Barge said.

The State Board of Education's next meeting is 28th, two days before the Cherokee County School Board originally wanted to hear Cherokee Charter Academy's request.

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