Fulton, Co (WAOK)-The Fulton school board voted 7-0 to apply to the state to become a charter system.

If approved, the charter system has the ability to limit the impact of future legislation that Fulton County Schools say might distract them from focusing on student performance and organization effectiveness. The system will also provide the schools with the flexibility to bypass mandates some educators believe restrict classroom creativity.

By June 2015, every school system in Georgia must decide whether it will become an IE2 (Investing in Excellence in Education) system, a charter system, or public acknowledgment of satisfaction with the current status of operation under the rules, processes and practices of the Georgia Department of Education.

After exploring the merits of the IE2 system the Fulton County Board of Education determined it was more interested in the Charter System model.

As a charter system, participating Fulton County public schools would have the freedom and flexibility over autonomy levels of budget and expenditures, create classes, special programs, schedules that meet individual student needs and improve academic performance in exchange for greater accountability over student achievement.

Charter systems must be able to show that they are meeting their contract goals to continue to receive freedom from state mandates. If a charter system’s contract is not renewed, they lose their broad flexibility waiver and revert back to traditional public schools.

If Fulton’s charter petition is approved, the district would join 14 other charter systems statewide, including Marietta, Decatur and Gainesville City Schools.

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