Georgia Charter Schools Association

DeKalb BOE Denies Druid Hills Charter Cluster Petition

Parents and teachers across 7 diverse school communities express dismay and disappointment and consider appropriate next steps.

Press Release from Druid Hills Charter Cluster, Nov. 12, 2013  By a vote of 5-4, the DeKalb County Board of Education denied the state’s first parent and teacher-driven petition for an autonomous, public charter school cluster. The petition would have granted governance of 7 diverse school communities – five feeder elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school – to a non-profit board sourced from individuals vested in the cluster and its surrounding businesses and organizations.
The seven schools are Avondale Elementary, Briar Vista Elementary, Fernbank Elementary, Laurel Ridge Elementary, McLendon Elementary, Druid Hills Middle, and Druid Hills High.
Matt Lewis, a parent who led the petition effort, expressed disappointment about the decision. “The Board’s decision is a chilling demonstration of the tyrannical insistence on mediocrity that plagues the DeKalb County public education system leading to underperforming schools that block progress in the vulnerable parts of our communities.  In one vote, the DeKalb Board has disenfranchised the very parental leadership it claims to champion, and committed the education and success of nearly 5,000 students and 400 school personnel to the ash heap of the status quo.”
The cluster petition, developed through an organic grassroots effort largely in response to lagging achievement and the accreditation woes of the district, reflected widespread community dissatisfaction with under-performing, under-resourced, and poorly-managed DeKalb County schools. Read the full story here.