Georgia Charter Schools Association

School Board Encouraged to Consider Charter School

At the most recent Savannah-Chatham School Board meeting, the board denied an application for an all-male K-8 charter public school as proposed by retired Early College Principal Gertrude Robinson.

The mission of the proposed charter public school was to address the growing problems with academic and behavioral success among male students in local public schools.

While board officials acknowledged the need to address those issues, they denied the charter primarily out of the incorrect interpretation that state law does not allow gender-specific schools.

Ms. Robinson noted that there are two highly successful single-gender charter schools in Georgia, Fulton Leadership Academy for Boys — which has been open since 2010 — and Ivy Preparatory Academy Gwinnett — an all-girls charter school in operation since 2008.

Savannah-Chatham board of education pointing to “state law” prohibiting approval of a single-gender school is incorrect. This issue is not a state law issue; it is the misinterpretation of the federal Title IX law.

Title IX reads: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.”

I hope in the days and weeks to come, the Savannah-Chatham board of education attempts to clarify its interpretation of Title IX and work with Ms. Robinson.

Executive Vice President
Georgia Charter Schools Association