By Zephyr Strosnider
North Springs High School will be adopting the Fulton County charter system, instead of our current conversion charter, at the end of the 2014-15 school year. A conversion charter, which is what North Springs is as of right now, means a group of administrators, faculty, and parents of an existing public school got together and wrote a detailed explanation of what they wanted their school to be. The most recent version of this charter was written in 2012 and renewed for three years.
Because the conversion charter is expiring at the end of this school year, North Springs decided to convert to the Fulton County charter system instead of trying to continue with the current charter. North Springs is making this change because of the complications with having a conversion charter due to rule changing by Georgia legislators. “The governing school system (e.g., Fulton County) must turn over the finances and personnel decisions to the charter school. Fulton County Schools is not going to do that,” said Governance Board member Dove Walker.
Under the new Fulton County charter, North Springs will have a Governance Council instead of the current Governance Board system. The Governance Council will, like the Governance Board, be made up of parents, faculty,students, and administrators who can share ideas about things like school planning, budget, etc. However, they will not have the same authority as the Governance Board did in the conversion charter.
Another major difference in following the Fulton County charter is that when the county wants to do something different from state laws, they must ask for a waiver. Each individual school in Fulton County is also allowed to ask the system for waivers from state regulations. “Although I personally am in favor of the current conversion charter of North Springs Charter High School, it is not worth the county complications. The transition into Fulton County charter was a smart decision by our administrators,” says North Springs parent Lewis Perling.