Charter schools are public schools governed by nonprofit boards. They operate through a performance-based contract with the district. The Atlanta Public Schools Board of Education approved the district's first charter school in 1999. There are currently seventeen charter schools operating in the district.
Local governance tends to strengthen the bond between charter schools and their communities, although all charter schools are open to enrollment, via lottery, by anyone living within the school district. Parents may choose to send their children to their zoned school or to one of the city's seventeen charter schools, space permitting.
Charters are allowed to waive specific portions of state education law in return for greater accountability. This means that they have greater flexibility in terms of their programming. This flexibility may result in smaller class sizes, longer school days, longer school years, themed programming emphasizing math and science, the arts, foreign languages and cultures or many other possible programs. Greater accountability means that charter schools are expected to set and meet high academic and other performance goals.
Atlanta Public Schools authorizes charter schools in order to increase educational options for the children and parents of Atlanta. You can find out more about charter schools on the Georgia Department of Education's web site.
The Atlanta Board of Education revised its Board Policy on Charter Schools (IBB). The policy is effective for petitions submitted to the Atlanta Board of Education for new charter schools. Click Here to review Board Policy-Charter Schools (IBB).
Office of Innovation Staff
Executive Director of Innovationgburnett@atlanta.k12.ga.us
Special Education Coordinator