State commission denies Brookhaven charter school proposal

A novel petition to establish a charter school serving a new city in DeKalb County was denied by the State Charter School Commission of Georgia Wednesday.

The mayor and city council of Brookhaven earlier this year signed onto the founding board of Brookhaven Innovation Academy, which was to serve students within the city limits in a traditional school setting as well as students statewide in an online program.

State charter commissioners unanimously rejected the proposal after commission staff criticized several elements of the plan, including the attendance zone and the service of city officials on the board. The Georgia constitution bans the creation of new school systems, so new cities like Brookhaven cannot have their own schools despite dissatisfaction with the performance of county schools.

Glenn Delk, a consultant working with Brookhaven, said an amended petition will be filed in coming months. It will address many of the commission’s concerns, he said. But he added that oversight by the city’s elected officials is fundamental to the proposal. “If that turns out to be a sticking point,” Delk said, “we’re going to have a serious problem.”

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