The decision means that $415,000 will be released to Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School after the money had been withheld last school year for a pension payment, Underwood said.
The charter schools argued to the Georgia Supreme Court in June that they shouldn’t be responsible for a pension debt that they have nothing to do with. The debt has been accumulating since the late 1970s, and charter schools don’t participate in Atlanta Public Schools’ pension system.
But Atlanta’s public school system has said that all schools in the district share services, and charter schools shouldn’t be exempt from having to deal with the school district’s financial problems.
“While local boards of education have authority to manage and control the school system within their territory … they must do so in compliance with applicable constitutional and statutory laws,” according to the Georgia Supreme Court’s decision, written by Chief Justice Hugh Thompson.