The first of several community meetings take place this evening at the Elbert County Middle School auditorium.
The meetings are in regards to the Elbert County School System’s decision to become a charter system.
Not to be confused with a charter school, a charter system offers local board of educations greater flexibility said Elbert County School Superintendent Rick Higginbotham.
“When a school system becomes a charter system, the school then has automatic waivers for all of the state regulations under Title 20; such as seat time, class size, and teacher certification”, explained Higginbotham. “It gives you greater flexibility and more local control.”
He says that the system still has to obey federal regulations as well as some state regulations.
The key having the community more involved said Higginbotham, and moving forward the charter system application, he said, would allow that to happen.
“Under a charter system you have governance made up of citizens within each school that help with decision making, now we get to choose through this process on how much authority they have”, says Higginbotham. “We will still have principals, we will still have a superintendent, and we will still have a board of education, but this gives us the ability for citizens and parents to have more of a voice on how they want their schools run.”
The earliest that charter system status could be granted to Elbert County would be the 2014-15 school year.
Tonight’s community meeting will begin at 6:00pm and will be held in the ECMS auditorium.
Elbert County Schools invite parents, students, business leaders, and all other members of the community to attend the meeting.