Atlanta Public Schools releases draft agenda for Board of Education meeting on Monday, October 7 [Updated]

The agenda for the BoE meeting to be held this coming Monday, October 7 was published and can be found here. The following is a quick rundown of agenda items and some comments.

Policy on use of school facilities – in the last BoE meeting there was some controversy regarding the use of the “old” Sutton Athletic Fields by Peachtree Road United Methodist Church (PRUMC) which has used the E Rivers elementary school athletic fields for over a decade as the site for the soccer and other athletic programs it runs. The use of the fields by PURMC was approved, but there were some procedural and policy issues that needed to be cleaned up. This policy does that.

Non-renewal of the Tech High Charter contract – when APS withheld funds from the charter schools last year to cover a portion of the unfunded pension liability; Tech High school announced that it was closing down due to insufficient funding. As the school is no longer in operation, this motion is simply procedural in nature and effectively terminates the charter contract with Tech.

Approval of KIPP Charter Cluster Petition – under the charter school act, a group of related charter schools can submit a petition to be treated as a single charter cluster versus having to operate with separate contracts for each school. This resolution grants KIPP the right to operate as a charter cluster under a single contract.

Approval of the Centennial Place conversion charter petition – the administration had previously announced that it would proceed with converting Centennial Place to a charter school. During previous discussions, the administration argued that a conversion charter was less costly to APS than a start-up charter and accordingly the administrations recommended ban on any new charter school applications (related to the unfunded pension liability dispute) did not apply in the case of a conversion charter. [Comment – the arguments that I heard did not appear to support the “cost differential” argument presented by the administration and the approval of a conversion charter may in fact represent the end of the administration’s position on approving any new charter schools.] [UPDATE – this item has been pulled from the Agenda as the teachers did not provide sufficient support for the conversion.]

Contracts for materials and services – there are a number of routine contract approvals, which include asphalt and concrete services; HVAC supplies and musical instruments.

Declare several school sites as surplus properties – APS wants to dispose of certain facilities and this resolution declares these properties as surplus and no longer needed by APS. The properties include the Adair facility, the Carter facility, the Wright facility, the Collier Heights property, the West Atlanta, the Doane Street property, the Old Dobbs property, the Claire/Daleview property and the Old Finch site.

I will follow-up with a subsequent post with questions once I have had a chance to review the agenda and attachments in detail. 

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon]

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