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New charter school proponents to get another crack at the Dougherty School Board

River School for Children STEM Academy board has withdrawn its state charter application in hopes of getting local school board approval.

River School for Children STEM Academy Director Johnny Moton and CEO Jewel Faison will get soon another crack at gaining local approval for the proposed charter school. The Dougherty County School Board denied their charter petition in September, but Interm Superintendent Butch Mosely has agreed to allow Faison to re-present to the board at a later date.

River School for Children STEM Academy Director Johnny Moton and CEO Jewel Faison will get soon another crack at gaining local approval for the proposed charter school. The Dougherty County School Board denied their charter petition in September, but Interm Superintendent Butch Mosely has agreed to allow Faison to re-present to the board at a later date.

ALBANY — Just a month ago and weeks before the State Charter School Commission of Georgia (SCSC) was to vote on the River School for Children STEM Academy’s (RSCSA), CEO Jewel Faison unexpectedly pulled the proposed charter school’s application from consideration. Now proponents of the new charter will get another crack at getting local board approval.

In September, the Dougherty County School Board voted 3-3 to deny board support for the RSCSA charter application. In response, RSCSA CEO Jewel Faison immediately asked for a meeting before the SCSC. Under Georgia law, the SCSC will not consider a charter school’s petition for approval unless the local school board denies the petition.

The denial incurred the displeasure of Faison, who fired off a three-page news release she accused Board Chair Carol Tharin, interim Superintendent Butch Mosely and board attorney Tommy Coleman of using “bullying tactics” to squash the proposed new charter school.

“On October the River School for Children STEM Academy’s Board Chairperson received a written correspondence from the Dougherty County School System requesting that the proposed RSCSA continue the local petitioning process for local DCSS approval,” Faison said Friday. “Consequently, and in the spirit of collegiality and with the very best interest of the Albany/Dougherty County educational community as its guiding impetus, the River School for Children STEM Academy’s Board of Directors resolved to exhaust every available opportunity to work with the School Board for a locally approved charter rather than to continue the state approved charter petition process at this time.”

It appears the timing of the withdrawal is fortuitous for the RSCSA. On Wednesday the State Charter Commission considered eight applications from around the state and approved just one.

Mosely confirmed that he an Fasion had met on Wednesday and they he would allow Faison to again present the petition to the Board and “clean up any questions that were left unanswered in September.”

Faison said she and the proposed charter school’s Board of Directors want to work with and within the system.

“Winners always start early and we have to start in grades K through eight,” Faison said. “We are in a perfect time right now and we are grateful to Dr. Mosely and the board of education for their reconsideration. We are still trying to work collaboratively with the DCSS and again will attempt to explore every reasonable possibility toward that end.”