PCS submits charter school applications to area boards

Published 5:02 pm Friday, July 20, 2018

During Thursday night’s Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Tim Cochran announced Spring Creek Charter Academy had submitted an application to place a school in the area that would serve Miller, Seminole and Decatur counties.

The application was filed July 9 to Cochran and is the replication of Patuala Charter Academy, which representatives from spoke earlier in the year about possibly opening a school in the area.

The BOE has 60 days to respond to the application, but anticipates meeting and discussing the application in more detail at its August board meeting.

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Cochran currently has April Aldridge comparing and contrasting the curriculum the charter school offers to what they offer, while he is reviewing other facets of the application.

He does not believe that, after the intense review of the application, anything will have changed since the last time he met with the school, but he will make his recommendation based upon any new facts he learns, he said.

Cochran still strongly believes a charter school would be a detriment to the City of Bainbridge, but is open to feedback from the board.

Cochran has heard the school’s plans to replicate in Miller County and is working to acquire a piece of property in Colquitt. The school met with Colquitt City Council last week, but they have also inquired about land in Brinson and Donalsonville. Nothing is set in stone yet.

The next phase in the application is for all three boards to vote on it at their August meetings.

If one board votes “yes,” they will be in charge of it, just as Mitchell County is in charge of Baconton Charter School. It only takes one vote for the school to become a reality. However, if all three schools vote “no,” Spring Creek Charter Academy will take their application to the state, where the state will have the ability to overrule.

Cochran plans to be present in the event the application goes to the state, so he can inform state officials of why he and the surrounding counties do not believe this would be beneficial to this particular area.