PERRY — The Houston County Board of Education approved the name for a new career academy that will open as a charter school during the 2010-11 school year and appointed representatives who will serve on the school’s board of directors.
The Houston County Career and Technology Center will transform into the Houston County Career Academy next year. Officials at the board’s work session Monday night said they wanted the school’s name to continue to reflect its identity as a local school.
The board of education will work with local business leaders to help develop programs of study at the charter school that reflect the economic demands of the community. The school will offer an engineering and aerospace program to prepare students to work at Robins Air Force Base, and a teaching program in which students will participate in practicums, said Barbara Wall, Houston County’s director of career, technical and agricultural education.
The board appointed two educational representatives for the career academy’s board of directors, Wall and Paul Hibbitts, who serves on the Middle Georgia Technical College Board of Directors.
The seven-member board also will consist of two parents of students of the academy, two representatives appointed by both the Warner Robins and Perry chambers of commerce and one board member at-large, nominated by principal Mike Parker, Wall said.
The board also will meet Jan. 28 at noon at its central office in Perry for a final approval of school rezoning maps for the 2010-11 school year. The meeting time was chosen to allow parents to attend the meeting during their lunch hours. An agenda for the meeting will be available, as personnel matters will be addressed.
In response to recent events around the state, the board approved a resolution that stated that the development of charter schools should be managed at the local level and not by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, a statewide organization.
The document states there are at least two charter schools in the state that were not approved by local school districts but were approved by the GCSC.
Currently, six school systems in the state are suing the GCSC over the matter, said board member Skip Dawkins, expressing concern over the GCSC’s influence.
By approving the resolution, Houston County board members are showing their solidarity with those school systems, Dawkins said.
“You can’t fathom the seriousness of the charter schools board,” he said.
“The Georgia Charter School Commission has 34 petitions from other proposed commission charter schools throughout the state presently pending for approval,” the resolution states.
Among that figure are a number of virtual schools, Dawkins said. Board members expressed concern that local tax dollars could be diverted toward those virtual schools if any of them open and Houston County students choose to enroll in them.
“We are going to war for the children, not for the superintendent or the Board of Education,” Dawkins said.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.