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      School board fights against proposed charter school

      A proposal for a locally-run charter school failed to get enough support in a 3-3 vote by the Dougherty County School Board in late August and those involved say they don't feel like it was the right decision.

      "We had an opportunity to bring innovation and change into the system and be partners with, allowing the community to be partners with the school system," said River School for Children STEM Academy CEO Dr. Jewel Faison.

      Board members who voted against the academy say despite the proposed partnership between the two institutions, they feel it would hurt the school system by taking away state funds.

      "They would take away a full $3,800 for each child that is pulled from the Dougherty County School System and enrolled in their academy," said School Board Chair Carol Tharin.

      However, Dr. Faison says if the academy was under a local partnership it would be seen as part of the school system so the money wouldn't be leaving, it would be redirected just like it was when three schools closed earlier this year.

      "They've redesigned the school system to let the money follow the children where they are, well you bring on a program such as River School for Children STEM Academy, the money just follows the children," said Dr. Faison.

      Dr. Faison and her colleagues now have the chance to open the academy as a state-run facility and will meet with the State Charter School Commission to go over the proposal, but Dougherty County Board members say they'll be there making their case as well before the state makes its final decision in late October.