The 450 Ivy Preparatory Academy's students whose future had been in limbo since the Georgia Supreme Court's ruling last month, will be returning to the school's Peachtree Corners campus to attend classes this fall after all.
Ivy Prep, an all-girls school, was among 16 former commission charter schools whose future was in jeopardy when the Supreme Court ruled the commissioned charter schools unconstitutional. The decision was brought about from a 2009 complaint that Gwinnett County Public Schools had filed that argued local school districts should have sole authority in opening and funding local charter schools. The State Supreme Court ruled 4-3 in GCPS's favor.
Tuesday the State Board of Education granted State-Chartered Special School status to nine schools and local Charter status to two. Ivy Prep was one of the schools that received approval from the State Board for a local charter with Gwinnett County Public Schools.
"We said from the beginning that we would offer flexibility so the Commission Schools could continue educating students next year," said State School Superintendent Dr. John Barge, in a news release.
Ivy Prep has been offered a charter school contract by Gwinnett County School Board which runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012. Nina Gilbert, Ivy Prep's head of school, initially rejected GCPS's offer which would provide an additional $4,300 per student in addition to federal and state funding.
"The offer was made in good faith," said GCPS board member Mary Kay Murphy. "We would be pleased indeed if Ivy Prep does accept our offer."
Calls were made to Ivy Prep to inquire if the school would reverse its previous decision and accept local funding. However, at deadline, we were unable to reach anyone at the school for comment.
Ivy Prep's current enrollment for the 2011-2012 school year is 392 Gwinnett residents and 190 DeKalb students. If the all-girls school leaders were to accept the Gwinnett County school's charter offer, funding would only be offered to the Gwinnett students. Arrangements with DeKalb County would need to be made for funding for the additional 190 students from that county.