Fulton Science Academy Middle School Plans to Go Private

School announces plans for 2012-2013 just hours after final rejection of its appeal to become a state charter special school.

Fulton Science Academy Middle School announced this evening that it has a plan to open as a private school in August.

Earlier today, the state Board of Education denied the school's application

“This is [the] best way for our school doors to remain open for our students, families, teachers, and staff,” said Ayhan Korucu, FSA Governing Board President, in a statement.  “We believe our plan to become a private school is achievable for the 2012-2013 school year; however, we know that sadly some of our student body will be unable to attend our school due to the financial implications of this plan."

"We intend to use donations and grant funding to provide scholarships to help off-set tuition costs for applicants in need of financial assistance.  Our primary goal is to continue providing to our students the same quality, innovative, STEM focused education that we have offered to our families for the past decade.”

The new FSA private school will serve students with no geographic residency limitations, the announcement said. The school will continue to offer a wide variety of free after school clubs and tutoring as well as numerous competitive academic teams.  Inquiries regarding applications can be emailed toacoaloa@fultonscience.org

FSA officials pointed out "extraordinary CRCT test results worthy of the Governor’s Platinum Award" on the same week the school's application was rejected. "Teachers and students alike cannot imagine losing this remarkable school that this year was the only middle school in Georgia to receive the National Blue Ribbon Award," the announcement said.

The state had called FSA's governance and financial stability into question in rejecting the application, particularly regarding the issuance of $19 million in bonds and the construction work on a new school campus.

Come back to Alpharetta-Milton Patch for further developments on this story.

Kim May 10, 2012 at 11:39 PM
No matter what, FSA will prevail! I am proud to be a part of the FSA family. And no one can take that away from us.
Jim May 11, 2012 at 01:15 AM
Amen to that! Get out from under the yolk of the dysfunctional government school system. Don't have to play by their inane rules anymore
Lisa May 11, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Private school or homeschool. That is what we need to do. The gov't is way passed broken.
Maly May 11, 2012 at 02:23 AM
Ladies, vote yes to HB1162 so we can take the voting away from the BOE! All of these schools and the schools parents need to band together and get everyone we know to vote on this amendment so we can keep our schools.
Kat May 11, 2012 at 03:04 AM
Hate to break the news to you Maly but HB1162 wouldn't have helped the Fulton Science Academy. The STATE charter school commission is the agency that shut down FSA. The Fulton BOE had already turned down the application. This goes to show that making it "about the kids" also means making sure that the financial and governance pieces of the school are stable as well. If you read the Cherokee BOE denial of CCA and the State denial of FSA... They are for the SAME REASONS. READ the list of concerns carefully!! If you want CCA to survive it is time to get your house in order. And part of that means calling Danny Dukes' conflicts of interests and history of financial mismanagement into question. If you don't do it., the state commission will do it for you in a year or two. The BEST thing you guys could do would be to get him off your boards, don't support him for Cherokee BOE and work with the Cherokee BOE to get local approval of your charter. If it is really "about the kids" you will absolutely heed my advice. You may think he is your hero but a lot of folks in high up places are starting to look at his involvement. make this about the kids and don't let Dukes drag CCA into the fire with him just so he can try to settle scores. Make this about the kids !
Kara Martin May 11, 2012 at 11:06 AM
Kat, this post is about Fulton Science Academy, can we keep it there please. I am happy that this school will continue to stay open and thrive. Hopefully after this bill passes in November the State can re-evaluate the decision and allow this school to be public again. I am sure with all the controversy and the "new" law passed that does not allow the state to approve a charter school any more, that it played a part in the denial. HR 1162 is an important constitutional amendment needed to help thrust GA into this century. If anyone would like to discuss be pro-active in this matter please look for my organization on face book - Georgia's Voice for Educational Choice. I would love to discuss how we can help our children's future!
tom deeb May 11, 2012 at 04:24 PM
For those who would like to write to the Georgia Board of Education Please feel free. Louis Erste <LErste@doe.k12.ga.us>, > <ERagsdale@doe.k12.ga.us>, Helen Odom Rice <hrice@doe.k12.ga.us>, > Daniel Israel <DIsrael@doe.k12.ga.us>, Kenneth Mason > <KMason@doe.k12.ga.us>, Barbara Hampton <BaHampton@doe.k12.ga.us>, > Mike Royal <MRoyal@doe.k12.ga.us>, Wanda Barrs <WBarrs@doe.k12.ga.us>, > Larry Winter <LWinter@doe.k12.ga.us>, Brian Burdette > <BBurdette@doe.k12.ga.us>, Grant Lewis <GLewis@doe.k12.ga.us>, Allen > Rice <ARice@doe.k12.ga.us>, Mary Sue Murray <MMurray@doe.k12.ga.us>, > "jbarge@doe.k12.ga.us" <jbarge@doe.k12.ga.us>
MarkMunoz May 11, 2012 at 07:25 PM
To bad you will fail, stay tuned for "60 minutes" this Sunday, May 13, 2012 and watch as your Hocaefendi throws you under the bus and dis associates himself with you and your Turkish scholars (snicker giggles) Here is a preview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l24bCOKXg08
Kat May 11, 2012 at 08:54 PM
Wow @Kara. Unbelievable. I guess you haven't read any of the documents then. I guess you will stick you head in the sand about the similarities between CCA and FSA. The state charter commission would NOT have approved this under HB 1162 I guess all of this is about politics and winning and NOT about the children. I'll remember that the next time I read one of your Patch posts or your FB page imploring you to make this about the kids that you didn't do that yourself. I'll remember, everyone will, that you guys were offered an olive branch and didn't take it! Fix the board, fix the governance problems and you could have a fully funded charter school. And @ Mikael. Shame on you! SHAME ON YOU! I KNOW that you know everything about the storm that is brewing at CCA and you are just STIRRING THE POT! You know EVERYTHING and rather than helping these parents and CHILDREN save their schools you are just sitting by, stirring the pot, waiting for all hell to brake loose! For what? I just don't get it? Fun? Settling scores? What? You could help them and you are not! SHAME ON YOU!! Well.... Don't ever say you guys didn't know.
Kara Martin May 11, 2012 at 09:23 PM
Kat, I am not sure why it is that you are personally attacking me as I have not attacked you in any post. I simply asked to keep this about this schools struggle to survive. However, I will say that I am unfamiliar with the exact reasons for the boards refusal to prolong its charter and need to do more research to find out the specifics. However from what I have read it seems the students have been educated extremely well and the school has received several awards for the teaching it has provided. Therefore, It seems this school has served the children well. I simply stated that the state may have denied this school partially do to all the issues surrounding HR 1162 and after Nov. may reconsider its decision. If a school is helping children succeed and giving them the tools they need for a great future I believe every opportunity for that institution to continue should be afforded. I understand money and finances are always going to play a part in these things, I just wish they didn't seem to play such a larger role then the children's best welfare. On a personal note, whether or not you agree with my position on this issue do not for one second suggest that I do not have the children's best interest at heart. I may not agree with your position or comments but I do believe you are doing what you feel is the best for your kids. I have 2 children whom I love dearly and want only the best for....they are my motivation.
Kim May 11, 2012 at 10:22 PM
I see that Mark Munoz, a.k.a. Elif Oz, a.k.a Mary Addi, GM Tracker and a myriad of other aliases has resurfaced.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) May 11, 2012 at 10:25 PM
The comments on this and other articles about FSA have included personal attacks. Please do as several people from widely different viewpoints have asked, and stick to the issues.
Kat May 11, 2012 at 11:32 PM
@Kara. Please take the time to read the state's denial of this charter. They cited significant governance and financial problems to include having an unaccounted for $6 million dollars from an $18 bond issuance. $6 million dollars! And members of their local governing boards had what they cited to be conflicts of interest with a number of other companies doing businesses. My point is that other charter schools should look carefully at these documents as there are probably similar issues going on with other charter schools. This is a great opportunity for everyone to learn from the mistakes at FSA and correct them before their next petition for charter renewal. The FSA situation is very similar to CCA. Parents should start asking questions of their LGB now as opposed to asking for their resignation later.... As just happened with CCA. Parents are not being well served by their LGB. Board membersmanx others may not doing this for purely ideological or altruistic reasons... And don't forget to watch 60 minutes on Sunday evening about the Gulen charter schools. I think it will be very enlightening.
Kat May 11, 2012 at 11:37 PM
Correction .... The parents asked for resignations from FSA not CCA. And @Mikael. You know EXACTLY what I am talking about. It's not a personal attack. It's just a fact. And with that I will remove myself from the conversation.
Kara Martin May 12, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Kat, I do appreciate the information on the financial problems at FSA. I will definitely look into this. In no way do I condone the disappearance of millions of dollars. In any school. I also agree that all schools should look at other schools as models of what not to do and also as to what they should do. I believe that this school has had many victories for the children as well. Although if the finances are not in order then perhaps a restructuring of the admin is in order. I will have to look into this. What is clear is that if a school is not living up to ALL of its obligations then continuing to remain a public school will not be an option. However it seems that the county public schools which are not living up to the standards are allowed to remain opened and operational. How is this appropriate? There are very good county schools as well as Charter schools. Those each offer students different opportunities to learn. This should be a good thing. The schools that are not good should not be allowed to continue, whether it be public or Charter. Do we agree on that at least?
tom deeb May 12, 2012 at 08:01 AM
To all there never was any disappearance of $6 million dollars. Instead the State decided not to ask for an accounting and then issued a false and inaccurate statement. A question -- do you really think investors and investor organizations would just give over 19 million dollars without any controls or accounting of where it was spent ???
Bob Pepalis (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Mr. Deeb, the state did ask for an accounting in a letter dated April 18, 2012, from GA DOE staff attorney Morgan L. Felts to Ali Ozer, executive director of FSA Charter Schools. It states, in part: "Please disclose the status of the $18.9 million in bond proceeds, including any amounts expended to date. Please explain how these funds are being accounted for by the Board of Trustees."
tom deeb May 12, 2012 at 11:20 AM
They provided what they believed was the correct answer as they delivered what they thought the state requested. All this required was simple follow on call if there were additional questions none was received. I agree that the school if they had known that there was an issue could have responded and did. Unfortunately the accusation of mismanagement of funds was made before anyone knew it was an issue. Please note the response from FSA to the board which can be found at the FSA web site. A simple call, email or fax could have eliminated this confusion. But really did the state believe that sophisticated investors would had over ~ 19 million in monies with out checks and balances. That would be absurd.
Bob Pepalis (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 11:56 AM
What is unclear about "including any amounts expended to date"? The recommendation for denial did not make an accusation that funds were mismanaged. It said an incomplete answer was submitted that failed to identify the whereabouts of the $6 million, with no explanation offered.
Financial Guy May 12, 2012 at 10:11 PM
"But really did the state believe that sophisticated investors would had over ~ 19 million in monies with out checks and balances. That would be absurd." Sir, "sophisticated investors" spent billions (with a B) on bad investments without checks and balances...it's called the financial crash of 2008. (And if you pay attention to the news, just yesterday Citi reported a loss of $2 BILLION. Again, those "sophisticated investors" with all the checks and balances!) Yes, absurd is a good word for it - as is the bailout that resulted! Why attack the State DOE for verifying information? Had more verification taken place before the last economic crisis, we would all be better off.
Kat May 13, 2012 at 01:43 AM
In order to make it "about the children" you have to be responsible with the money! These are not mutually exclusive events! Read the documents. On the state school board's website. Read ALL the documents. It is UNBELIEVABLE the way FSA has behaved. Dispite repeated requests for information they have remained arrogant and uncompromising in their responses. If you want to make it " about the children" then you MUST handle the funds properly. It is unbelievable that folks think that one can happen without the other.
Financial Guy May 13, 2012 at 04:39 AM
JPMorgan Chase...my bad.
JAH May 13, 2012 at 02:18 PM
How much funding will FSA have to make up with the loss of funding from the government? I realize they have announced an intention to go private, but will the families be able to afford to make up the difference in funding?
tom deeb May 13, 2012 at 03:02 PM
While it will be more expensive than free the goal is to make this affordable for everyone possible. Right now the Governing Board is working through a variety of options but the goal is to make this very affordable. In addition the Governing Board is looking for resources to support scholarships so that finances are not a barrier to attend FSA. As far as making up the government funding this is not only possible but practical. I hope this helps -- again the goal is make this as affordable as possible.
Datch August 05, 2012 at 01:45 AM
For further clarification behind those who continuously voice opinions of hate and misinformation about FSA and other charter schools with Turkish employees, please refer to the following links: http://goosenetwork.tumblr.com/post/10570103524/marys-story-a-former-gulen-charter-school http://www.lisaacademytruth.com/who-are-behind-the-attacks-to-lisa-academy-goose-network.html


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