"We have taken a significant step that will make a difference in the lives of students in Georgia," he said in a statement issued after the decision. "I am very proud of the historic step Warren County School System has taken today and am confident that they will maximize their potential for educational excellence as a result of becoming a Charter System. It is thrilling to see this law become a reality and I look forward to witnessing the positive change it will bring to our students."
Charter systems, along with career academies, were Mr. Cagle's educational initiatives to promote innovation and flexibility in the classroom. A charter system provides the opportunity for teachers, administrators, parents and school boards to have greater flexibility and to determine the educational needs of students within their district in exchange for specific achievement standards.
Four other school districts, Gainesville City, Marietta City, Decatur City and Chattahoochee County also have submitted petitions but were told by the state school board to revise them.
Board members said they were concerned that the districts were not giving enough power to each school to write its own budgets and hire teachers, a key component of the state's charter school laws.
The districts have until the board's June 12 meeting to change their applications.