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Charter Schools Commission Lawsuit

Gwinnett County Public Schools filed a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court on September 11, 2009, challenging the constitutional basis for the Georgia Charter Schools Commission and funding of Commission charter schools. There are currently three charter schools in Gwinnett County but only one, Ivy Preparatory Academy, is a Commission school.

Defendants name in the suit are Kathy Cox, State Superintendent of Schools; Georgia Department of Education; Georgia Charter Schools Commission; Ben Scafidi, Chairman of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission; Charles Knapp, Jennifer Rippner Buck, Eric Rosen, Tom Lewis, Steven Ballowe, Gerald Robinson, and Andrew Broy, each members of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission; and Ivy Preparatory Academy, Incorporated.

GCPS is represented by Mike Bowers, former Attorney General of Georgia.

The day before the filing, Gwinnett County Public Schools CEO/Superintendent J. Alvin Wilbanks issued the reasons for the litigation:

  1) We do not believe the Charter Schools Commission has standing under the state Constitution to manage and control local schools.

  2) We do not believe the Commission has the constitutional authority to establish a state-wide independent school system.

  3) We do not believe the Commission has the constitutional authority to direct local dollars to the operation of Commission-approved charter schools.

Gwinnett County Public Schools Position Statement

Ivy Preparatory Academy Public Statement by Nina Gilbert

Legal complaint filed with the court

Ongoing coverage

September 28, 2009 -  Bulloch and Candler file similar lawsuit AJC report
October 8, 2009 -  Ivy Prep supporters urge Gwinnett BOE to abandon lawsuit AJC report
October 21, 2009 -  Dekalb County Schools to join GCPS legal action AJC report
October 26, 2009 -  Atlanta Public Schools to join GCPS legal action AJC report
December 14, 2009 -  Georgia Charter School Commission approves six more schools
January 11, 2010 - Court orders Dekalb and APS added as plaintiffs - case # 2009CV174907
January 14, 2010 - Ivy Prep files motion for summary judgment
 • Motion and memorandum of law in support as filed with the Court (69 page PDF)
March 1, 2010 - Gwinnett files brief opposing Ivy Prep's motion and files cross-motion for summary judgment
 • Cross-motion for summary judgment as filed with the Court (35 page PDF)
May 7, 2010 -  Superior Court rules in favor of Charter Schools Commission AJC report
 • Court order granting summary judgment and motion to dismiss (30 page PDF)
May 14, 2010 -  Gwinnett BOE votes to appeal ruling AJC report
August 30, 2010 -  GA Supreme Court schedules case for October 12, 2010 - case # S10A1773
October 12, 2010 -  Case is argued beore Supreme Court - 10 more days allocated for filing and review of additional briefs
 •  Details available at the CPOG Blog
March 30, 2011 -  Supreme Court delays decision, sets no future date
 •  AJC article

May 16, 2011 -  Supreme Court rules Georgia Charter Schools Commission is unconstitutional
 •  Full court ruling (PDF)

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