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Charter School Petition on Cobb Board Agenda

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is recommending denial of a start-up school in Smyrna, despite strong community support for the plan.

The Cobb Board of Education is expected to vote Thursday on a petition to create a charter school in Smyrna. 

Many parents and residents there want it, and since last week's board work session have provided school officials with additional information about a possible location. But superintendent Michael Hinojosa continues to recommend against granting the charter status for financial, facilities and academic reasons. 

That issue figures to be the major item of business when the board meets at 7 p.m. Thursday at the office board room, located at 514 Glover Street in Marietta. 

An executive session has been called for 6 p.m. 

Supporters of the proposed Smyrna Academy of Excellence throughout Cobb County are upset by Hinojosa's continued objections. SAE would be a K-12 charter school serving the South Cobb area, with an emphasis on a science, technology and mathematics curriculum. 

Janet Rau, the interim leader of the school, told on Wednesday that "if this charter doesn’t get through, if we don’t get approved as a charter, I don’t see how any charter school could possibly go through Cobb County. We really need to have people out there saying we want choice. We want to be able to select the school our children go to.”

Hinojosa told The Marietta Daily Journal that while "the effort" by SAE organizers "was good, it just wasn’t enough . . . to change our recommendations.”

Another charter school matter is expected to be approved without controversy, as the board will take up renewing the charter of in East Cobb. 

Other action items on the school board agenda Thursday include the following:

  • Recommendations by Hinojosa to succeed Mike Addison, the school system's chief financial officer, who is retiring at the end of September; and for a principal at East Cobb's to succeed Rick Beaulieu, recently appointed an area assistant superintendent; 
  • A recommendation to spend $4.3 million to renovate ;
  • Renaming the  in Powder Springs. The recommendations are Cole Elementary School, Hendricks Elementary School and Seven Springs Elementary School;
  • Recognizing the varsity color guard WGI Atlanta Regional Scholastic A Champions, and the girls soccer team, which won the Class AAA state championship. 

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