Acworth Woman to Have Say on Georgia's Charter Schools

Jennifer Rippner was the education policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue.

An Acworth woman has been appointed to the re-established state commission whose members can authorize charter schools whether local school boards want them or not.

Jennifer Rippner, an attorney who serves as a consultant for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers, was nominated to the post by Gov. Nathan Deal, according to a release from the Georgia Department of Education.

Rippner chaired the old Charter Schools Commission that was dismantled in May 2011 when the state Supreme Court gave local school boards exclusive control, according to the ATLAW, a blog about Georgia's legal community. The high court's 4-3 ruling nullified the commission's authority to grant charters to schools rejected by local school boards.

But on a 40-16 roll-call vote in March 2012, the Georgia Senate approved House Resolution 1162, which allowed voters to choose if the state should have full authority to approve local charter schools.

More than 58 percent of Georgians in November 2012 supported the measure, which, along with House Bill 797, restored the Charter Schools Commission.

The state Board of Education last week appointed seven state Charter Schools Commission members. Rippner, the education policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue, was one of them. Her two-year term ends Jan. 16, 2015.

Deal said Rippner and the other appointees “represent a broad cross section of backgrounds and expertise in business, education, non-profits, and government.

“I know they will take their duty of reviewing charter school petitions and approving high quality charter schools seriously, and I look forward to working with them to improve student learning and achievement across Georgia.” 

Click here to learn more about the members of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, who will meet for the first time at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30, at the University of Georgia Terry College of Business' Atlanta office. The agenda will include the initial organization of the commission, according to the Department of Education.


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