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Thursday, March 31, 2011 - 10:00am

Ga. Supreme Court Delays Charter Ruling

The Georgia Supreme Court is delaying a decision in a high-profile case that will determine who has the power to create charter schools in Georgia.

The lawsuit was filed by local school boards against a state agency.

Lawmakers gave the state Charter School Commission the power to approve charter schools even if local school boards don't want them.

The state constution places school authority in local boards.

So, the inevitable clash between the charters and boards went to court two-years-ago.

Seth Coleman of Georgia's Charter School Association says, school officials thought a decision would have come last year.

"We would like to see it come to some sort of resolution as soon as possible," Coleman says. "But this is a somewhat different scenario."

That scenario involves a host of potential ramifications, whatever the outcome.

"Everybody kind of thought a decision would have been down by December and that date changed by March and then they changed," Coleman says. "And so here we are with them wanting a little bit more time. And we're sure that they're just being prudent."

The case will affect about 16,000 students in state-approved charter schools and seven local school districts paying for them against their will.