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Monday, February 20, 2012 - 6:00am

More Districts Becoming Charter Systems

A growing number of school systems in Georgia are converting into charter districts to gain flexibility from state rules in exchange for promises of improved student performance.

The state started with a handful of charter districts at first, but now more than a dozen have converted. And Fulton County, among the largest districts in the state, hopes to gain approval to become a charter system this spring.

The districts are taking advantage of a 2007 law that allows systems to enter into contracts with the state freeing them from class size, teacher salary schedule and other restrictions.

Each school in a charter district creates a council of teachers, parents and community members that makes budgetary, hiring and other decisions instead of relying on the district's central administration.