Education Secretary: grant can't keep Ga. charter schools open
Georgia State Senator Fran Millar, left, heads the first public meeting of the special legislative committee to help charter school students continue their education and share some of the solutions suggested, Friday, June 3, 2011 in Atlanta. Lawmakers and school officials said Friday that in the short term, state leaders are pressuring local school boards to approve the 16 state-commissioned charter schools, with 16,000 students, that could be shut down by the court's May ruling. The State Board of Education could also give them a special status that could at least temporarily keep their doors open. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Phil Skinner)
ATLANTA (AP) — Education Secretary Arne Duncan says part of a $400 million federal grant won by Georgia last year cannot go to help keep the doors open at a handful of charter schools affected by a court ruling.
Duncan spoke Wednesday via satellite during the National Charter Schools Conference in Atlanta. He told the audience that the "Race to the Top" grant money is earmarked for other programs.
He said the U.S. Department of Education will work with Georgia to help keep the schools started by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission from closing.
The state Supreme Court ruled recently that the commission was unconstitutional. The commission schools have been scrambling to get approval from their local districts or the state school board so they can stay open.