by: Tom Regan Updated:
DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ga. - Hundreds of parents filed into Druid Hills High School Tuesday evening to decide whether to transform their cluster of seven schools into a charter-run organization.
It's the first ballot of its kind in the state.
"I like the idea of having a lot more autonomy, and funds and the ability to control a lot more of our kids' education in DeKalb County," said parent Stacey Melton.
If approved, the application would create a school management team separate from the DeKalb County School Board. Advocates believe charter status would give parents and leaders greater independence in policy decisions.
"It puts the decision-making in the localized group of five elementary schools, the middle school and the high school," said parent Leah Lewis.
Some who support the proposal said they were upset that they could not cast a ballot because they are not a parent or guardian.
"Because I don't have children, even though I pay property taxes and have lived here for 13 years, I don't get to vote on whether or not the charter is going to pass." said resident Beth Bond.
The ballot proposal must receive 60 percent passage by parents before it can be reviewed by the county board of education and the state department of education.