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Officials oppose nearby school
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A proposed charter school in neighboring Forsyth County has raised concern among Dawson County School System officials.


According to its Web site, the Global Outreach Academy of Excellence is recruiting students from Dawson, Forsyth, Fulton, Hall and Gwinnett counties.


At a recent meeting, the Dawson County Board of Education voted to formally oppose the school’s plans, which were submitted to the Georgia Charter Schools Commission in Atlanta.


Following a unanimous vote, Superintendent Keith Porter sent a letter to the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, expressing the local school board’s concerns.


In an interview, Porter summed up the letter.


“Overall, we feel like we could provide all of the services and more than were listed in the [Global Outreach Academy of Excellence] charter application,” Porter said.


“As long as we can provide these services within our own county, it’s difficult to justify funding a school in another county.”


Officials with Global Outreach Academy of Excellence could not be reached for comment.


Charter schools are funded through a combination of state, federal and local money.


If approved, Porter said, the charter school could “divert state funding” from the local system.


In October, the Dawson County school district submitted its application to become a charter system.


Charter system status, Porter said, could allow students, teachers and administrators more flexibility within the district.


Nicky Gilleland, a former local superintendent who is a charter system consultant for the district, said the systemwide charter would “allow us to waive rules that hinder some of the things we want to do as a school system.”


The district has not heard back from the state about its application.