Your opinion: March 22, 2017

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Points out Furlow Charter School is a public school
We were so pleased to see Dr. Choates’ most recent article in the paper entitled, “A United Community better for Education,” published on Saturday, March 18, 2017. We agree whole-heartedly with his sentiment. Americus and Sumter County children deserve an outstanding education, and we appreciate Dr. Choates’ focus on all of our county’s students. However, we wish to clarify that Furlow Charter School is part of the Sumter County School system. Charter schools in Georgia are, by definition, public schools.
Referring to charter schools, he writes, “In the state of Georgia, students and parents now enjoy the benefit of state support for tuition and fees.” As public schools, charter schools do not charge tuition. Furlow Charter School is open to ALL residents of Sumter County regardless of race, income level, or educational preparedness.
Regarding teacher development, as part of the district, Furlow Charter School received over $20,000 this year earmarked for teacher development. This was money that came to the district from the federal government and was passed on to Furlow based on the proportion of Sumter County certified teachers Furlow Charter School employs.
Furlow Charter School strives to contribute to educational excellence in Sumter County. We are only in our second year. We provide exciting opportunities for our students like a book club, a chess club, and cross-county, tennis, and soccer teams. Our students recently won Best Picture in the Georgia Movie Academy for two age divisions. In regional literary competition, our scholars won first place in Girls Trio and Extemporaneous Speaking-Domestic. Our scholars also won first place in the state-wide My Place Art Competition sponsored by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America. Three of our Odyssey of the Mind teams won first place in their divisions and advance to state on April 1. This year, our school received the Gold level (highest award) of the Gold Radish Award for the Feed My School programs at Furlow, including garden beds designed and maintained by our scholars. We are proud to be a school of choice in Sumter County.
Elizabeth Kuipers, Ph.D., and Valerie Duff
Governing board chair and principal
Furlow Charter School