Georgia Bill Will Protect Alumnus Artesius Miller's Charter ... | Teachers College Columbia University

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Thanks to a TC Alumnus, Georgia Will Protect Charter Schools

Artesius Miller graduated with a master's of arts degree in 2011 and immediately headed home to Georgia to fulfill a dream:  to found a charter school in Clayton County, one of the poorest districts in the nation.

It took years of political struggle. Miller and his supporters first had to secure a statewide ballot initiative, which conferred state approval on the project. But local officials balked, twice preventing 200 students from entering the building last August to begin the school year. Miller and his supporters marched on City Hall and the Board of Education, and finally, in September, they opened the Utopian Academy of the Arts.

Miller's victory became a matter of law when Clayton County Superior Court upheld House Bill 372, passed on April 2, which makes it illegal for local governments to block a charter school that has already been approved by the state. Governor Nathan Deal has promised to sign the bill.

“I cannot put into words how much it means to have a state law to make sure this doesn’t happen to future state charter schools,” said Miller in the Clayton News Daily.

Link: Gov. Nathan Deal to sign 'Utopian Academy' law

Read Artesius Miller's student profile and alumni profile from TC Today.

Published Tuesday, Apr. 21, 2015