Brookhaven city officials are backing the creation of a new charter school in their city.

Backers of the school, to be called the Brookhaven Innovation Academy, plan to file a charter application with the state later this week, city officials said Tuesday, May 13. They hope the school can be operating by August 2015.

“This is a defining moment for the city of Brookhaven, because nobody else has ever done this,” City Councilman Joe Gebbia said. “We’re a very progressive city and this is very much in keeping with who we are.”

If approved, the school will open with 420 students in kindergarten through sixth grade, city officials said. The plan is to add a grade each year until the school reaches 12th grade, they said. Eventually, the school would include about 1,300 students on campus and hundreds more taking courses online, said Glenn Delk, a consultant on the proposal.

Brookhaven residents would be favored for admission. If students from Brookhaven did not fill the school’s classes, admission would be opened to students from throughout DeKalb County and then throughout Georgia, city officials said.

The proposal, unveiled at Brookhaven’s new City Hall, calls for the school to be operated by a non-profit governed by a board whose members would be appointed by Brookhaven City Council. The board also would include representatives of parents and the Brookhaven Chamber of Commerce and could include a representative of the DeKalb school board, said Gareth Genner, a consultant working with city officials on the school plan.

The school, like other charter schools, would be financed through school taxes. City officials said no city money would be spent on operating the school. About $300,000 to $400,000 is needed to start the school, Delk said. That money, he said, would come from the state and private foundations.

Delk said the school would specialize in teaching science, technology, engineering and math and would use Google technology developed for instruction.

Mattison described the school as a place for “high-tech, 21st century learning.”

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

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