Magic City Acceptance Academy

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Magic City Acceptance Academy
Magic City Acceptance Academy logo.png
Established 2021
School type Charter
District Alabama State Department of Education
Grades 6-12
Principal Patton Furman
Enrollment 350 (2023)
Location 75 Bagby Drive

Magic City Acceptance Academy (MCAA) is a charter high school sponsored by Birmingham AIDS Outreach as part of its mission to provide free services for LGBTQ youth. The school provides a standard high school curriculum while fostering an environment free of bullying, which is a major factor in limiting educational opportunities for LGBTQ students. Straight "allies" are also be welcomed at the school. The curriculum incorporates trauma-informed teaching strategies to facilitate learning.

Michael Wilson was hired as principal for the school, which opened in August 2021 with 270 students. It is located at 75 Bagby Drive in Homewood.


The Birmingham Board of Education, which generally opposes charter schools, denied the group's application in January 2020. The Alabama Public Charter School Commission, which has frequently overruled local boards, voted 6-2 to deny a charter for the Academy.

The Academy then made plans to open in Homewood. Since Homewood City Schools, unlike Birmingham, played no role in authorizing charter schools, the application was made directly to the state commission.

In their September 10, 2020 meeting the application got 3 affirmative votes and 1 vote against, with four abstentions. Since the application did not receive approval from a majority of the eight members present, it was effectively denied. Chair Henry Nelson requested a re-vote, but the motion failed. The commission did take up the motion again on September 17. Once more it failed to gain a majority, by a vote of 4 in favor, 3 against and 1 abstention, and was therefore denied.

MCAA petitioned for a re-hearing on the grounds that sufficient reasons for rejecting their application had not been furnished. A fourth vote was held on November 4. The schools application was approved then with 7 yes votes, 1 no, and 1 abstention from the 9 members present.


Magic City Acceptance Academy opened in August 2021.

In 2021 the system was awarded $122,346 in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the 2022 primary elections, Republican gubernatorial candidate Tim James aired television advertisements with images of the school, its faculty and students taken from social media posts. He dishonestly described the academy as a "transgender public school". Since the ads aired, provoking some harassment, the school increased its security and provided additional counseling to students.



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