School Choice & Charters

Charters Offered Support in Georgia

By Linda Jacobson — June 03, 2008 2 min read

The following offers highlights of the recent legislative sessions. Precollegiate enrollment figures are based on fall 2007 data reported by state officials for public elementary and secondary schools. The figures for precollegiate education spending do not include federal flow-through funds, unless noted.

GEORGIA

Though legislation that would have changed the method used to pay for education in Georgia failed to win passage, lawmakers in their recently concluded session approved bills aimed at giving charter schools some financial help and easing some of the barriers to the approval of new charters.

Gov. Sonny Perdue
Republican
Senate:
22 Democrats
34 Republicans
House:
72 Democrats
107 Republicans
1 Independent
Enrollment:
1,589,839

One bill sets up a new statewide commission that could approve requests to create charter schools even if local school boards denied the applications. There are some limitations, however. The commission would not be able to approve new charters in districts that are operating, or have applied to operate, as charter districts. Gov. Sonny Perdue signed that bill, as well as legislation to provide matching funds to charter schools for capital improvements or construction.

The governor’s effort to give all schools, not just charter schools, more freedom from regulations also passed. The initiative allows school systems the opportunity to contract with the state education department for greater flexibility in how they administer their programs, in return for increased accountability for performance.

The $21.1 billion fiscal 2009 state budget includes $8.19 billion for education, a 4.9 percent increase over fiscal 2008.

This year’s legislative session also included a bill to expand the state’s popular lottery-financed pre-K program to 3-year-olds on a pilot basis, but the proposal failed. A committee will be formed to study the issue.

Even though sympathy for students from Georgia’s Clayton County school district, which is facing the loss of its accreditation, has been strong in the state, an attempt to pass voucher legislation that would have allowed students from a district losing accreditation to attend private schools at state expense failed.

In action involving the troubled Clayton County district, lawmakers did, however, approve two measures since signed into law by Gov. Perdue. One will set up a county ethics panel to hear complaints and monitor the actions of the Clayton County school board, and another will extend eligibility for the state’s HOPE college scholarships to graduates from the district until 2010 if the district’s accreditation is revoked. (“A Local Feud Proves Toxic,” this issue.)

But the session, which kicked off with House Speaker Glenn Richardson’s pledge to push a property-tax overhaul that would change how education is funded, ended without the passage of any tax-reform bills.

See Also

See other stories on education issues in Georgia. See data on Georgia’s public school system.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 04, 2008 edition of Education Week

Events

School & District Management Live Event Education Week Leadership Symposium
Education Week's Premier Leadership Event for K12 School & District Leaders.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion Is Hybrid Home Schooling the Future of Education?
Rick Hess speaks with Mike McShane about hybrid home schooling, which combines the best of home schooling and traditional schooling.
7 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Oklahoma Charter Schools Granted Local Tax Revenue in 'Seismic' Settlement
A groundbreaking settlement will fundamentally change the way charter schools are funded in Oklahoma, despite vehement opposition.
Nuria Martinez-Keel, The Oklahoman
3 min read
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
This July 19, 2019 photo shows an Epic Charter Schools office in Oklahoma City. The Oklahoma State Board of Education voted Thursday in favor of an agreement with the state's public charter school association to settle a 2017 lawsuit.
Sue Ogrocki/AP
School Choice & Charters COVID-19 May Energize Push for School Choice in States. Where That Leads Is Unclear
The pandemic is driving legislators' interest in mechanisms like education savings accounts, but the growth may not be straightforward.
8 min read
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address before a joint session of the Iowa Legislature on Jan. 12 at the statehouse in Des Moines, Iowa.
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds delivers her Condition of the State address to state lawmakers on Jan. 12. She's pushing a major school choice expansion.
Bryon Houlgrave/The Des Moines Register via AP
School Choice & Charters Letter to the Editor Are NOLA Charters a Mixed Bag?
To the Editor:
The opinion essay by Douglas N. Harris about how New Orleans’ education reforms post-Katrina are relevant to the COVID-19 era (“As Schools Recover After COVID-19, Look to New Orleans,” Sept. 30, 2020) highlights some basic improvements in the NOLA system but downplays the most significant aspects of those changes: the impact on people of color.
1 min read