A charter school is a public school of choice that operates under the terms of a charter, or contract, with an authorizer, such as the state and local boards of education. Charter schools receive flexibility from certain state and local rules in exchange for a higher degree of accountability for raising student achievement. Charter schools are held accountable by their authorizer(s) for upholding the terms of their charter.
Existing local schools, private individuals, private organizations, and state and local public entities may organize a charter public school subject to a performance-based contract approved by both the state and local boards of education or by the state board of education alone.
Charter schools in Georgia are varied both in type and focus. Georgia law authorizes five distinct types of schools:
The constitutional amendment on the November ballot would provide Georgia with the same ability to authorize state charter schools that it had exercised for the previous 11 years. The Georgia Supreme Court sharply limited that ability and jeopardized it going forward in a 4-3 decision in 2011. Read More >>
The proposed constitutional amendment ensures state charter schools will not take local tax dollars from existing, traditional public school systems either directly or indirectly. The total funding for state charter schools will be lower than the average in all but two school systems in the state. Read More >>
HB 797 reconstitutes the Georgia Charter Schools Commission. The commission was formed in 2008 to review and possibly approve charter applications that had been denied by local school boards. But the commission was struck down as unconstitutional by the Georgia Supreme Court in a ruling May of 2011.
A RESOLUTION proposing an amendment to the Constitution of Georgia so as to clarify the authority of the state to establish state-wide education policy; to restate the authority of the General Assembly to create special schools; to delineate types of schools that the General Assembly may authorize and clarify funding authority; to provide for the submission of this amendment for ratification or rejection; and for other purposes.