By Chris Adams
One of the great education stories in Georgia has been the success of a distinguished group of charter schools dedicated to serving low and mixed-income students. This includes schools focused on closing the achievement gap for low-income students, like KIPP. It also includes schools with missions to educate diverse, mixed-income populations, such as Drew Charter School, Kindezi, and Atlanta Neighborhood Charter School. These and other high-performing charter schools have provided a path to success for thousands of low-income students in Georgia.
But there is a risk that fewer low-income students will have this opportunity in the future. Due to the popularity of quality charter schools, demographic changes, and challenges facing low-income families in the enrollment process, several charter schools are finding it harder to enroll a substantial percentage of low-income students.
Georgia can address this challenge by amending Georgia law to give charter schools the option to give admissions priority to educationally disadvantaged children. This approach is used several other states. It has support from charter school leaders, education policy experts, and the U.S. Department of Education. And it has allowed some of the most respected charter schools in the country to boost academic achievement, while ensuring that they reflect the communities they serve.
This white paper addresses the challenges facing Georgia’s low-income students, the opportunity for high-performing Georgia charter schools to address these challenges, and the need for legislation to empower these schools to fulfill their missions.
Read the full Impact Report here: Why Georgia Charter Schools Should Have the Option to Use an Admissions Preference for Educationally Disadvantaged Students