GCSA wants to thank the member schools that provided legislative testimony or attended a hearing on Georgia House Bill 787. The bill went before a House Education subcommittee on Wednesday, Feb. 7 and the full House Education Committee on Thursday, Feb. 15.
The bill is moving forward after receiving approval from a House Education subcommittee and the full House Education committee. The legislation is sponsored by Rep. Scott Hilton (District 95). If approved in its current form, the bill would:
- Increase the “state supplement” funding provided to state charter schools,
- Provide additional funding to schools located in districts receiving capital allocations that exceed the state average by 25% or more,
- Provide a portion of capital funding to virtual schools to offset certain technology costs,
- Provide “forward funding” to charter schools to cover the cost of exceptional “horizontal” and/or “vertical enrollment growth, and
- Ensure that state charter schools are eligible for RESA services and membership.
Ethos Classical (GCSA Incubator Program), Genesis Innovation Academy, Georgia Cyber Academy, International Academy of Smyrna, International Charter School of Atlanta, and Scintilla Charter Academy, and The Community Academy for Art and Design (GCSA Incubator Program) were in attendance for the House Education subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 7.
GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts and GCSA Vice President of Policy and Advocacy were also present during the hearing.
During the subcommittee hearing, speakers in support of HB 787 included: Kari Schrock, Principal at International Academy of Smyrna (pictured on the right); Michele Neely, Development and Communications Manager forInternational Charter School of Atlanta; Andrew Oberg, Head of School at Georgia Cyber Academy; Gavin Samms, Head of Schools for Genesis Innovation Academy (pictured above on the left); Emily White, Ethos Classical Founding Board Member (GCSA Incubator Program); and Mandy Avera, Dean of Students for Scintilla Charter Academy. Lou Erste, Associate Superintendent for Policy, Charter Schools, District Flexibility, and Governmental Affairs for the Georgia Department of Education also spoke.
Neely brought students to speak with her in front of the subcommittee, including her two daughters (pictured at the top of the story on the right).
Following the hearing, GCSA President and CEO Tony Roberts told Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Ty Tagami the increased funding is the fair thing to do for state charter schools. “They have to have better than state average results,” said Roberts, “but we’re asking them to do it with the lowest state funding.”
House Bill 787 is one of two House measures that has been introduced to address charter school funding inequities.