House Bill 318 overwhelmingly passed the Georgia House with a vote of 145 to 17 on Wednesday, March 1. The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. HB 318 is a crucial charter school bill championed by the Georgia Charter Schools Association and key state lawmakers. HB 318 is a crucial charter school bill championed by the Georgia Charter Schools Association and key state lawmakers. HB 318 is sponsored by Rep. Scott Hilton, District 48, and does the following:
- Shifts the state’s existing Office of Charter School Compliance from the Georgia Department of Education to the State Charter Schools Commission.
- Requires charter school authorizers to itemize and value the services provided to each local charter school in exchange for any administrative fees withheld from the school.
- Clarifies the allowable usage of Letters of Assurance.
- Ensures that local school boards fund charter schools based on actual student enrollment rather than projected enrollment provided that the school has not exceeded the school-wide enrollment cap outlined in its charter contract.
In addition to House Bill 318, GCSA is pushing for an increase in Georgia’s Charter School Facility Grant fund. Last year, GCSA successfully fought for an additional $3 million in facilities funding bringing the grant fund up to $7.5 million — which provided all eligible charter schools an annual grant award of approximately $75,000 to offset significant facility costs. You can read GCSA’s complete list of 2023 legislative priorities here.