Thanks to GCSA’s successful advocacy efforts, Georgia charter schools are one step closer to receiving a significant increase in facilities funding this year. The Georgia Senate released its version of the state’s FY23 budget on Wednesday morning. The budget includes the addition of $3 million new dollars to the Charter School Facility Grant fund. This brings the grant fund total up to $7.5 million—which is enough to provide all eligible charter schools a grant award of $75,000 per year to help offset facility costs. This represents an increase of $25,000 over last year’s per school grant awards. A recently passed House version of the budget contained the same facilities funding boost.
The budget is slated for a vote in the Senate on Friday. It will then head to a conference committee for finalization.
House Bill 1215
Georgia’s Senate Education and Youth Committee is expected to consider GCSA’s 2022 charter bill early next week. The Georgia House approved House Bill 1215 with a vote of 113 to 45 on Thursday, Feb. 24.
House Bill 1215 is sponsored by state Rep. Brad Thomas. The charter legislation does four things:
1) it refines the state’s charter school definition to better distinguish charter schools from charter systems, College and Career Academies and other school choice models in the state;
2) it prevents local districts from prohibiting students from transferring to charter schools during the school year;
3) it closes a loophole in the funding calculation for local charter schools by basing funding on collected (versus budgeted) local revenue.
4) it removes the performance audit requirement for virtual state charter schools.