Georgia Charter Schools Association gathered with school leaders and board members from across the Atlanta metro area on Monday, Aug. 20, during the “State of Georgia Charter Schools” event at the Historic Academy of Medicine on Georgia Tech’s campus.
Georgia Charter Schools President and CEO Tony Roberts greeted those who took part in the well-attended meeting. Roberts spoke about the value of GCSA membership, including legislation that GCSA successfully advocated for in the past 10 years. Roberts mentioned the passage of the 2012 charter school amendment to Georgia’s Constitution, which led to the creation of the State Charter Schools Commission and an alternate authorizer for charter schools. He also told school leaders and board members about House Bill 555, which allows charter schools to locate in unused district facilities. Roberts also spoke about the recent passage of House Bill 787, which will provide more than $40 million to state charter schools and forward funding for all Georgia charter schools (Roberts is pictured above on the left).
Elisa A. Falco´, GCSA’s Executive Vice President of School Success (pictured on the right), gave an overview of the association and its key staff members. She also spoke about essential training opportunities that promote increased academic, financial and organizational success. Aarti Sharma, GCSA Vice President of New School Development, told attendees about GCSA’s charter school incubator and the need for charter schools in Atlanta and throughout Georgia. RaShaun Holliman, GCSA’s new Vice President of Policy and Advocacy, told those participating in the forum how important it is to build on the success of the last legislative session. He says students, parents, teachers, school leaders, board members and advocates should play an important role in supporting future legislation and policies that benefit charter schools and allow them to be successful (Holliman is pictured above on the left).
Gregg Stevens, Deputy Director and General Counsel with the State Charter Schools Commission, went into greater depth on how funding for schools will be calculated under HB 787. Allen Mueller with the Georgia Department of Education’s Charter School Division presented on new and potential state rules and policies that could affect charter schools.
After hearing from GCSA, the State Charter Schools Commission and the Georgia Department of Education, participants used an interactive tool called “Poll Everywhere” to register their opinions on items such as Georgia’s current charter school and policy climate. The technology allows users to register their opinions from their smartphones and computers.
The event concluded with a lunch sponsored by Zaner-Bloser, a company that works to support teachers and assist students with literacy education.
If you missed the Atlanta “State of Georgia Charter Schools” event, you can still take part in one of the two remaining sessions in Albany or Savannah. Sign up for those sessions HERE.