Georgia Charter Schools Association wants to thank Gov. Brian Kemp for supporting and signing key education legislation during the 2019 legislative session, and for using his veto pen on two bills that we and our members felt encroached upon the autonomy and flexibility of charter schools.
Most notably, the Governor supported and signed our request for an additional $2 million to be directed towards charter school facility grants. This was a major objective of your Association and we all worked hard to make this happen. This appropriation is in addition to the existing $1.5 million that was already appropriated. With these additional funds, every Georgia charter school will be eligible for approximately $40,000 plus one-time school safety grants in the amount of $30,000 per school. That will amount to approximately $70,000 in additional facility-related funding in the next 12 months.
The Governor also vetoed House Bill 83 and Senate Bill 15, two pieces of legislation that we and our members felt encroached upon the autonomy and flexibility of charter schools. We thank the Governor for his rejection of these potentially negative bills for charter schools.
- HB 83, known as the “recess bill,” would have required all schools, and potentially charter schools, to provide recess for all K-5 students. In a statement, the Governor said he believed “this legislation would impose unreasonable burdens on educational leaders without meaningful justification.”
- SB 15, known as the “school safety bill” would have required periodic threat assessments to be done on buildings, facilities, and campuses by a person or agency approved by GEMA and Homeland Security. However, the Governor felt this bill while well-intentioned amounted to an unfunded mandate.
You can download the updated summary of signed education bills here. As we turn our attention to our 2020 legislative agenda, we welcome your input on any legal or policy issues you would like us to review. Please contact our Policy and Advocacy team with your questions or suggestions:
Bonnie Holiday, Exec. VP Policy and External Relations, firstname.lastname@example.org, 770-378-4993
RaShaun Holliman, Sr. VP Advocacy and Government Relations, email@example.com, 614-778-9160