The 2023 Charter Bill championed by GCSA is one step closer to gaining final approval. Georgia’s Senate Education and Youth Committee passed HB 318 on Tuesday, March 21. The bill is now under consideration by the Senate Rules Committee before it can advance to the Senate floor for a vote. The bill must receive final passage in both chambers on or before Sine Die, the final day of the 2023 legislative session, to gain approval this year. The 2023 legislative session ends on Wednesday, March 29.
HB 318 is a crucial charter school bill championed by the Georgia Charter Schools Association and key state lawmakers. The bill addresses four important issues continually flagged by charter schools: Letters of Assurance, administrative withhold fees, local charter school funding, and charter school oversight. 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.