Georgia’s FY23 Budget takes effect on Friday. Starting in July, Georgia charter schools will see a significant increase in facilities funding. As a result of advocacy efforts by GCSA, its member schools and key lawmakers, the state’s FY23 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 a $25,000, or 50 percent increase, over last year’s individual school grant awards.
A dedicated funding weight for locally-approved charter schools is established in Georgia’s FY23 budget.
In FY23, charter schools that are authorized by local school districts will receive additional funding in the upcoming fiscal year as a result of legislation that was passed by state lawmakers in 2021. Under Senate Bill 59, locally-approved charters will receive a dedicated funding weight of 3.785% of the QBE base. That amounts to approximately $106 per student and more than $3.3 million dollars in new state funding for locally-approved charter schools. This legislation was also championed by GCSA.
Charter School Legislation Taking Effect on July 1
House Bill 1215: Key Equity Access Bill for Georgia Charter Schools
House Bill 1215, a crucial equity access bill for Georgia charter schools, goes into effect on Friday, July 1, after being signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. HB 1215 was sponsored by Rep. Brad Thomas and 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.
During the 2022 legislative session, the Georgia Senate approved the bill 45-9, and the Georgia House passed the bill 113-45.
Additional Education Laws
The Georgia General Assembly approved a number of additional bills that are relevant to public charter schools during the 2022 legislative session. The Georgia Charter Schools Association has compiled a comprehensive bill tracking list with the status of all education and charter-related legislation. GCSA member schools can receive the list by logging into the Members Area of the GCSA website.