On Friday, Oct. 26, state Sen. Lester Jackson, Georgia’s Legislative Black Caucus Chair, D-Savannah, visited Susie King Taylor Community School (SKTCS). The following week, state Rep. Scott Hilton, R-Peachtree Corners, toured Brookhaven Innovation Academy (BIA) in Norcross.
While visiting Susie King Taylor Community School, Sen. Jackson had the opportunity to meet with parents and students who shared the positive impact the public charter school is having on their children and the Savannah-Chatham County Public School District. He also heard from Dr. Latrisha Chattin, SKTCS School Director and Dr. Christen Clougherty, SKTCS Governing Board Clerk. The visit also gave Sen. Jackson more insight into the facilities challenges that Susie King Taylor Community and other Georgia public charter schools face as a result of current funding levels. Sen. Jackson visited the school on the day of Susie King Taylor’s costume parade celebration.
On Tuesday, Oct. 30, Rep. Hilton spoke to a third-grade class at Brookhaven Innovation Academy about the role the state legislature plays in the life of Georgia citizens and the work he does on behalf of children and constituents. During the visit, he learned the school has been able to hire more qualified teachers as a result of the passage and signing of House Bill 787 into law. Hilton was the primary sponsor of HB 787. School administrators say during the current school year Brookhaven Innovation Academy has received approximately $800 more per student as a result of the new law. Hilton also met with BIA Head of School Julie Tolbert.
Tony Roberts, Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) President and CEO and RaShaun Holliman, Georgia Charter Schools Association Vice President of Policy and Advocacy took part in both school visits. GCSA worked to connect both schools with their elected officials prior to the recent school tours. Georgia Charter Schools Association wants to assist additional members schools with organizing legislative visits to ensure as many lawmakers and key policy officials get a firsthand opportunity to step foot inside a Georgia public charter schools so they can view innovative classroom practices and see the difference member schools are making in the lives of students.