Assessing the new charter legislation

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008  |    |  1 Comment »

This spring the Georgia General Assembly passed and Governor Perdue signed 4 bills that directly affect charter schools in Georgia.  Each of these bills are good bills in my opinion.  Some will have a broader impact than others.  Most have some language that could be improved upon in the future to make them even more effective.

HB 831: This bill allows – subject to appropriation of funds – the State to provide matching funds to a charter school that is able to raise private funds for capital projects under certain circumstances and subject to certain limits as to the total amount of the match and who owns the facility to be improved.

HB 881: This bill was the most widely followed of the four.  It creates the new state Charter Commission that will be a new charter school authroizer for Georgia.  This authorizer will be able to provide funding to charter schools that approximates what they would recieve as a locally approved charter school.

HB 1065: This bill specifically provides for charter school facilities to be included in a local education sales tax referendum.  There was some question with certain school systems whether this was permitted.

HB 1277: This bill allows individual charter schools to enroll their employees directly into the state health benefits program rather than having to go through the local school system to do so.

What I am interested in is how you believe these bills will affect you as a charter school petitioner, operator, teacher, parent, student, or whatever your interest.