Georgia Charter Schools Association News

For the Media

Address Communications Inquiries to: Nina Rubin, Director of Communications

Georgia Charter Schools Commission

The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia is a state-level, independent charter school authorizing entity. The commission has the power to approve or deny petitions for commission charter schools and renew, nonrenew, or terminate commission charter school petitions in accordance with Georgia law.

While the Commission’s duties are set forth in law and extend beyond simply authorizing schools, the Commission’s principal obligations include:

  1. Reviewing charter school petitions for commission charter schools and assisting in the establishment of commission charter schools throughout Georgia;
  2. Developing and promoting best practices for charter schools and charter school cosponsors in order to ensure that high-quality charter schools are developed and encouraged;
  3. Promoting high standards of accountability for commission charter schools; and
  4. Monitoring and annually reviewing the academic and financial performance, including revenues and expenditures, of commission charter schools and holding the schools accountable for their performance pursuant to the charter.

Timeline of Charter School Laws in Georgia

  • 1993: Original charter school law is passed. Only existing public schools can convert to charter status. Approval by local and state boards required.
  • 1998: Independent start-up charter schools are allowed. Approval by local and state boards required.
  • 2008: HB881 creates the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, an alternative charter petition authorizing body.
  • 2009: HB555 requires local school systems to allow charter schools located within their jurisdiction to utilize unused educational facilities at no cost to the charter school.
  • 2010: Constitutionality of HB881 and the Georgia Charter Schools Commission reaffirmed by Fulton County Superior Court Judge.
  • 2011: Georgia Supreme Court overrules lower court, declares Georgia Charter Schools Commission and HB881 unconstitutional, casting severe doubt over the futures of 16 charter schools approved by the Commission and the 15,000 students they serve. Vast majority of Georgia charter schools are largely un-impacted by the Supreme Court ruling.
  • 2012:¬†Amendment One passes, November 2012 reinstating the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.

Georgia Charter Schools by the Numbers (2012-2013)

  • 314 Total charter schools
  • 225,800 Students served
  • 16 Charter Systems (Barrow County, Calhoun, Cartersville, Dawson County, Decatur, Dublin, Floyd County, Fulton County, Gainesville, Gordon County, Madison County, Marietta, Morgan County, Putnam County, Warren County, White County)

Georgia Charter School Facts

(Based on 2012 Georgia CRCT results)

  • Startup charter schools in Metro Atlanta districts (Atlanta, Cobb, DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett) performed admirably versus the traditional public schools in those districts – by either exceeding the traditional schools outright, or int terms of performance improvement.
  • 13 of 46 (28.3%) of startup charter schools posted at least a 2% improvement in reading (compared to 2010-2011 performance)
  • 21 of 46 (45.6%) of startup charter schools posted at least a 2% improvement in math (compared to 2010-2011 performance)