Georgia voters will get their say on public charter schools in November as they vote on a proposed constitutional amendment. Amendment backers hope to ensure that the state’s power to authorize and fund public charters isn’t threatened (They cite a 2011 Georgia Supreme Court decision that this could happen. The case took away the Georgia Charter Schools Commission’s authority to approve charter schools. Local school boards, not the state, have the constitutional authority to oversee K-12 education, the court ruled). The state Board of Education still approves applications, but amendment proponents want to make sure this authority is not taken away.
They’ll be asked: “Shall the Constitution of Georgia be amended to allow state or local approval of public charter schools upon the request of local communities?”
A “yes” vote means: the Georgia Charter Schools Commission, which had approved 16 of 83 state charter applications before it was disbanded, will be re-established. The commission, the state Board of Education and local school districts will all have the authority to approve charter school applications.
A “no” vote means: The Supreme Court ruling stands and the state’s role in approving charter schools will be limited.
Meanwhile, Georgia’s public charter schools recently got a new funding source at the state level through supplemental taxpayer funds.
Learn more about the constitutional amendment here.