The deadline is approaching for charter school operators to submit applications to run independent public schools authorized by the state. Prospective operators must hand deliver or mail their requests Georgia's Charter School Commission by the end of Friday. The deadline marks the latest milestone in the state's expansion of non-traditional public schools.
The state Senate has approved a new funding system to support new charter schools in Georgia. The legislation approved Monday by a vote of 38-14 now heads back to the House for final approval. Voters will decide in November whether to change the Georgia Constitution so state officials can create new charter schools.
Democratic lawmakers are offering a rival amendment meant to address a state Supreme Court ruling that left a cloud of legal uncertainty over some Georgia charter schools. It would allow the General Assembly to create special charter schools, but would ban state officials from taking money from existing public schools and giving that funding to new charter schools.
The Georgia Supreme Court says it will not reconsider its decision to overturn part of the state’s charter-school law. Sixteen charter schools left in limbo by the decision are now trying to find other ways to open this fall. Some are going back to the local districts that originally refused to approve them.
Hundreds of charter school teachers, students and supporters rallied on the steps of the Capitol to protest the state Supreme Court’s rejection of the state’s power to open the schools. The students, who attend schools opened by the state Charter Schools Commission, called on legislators to find a way to keep their schools open.
Georgia Supreme Court Justices are putting off a decision in one of their most high-profile cases. Court-watchers say the delay in the charter school commission case is highly unusual but doesn't hint as to how the court will decide. The case will settle the hot question of who has final authority to approve charter schools in Georgia.