Gov. Nathan Deal signed legislation Thursday that helps charter schools by making it easier for them to acquire unused school buildings and improving their access to funding.
House Bill 430 mandates hearings for charter schools that are trying to obtain unused school buildings and ensures they get a proportional share of certain federal funding. The legislation by Rep. Buzz Brockway, R-Lawrenceville, also establishes a $100,000 grant fund for charter school facilities, though lawmakers and Deal haven’t assigned money in the budget for that.
Tony Roberts, president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, called it a good first step. He said charter schools have been on an unequal footing with traditional schools, compelled to produce superior results while receiving inferior funding.
The new law implements a handful of the recommendations from Deal’s 2015 Education Reform Commission. “Charter schools are starting to see the hope of having their children funded at the level of other public schools’ students,” Roberts said.