2018 PPI Score
School Choice Score: 68%
Georgia’s Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit, a tax-credit scholarship program, was enacted in 2008 to help prior public school students access schools that best fit their needs.
The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program is a voucher program enacted in 2007 to serve students with special needs access specialized schools.
Charter Schools Score: 75%
Georgia earns a “C” in the CER’s rankings. Georgia has no charter cap and fairly substantive operational funding. However, the law does not provide charters a blanket waiver from regulations that hamper districts, and the sector is hindered by a lack of independent authorizers. Large funding disparities also adversely impact charter school quality and growth.
- Law Passed: 1993
- Number of charters: 115
- Estimated Charter School Enrollment: 84,400 (2 percent increase from 2015-16)
- Georgia does not cap the number of charter schools
- Virtual Charter Schools are allowed
- Charter Schools can contract with EMOs and CMOs for management purposes
- A study by the University of Arkansas found that there was
a 12 percent funding disparity between charter schools in Atlanta and traditional public schools, in part due to high special education enrollment in Atlanta’s charters.
- Georgia scores 6 out of 15 for “authorizing.” Local school boards, the State Board of Education, and the State Charter Schools Commission are all eligible authorizers. While its multiple authorizers boost Georgia’s score, the State Charter School Commission, which has a reputation for making politically motivated decisions rather than acting independently, puts Georgia’s charter sector at risk.
- Georgia earns 13 points for “growth.” Georgia’s law does not cap the number of charter schools that can be authorized in the state. However, there has been a significant drop of the number of charter schools in recent years, suggesting that the state is not motivated to expand the sector in response to demand.
- Georgia earns 11 out of 20 points for “operations” because the law grants blanket waivers from most state and local regulations that apply to district schools. While state sponsored charter schools are their own local education agencies and have a fair amount of autonomy, districts heavily regulate the schools that they sponsor. The law requires charter school teachers to receive traditional certification.
- Georgia earns 5 out of 15 points for “funding equity.” The law states that charter schools should be treated “no less favorably” than conventional district schools with regard to funding for instruction, administration, transportation and food services. However, school districts negotiate funding with locally approved charter schools, resulting in inequities. Further, state- chartered special schools receive only state and federal funds, and cannot draw from a local tax base. Authorizers may deduct up to three percent of charter funding for administrative fees. Charter schools do not receive any per-pupil facilities funding.
Teacher Quality Score: 82%
Delivering Well Prepared Teachers C+
Expanding the Pool of Teachers C
Identifying Effective Teachers B
Retaining Effective Teachers C
Exiting Ineffective Teachers C
Overall State Grade B-