Charter School Choice
Does the state have charter schools?
Are for-profit charter schools or management companies allowed?
"[T]he local board and state board shall ensure that a charter school... shall be.... [a] public, nonsectarian, nonreligious, nonprofit school that is not home based, provided that a charter school's nonprofit status shall not prevent the school from contracting for the services of a for profit entity..."
Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?
"The state board shall be authorized to approve up to five petitions for charter systems during fiscal year 2008, and may approve up to a maximum number of petitions in following years as may be established pursuant to board rules and as subject to availability of funding for implementation grants."
Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?
No explicit mention. However, the fund set up for helping charters purchase and maintain facilities allows for the allocation of funds for the "[p]urchase of vehicles to transport students to and from the charter school or commission charter school."
Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?
In the definition section, faculty and instructional staff members are defined as "all certificated personnel assigned to the school on a full-time basis and all paraprofessionals assigned to the school on a full-time basis." So, although the need for certification is not directly mentioned, it seems as though certifications may be required.
Virtual School Choice
Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?
Each local school system shall provide opportunities to all students in grades three through 12 enrolled in public schools within its boundaries for participation in part-time and full-time virtual instruction program options. The program shall provide at least three options for:
(1) Full-time virtual instruction for students enrolled in grades three through 12; and
(2) Part-time virtual instruction for students enrolled in grades three through 12.
Are virtual schools required to track attendance?
Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?
Private School Choice
Does the state have voucher programs?
Georgia statutes allow for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program.
Does the state have educational expense tuition tax credits or deductions?
No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.
Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?
"'Private school' means a nonpublic school, sectarian or nonsectarian, which is accredited or in the process of becoming accredited by one or more of the entities listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519."
Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?
Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?
However, if a participating student's parent would like the student to take the standardized exams, the resident school system must make available a time and place for the student.
Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?
No explicit mention. However, it is stated that "[t]he department may bar a school from participation in the program if the department determines that the school has intentionally and substantially misrepresented information or failed to refund to the state any scholarship overpayments in a timely manner."
Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?
"Upon acceptance of the scholarship, the parent assumes full financial responsibility for the education of the scholarship student, including transportation to and from the participating school."
Interdistrict School Choice
Does the state have interdistrict choice programs?
Georgia law allows for non-mandatory interdistrict choice. The "grant or refusal of permission for students to attend such schools, for the purpose of permitting state funds to follow such students, shall be entirely discretionary with the state board and shall, in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion by the state board, be final and conclusive." Furthermore, because interdistrict choice is voluntary, "local units of administration may contract with each other for the care, education, and transportation of students and for such other activities as they may be authorized by law to perform."