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Georgia lawmakers approve more funding for charter schools

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(The Center Square) — Georgia lawmakers have approved a measure to increase funding for public charter school principals and superintendents.

According to the Georgia Charter Schools Association, House Bill 1122 allocates roughly $6 million to fund a superintendent for each state charter school with at least 1,000 students, a principal for each state and local charter school serving ninth to 12th grades and one principal per 300 students — up to two principals — to state and local charter schools serving “any combination” of kindergarten through eighth grades.

The measure also mandates the Georgia Department of Education determine a “single score” for public schools and districts. Proponents say this will allow Georgians to compare schools and districts and track academic progress.

Previously, education officials assigned schools a “single score” — or numeric grade — via the state’s College and Career Ready Performance Index. However, the association said in a release that the U.S. Department of Education has allowed the state’s education department to waive this requirement.

“We’re pleased that charter schools will now receive additional state funding to cover critical positions like principals and superintendents,” Tony Roberts, president and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association, said in an announcement.

“By allocating these resources, the state is one step closer to closing the funding gap between charter schools and traditional public schools,” Roberts added. “These additional dollars will ensure public charter schools are better positioned to retain and attract skilled administrators who are focused on improving student outcomes.”

It also allows part-time employees’ children to go to the school where their parent works via an “enrollment preference.”

HB 1122 is headed to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp for consideration. If signed, the funding takes effect in fiscal 2026.