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Georgia Governor Signs Laws Boosting Transparency, Accountability and Options for Students

Georgia’s students, families and taxpayers will have stronger educational options after Governor Nathan Deal signed legislation today enhancing transparency and access to a quality education.

The four new laws strengthen charter schools that are currently serving more than 90,000 students in the state; create greater transparency in how schools spend taxpayer dollars; enhance school choice options for military families; and provide more direct support for the lowest-performing schools.

“These policies build on Georgia’s impressive track record of reform, which has already done much to empower families and students with educational options. We thank Governor Deal and so many other policymakers, partners and educators who work every day to make sure all students have access to a quality education and the ability to succeed.” – Patricia Levesque, ExcelinEd CEO 

Highlights of the bills signed today by Governor Deal:

  • House Bill 430 strengthens support for charter schools in the state. Sponsored by Rep. Buzz Brockway and carried in the upper chamber by Sen. Fran Millar, HB 430 enacts several recommendations made by Governor Deal’s Education Reform Commission. Those changes include increased facilities funding, more equitable federal funding, better access to unused district facilities and improved accountability for Georgia’s many charter authorizers.
  • House Bill 139 will empower educators, parents and all Georgia residents with easy-to-understand information on school spending. Sponsored by Rep. Dave Belton and carried in the Senate by Sen. Matt Brass, HB 139 requires local public schools and districts to publish how much they spend on average per student and how funds are spent. This will help schools learn from one another, give state leaders better data as they make funding decisions, and create trust and accountability around the funding process.
  • House Bill 224, also sponsored by Rep. Belton, allows students in military families to attend any school in the district or districts in which their military base or off-base military housing is located. Sen. Hunter Hill carried the bill in the upper chamber.
  • House Bill 338 creates a new chief turnaround officer position reporting directly to the State Board of Education and charged with overseeing interventions in the lowest-performing schools. This new position will ensure quicker and more thorough support for those schools and their students. The bill was sponsored by Rep. Kevin Tanner and carried in the Senate by Education Chair Lindsey Tippins.

ExcelinEd appreciates the support of so many partners including the American Federation for Children, the Georgia Campaign for Achievement Now, the Georgia Center for Opportunity, the Georgia Chamber and the Georgia Charter Schools Association.