Charter school protection bill becomes law

Gov. Nathan Deal has signed legislation designed to protect state-authorized charter schools from local officials.

House Bill 372, also known as the Utopian Academy for the Arts Act, is named after a Clayton County charter school that opened late last fall. Officials in Riverdale required a license to operate, and the academy couldn’t get one because disputes involving the school’s lease held up a prerequisite inspection.

Yet state agencies had inspected the school and authorized its opening. The new law allows state charter schools to open with the necessary state approvals.

“This bill will protect state charter schools from local officials who seek to obstruct the opening” of those schools, Deal said when signing the bill into law Tuesday.

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