Georgia education reform group to discuss charter school funding

Finding an equitable way to support charter schools will likely be the focus of discussions when a committee of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission meets Friday.

The Educational Options committee is scheduled to discuss proposals such as:

• Give charter schools a proportional share of federal funds earmarked for school districts with high percentages of low-income students.

• Establish a statewide competitive grant fund for charter facility expenses.

• Clarify that any property owned or leased by a nonprofit for use by a charter school is considered “public property” and exempt from taxes.

The committee is also scheduled to discuss recommendations setting guidelines for Education Savings Accounts, a proposal being consdered by the Georgia Legislature. The accounts allow funding to follow a student who leaves a public school for a private or parochial campus.

Deal wants proposals from the commission by December so he can initiate legislation to overhaul education policy in the coming legislative session.