Georgia school budgets affected by stagnating population growth

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Georgia school budgets affected by stagnating population growth

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Kindergarteners enter a classroom at Ivy Prep, a state-commissioned charter school in the Kirkwood neighborhood of Atlanta. AJC/ JASON GETZ

Schools are still feeling the effects of the Great Recession, which was followed by a dip in childbirths.

Georgia bases its education funding for school districts on their enrollment, and that has basically been static, said Ted Beck, chief financial officer for the Georgia Department of Education. It’s up several thousand students this school year, a blip when compared with the overall enrollment of 1.75 million. Many districts saw a decline in enrollment as well as state funding.

And about 3,500 of those new students are not attending traditional public schools, said Beck, speaking to lawmakers Tuesday at a joint session of the state Senate and House appropriations committees.

They chose schools authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission instead, he said. “More than half of the new students that the state is seeing are actually attending one of those schools.”

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Moses Few, a graduate of Morehouse College, speaks about his memories of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., while studying at the college. Moses attended both high school and undergraduate school with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
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