Georgia

School Choice Policies

Charter School Choice

Do state statutes allow for charter schools?

Are for-profit charters allowed?

No:

In order for a petition to be approved or renewed, a school must illustrate that it is non-profit or state/local public entity.

20-2-2065 (b) (1) and (4)

Is there a cap on the number of charter schools?

Unclear:

"The state board shall be authorized to approve up to five petitions for charter systems during fiscal year 2008, and may approve up to a maximum number of petitions in following years as may be established pursuant to board rules and as subject to availability of funding for implementation grants."

20-2-2063.2 (e) (2)

Are charters required to provide transportation for any students?

Did not find:

No explicit mention, however, the fund set up for helping charters purchase and maintain facilities allows for the allocation of funds for the "Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from the charter school or commission charter school."

20-2-2068.2 (c)(4)

Can charter schools employ uncertified teachers?

Unclear:

In the definition section, faculty and instructional staff members are defined as "all certificated personnel assigned to the school on a full-time basis and all paraprofessionals assigned to the school on a full-time basis." So, although the need for certification is not directly mentioned, it seems as though certifications may be required.

20-2-2062 (5)

Virtual School Choice

Do state statutes allow for full-time virtual schools?

Yes:

Each local school system shall provide opportunities to all students in grades three through 12 enrolled in public schools within its boundaries for participation in part-time and full-time virtual instruction program options. The program shall provide at least three options for:
(1) Full-time virtual instruction for students enrolled in grades three through 12; and
(2) Part-time virtual instruction for students enrolled in grades three through 12.

20-2-319.4

Are virtual schools required to track attendance?

Did not find

Do virtual schools have to comply with state teacher certification requirements?

Did not find

Private School Choice

Do state statutes allow for voucher programs?

Yes:

Georgia statutes allow for the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program.

20-2-2110 through 20-2-2118: Scholarship Program for Special Needs Students

Do state statutes allow for educational expense tax credits or deductions?

No:

No educational expense tax credits or deductions found.

EdChoice School Choice in America

Can students use vouchers to attend religious schools?

Yes:

"'Private school' means a nonpublic school, sectarian or nonsectarian, which is accredited or in the process of becoming accredited by one or more of the entities listed in subparagraph (A) of paragraph (6) of Code Section 20-3-519."

20-2-2112(6): Scholarship Program for Special Needs Students

Is there a cap on the number of students or private schools participating in voucher programs?

Did not find

Are voucher students in private schools required to take any standardized tests?

No:

However, if a participating student's parent would like the student to take the standardized exams, the resident school system must make available a time and place for the student.

20-2-2114(c) - Qualifications for scholarship; financial responsibility; statewide assessments; exception; compliance

Can private schools be removed from voucher programs based on performance?

Unclear:

No explicit mention, however, it is stated that "The department may bar a school from participation in the program if the department determines that the school has intentionally and substantially misrepresented information or failed to refund to the state any scholarship overpayments in a timely manner."

20-2-2117(c)- Adoption and promulgation of rules; immunity from liability for scholarship decisions; schools may be barred from program participation for certain actions

Are private schools in voucher programs required to provide transportation?

No:

"Upon acceptance of the scholarship, the parent assumes full financial responsibility for the education of the scholarship student, including transportation to and from the participating school."

20-2-2114(b) - Qualifications for scholarship; financial responsibility; statewide assessments; exception; compliance

Interdistrict School Choice

Do state statutes allow for interdistrict choice?

Yes:

Georgia law explicitly allows for non-mandatory interdistrict choice. The "grant or refusal of permission for students to attend such schools, for the purpose of permitting state funds to follow such students, shall be entirely discretionary with the state board and shall, in the absence of a clear abuse of discretion by the state board, be final and conclusive." Furthermore, because interdistrict choice is voluntary, "local units of administration may contract with each other for the care, education, and transportation of students and for such other activities as they may be authorized by law to perform."

20-2-293 - Student attending school in system other than system of student's residence

Are receiving schools or districts required to provide transportation to any students?

Did not find

Page last updated: January 2020

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The content contained herein is currently under review by state policy experts. This beta version of the Policy Map provides a snapshot of school choice policy found in laws passed by the legislative bodies, for all 50 states and Washington, D.C., based on information gathered from state statutes. This information is current through the second legislative session of 2019. The information contained here does not reflect state Department of Education administrative policies, rules, or regulations. Additionally, the information on this website does not constitute legal advice. All content on this site is provided for informational purposes only. As previously indicated, information on this site may not include the most up-to-date policy information. This site contains links to other third-party websites. Such links are for the user’s convenience; neither REACH nor any affiliated entities endorse the contents of third-party sites.