Funded: Charters

A Detailed Look at Each State's Charter School Funding Policies

Below, see summaries of the state’s education funding policy in each issue area. Click the Expand icon next to any summary to see more detail, if available, about that state’s policy regarding that issue area. Click the Citation icon
next to any summary to see the sources of the information regarding that issue area.
Georgia
Funding Basics
Authorizer

Charter funding policies and reporting practices within each state may vary depending on the entity that authorized the charter school. Charter schools in Georgia may be authorized by local school districts, the State Board of Education, and the Charter Schools Commission.

References:
“Charter Schools: What organizations may authorize charter schools, and is there a statewide authorizing body?” Education Commission of the States, 50-State Comparison, January 2018. 
Funding Formula

Funding for charter schools in Georgia is calculated based on a formula similar to the one used to calculate funding for traditional public schools.

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are funded through a formula that considers the characteristics of students they educate, including students in certain grade levels, English-language learners, students with disabilities, gifted and talented students, and students enrolled in career and technical education programs and the cost of the resources required to deliver an education to these students.

Charter schools also receive a proportionate share of categorical program funds, for eligible students and programs.

References:
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2089 (Lexis 2019)
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2068.1 (Lexis 2019)
Funding Distribution
Funding Distribution

Some charter schools in Georgia receive all funding directly from the state, while others receive all funding through local school districts.

Charter schools authorized by the state receive all funding directly from the state Department of Education. Meanwhile, charter schools authorized by local school districts receive all funding through the district where they are located.

References:
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2068.1 (Lexis 2019)
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2089 (Lexis 2019)
Withholdings

Charter schools in Georgia will have a share of their funding withheld, with the maximum set by state law.

The Department of Education may withhold 3% of funding from charter schools authorized by the State Charter Schools Commission. Moreover, local school boards that authorize charter schools may withhold up to 3% of funding from newly approved or renewed charter schools.

References:
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2068.1 (Lexis 2019)
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2089 (Lexis 2019)
Local Taxes

Some charter schools in Georgia receive a share of local tax revenue, while other charter schools receive state funding which may be meant to replace local funding.

Charter schools authorized by local school districts receive the school district’s total funding allocated by the state’s funding formula, including tax revenue raised by local school districts. In the case of locally authorized charter schools that did not previously exist as traditional public schools, the charter’s share will be distributed based on the share generated by charter students as compared to all students. Charter schools authorized by the state receive a form of funding from the state Department of Education to partially replace local funding.

Additional state funding provided to state authorized charter schools is based on the estimated local revenue in the school district(s) where charter school students reside, or the estimated local revenue in the five districts with the least property wealth, whichever is greater.

References:
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2089 (Lexis 2019)
Ga. Code Ann. § 20-2-2068.1 (Lexis 2019)
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018.
Data and Reporting
Legal Status

Some charter schools in Georgia constitute their own local education agencies, while others are a part of local education agencies.

Charter schools that had not previously been a traditional public school constitute their own local education agencies. Charter schools that had been converted from being a traditional public school to being a charter school remain a part of the local education agencies of the school district to which they belong.

References:
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018
Student Count

Some charter school students in Georgia are counted as students of the charter they attend for state reporting purposes, while other charter school students are counted as students of the school district(s) where the charter school is located.

Students attending charter schools authorized by the state are counted as students of the charter, while students attending charter schools that are authorized by local school districts are counted as students of that district.

References:
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018
Funding

State funding for charter schools in Georgia is reported separately while for other charter schools, state funding for charter schools is reported as part of funding for the district where the charter school is located.

State funding for charter schools that are authorized by the state is reported separately from state funding for any district. Funding for charter schools that are authorized by a local school district are reported as part of funding for that district.

References:
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, December 20, 2018.
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018
Expenditures

Some charter schools in Georgia act as separate fiscal entities while for other charter schools, charter school expenditures are reported as part of expenditures of the school district where the charter school is located.

Charter schools that are authorized by state act as fiscal entities separate from any school districts. The expenditures of charter schools that are authorized by a local school district are included in the expenditures of that district.

References:
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, October 10, 2018.
 
pers. comm. Jon M. Cooper, Georgia Department of Education, email, September 28, 2018