Georgia Code Title 20. Education § 20-2-2083

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(a) The commission shall have the power to:

(1) Approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, nonrenew, or terminate state charter school petitions in accordance with rules and regulations established pursuant to this article.  At its discretion, the commission may preliminarily approve a petition for a state charter school before the petitioner has secured space, equipment, or personnel, if the petitioner indicates such preliminary approval is necessary for it to raise working capital.  The State Board of Education shall review and may overrule the approval or renewal of a state charter school by the commission within 60 days of such decision by the commission upon a majority vote of the members of the state board;  and

(2) Conduct facility and curriculum reviews of state charter schools.

(b) The commission shall have the following duties:

(1) Review petitions for state charter schools and assist in the establishment of state charter schools throughout this state.  The commission shall ensure that all charters for state charter schools are consistent with state education goals;

(2) Develop, promote, and disseminate best practices for state charter schools in order to ensure that high-quality schools are developed and encouraged.  At a minimum, the best practices shall encourage the development and replication of academically and financially proven state charter school programs;

(3) Develop, promote, and require high standards of accountability for state charter schools.  The commission shall ensure that each state charter school participates in the state's education accountability system.  If a state charter school falls short of performance measures included in the approved charter, the commission shall report such shortcomings to the Department of Education;

(4) Monitor and annually review and evaluate the academic and financial performance, including revenues and expenditures, of state charter schools and hold the schools accountable for their performance pursuant to the charter and to the provisions of this article.  The commission shall also review the citizenship and immigration status of each individual that works at a state charter school and aggregate the information by school on an annual basis.  The commission's duties to monitor the state charter school shall not constitute the basis for a private cause of action;

(5) Direct state charter schools and persons seeking to establish state charter schools to sources of private funding and support;

(6) Actively seek, with the assistance of the department, supplemental revenue from federal grant funds, institutional grant funds, and philanthropic organizations.  The commission may receive and expend gifts, grants, and donations of any kind from any public or private entity to carry out the purposes of this article;

(7) Review and recommend to the General Assembly any necessary revisions to statutory requirements regarding standards and accountability for state charter schools;

(8) Act as liaison for state charter schools in cooperating with local boards of education that may choose to allow state charter schools to utilize excess space within school facilities;

(9) Encourage collaboration with municipalities, counties, consolidated governments, universities or colleges of the board of regents, technical institutions of the Technical College System of Georgia, and regional educational service agencies;

(10) Meet the needs of state charter schools and local school systems by uniformly administering high-quality state charter schools, thereby removing administrative burdens from the local school systems;

(11) Assist state charter schools in negotiating and contracting with local boards of education that choose to provide certain administrative or transportation services to the state charter schools on a contractual basis;

(12) Provide for or approve initial training for boards of newly approved state charter schools and annual training thereafter, as determined by the commission, for members of state charter school governing boards.  For charter schools that are college and career academies, as defined in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-4-37 , the commission shall provide or approve such training in conjunction with the Technical College System of Georgia.  The training shall include, but not be limited to, best practices on school governance, the constitutional and statutory requirements relating to public records and meetings, and the requirements of applicable statutes and rules and regulations.  The training shall also include two to three hours annually regarding sound fiscal management and monitoring the implementation of the budget in accordance with state laws and regulations which includes the following elements:

(A) Board developed policies to ensure sound fiscal management, including but not limited to:  balanced budget requirements, spending level authorizations and permissions, deficit spending restrictions, establishment of special funds, and reserve maintenance requirements;

(B) Holding the principal, or its equivalent, accountable for the implementation of the budget in a manner consistent with the school's strategic plan;

(C) Establishing through policy, the level of spending beyond the budget for which the school leader must seek board approval;

(D) Monitoring the school's audits, monthly financial reports, and additional financial reports needed to make informed decisions and to ensure execution of the budget in a manner consistent with the strategic plan and strategic goals of the school;

(E) Reviewing and addressing annually audited financial records and audit findings, with a goal of proactively preventing audit exceptions;

(F) Addressing fiscal matters in a manner consistent with state law, sound business practice, and ethical principles regarding conflicts of interest;  and

(G) Operating in a manner such that the board's financial decisions and actions do not provide unfair financial or other opportunistic advantages to any member of the governance board, their family members, associates, or individual constituents;  and

(13) Establish a charter schools financial management certification program for state charter school leaders and personnel who are responsible for the school's budget, accounting, payroll processing, purchasing, and ensuring the school's financial policies are in line with state and federal laws and best practices.

(c)(1) The commission shall establish rules and regulations requiring each state charter school to provide adequate notice of its enrollment procedures, including any provision for the use of a random selection process where all applicants have an equal chance of being admitted in the event that the number of applications to enroll in the school exceeds the capacity of the program, grade, or school.

(2) The commission shall provide adequate notice to local boards of education and to the public regarding meetings to be held by the commission.  Such notice shall include the charter petitions to be discussed and acted upon.  Such notice shall be provided in accordance with Chapter 14 of Title 50, relating to open and public meetings.

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Georgia Code Title 20. Education § 20-2-2083 - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-20-education/ga-code-sect-20-2-2083.html


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