(a) Petitions submitted to the commission shall be subject to rules and regulations established pursuant to this article.
(b) The commission shall be authorized to approve a petition for a state charter school that meets the following requirements:
(1) Has a state-wide attendance zone; or
(2)(A) Has a defined attendance zone; and
(B) Demonstrates that it has special characteristics, such as a special population, a special curriculum, or some other feature or features which enhance educational opportunities, which may include the demonstration of a need to enroll students across multiple communities or an alternative delivery system; provided, however, that the petitioner shall demonstrate a reasonable justification for any proposed special curriculum that has a narrow or limited focus.
(c)(1) For petitions for state charter schools with a state-wide attendance zone, the petitioner shall submit such petition to the commission and concurrently to the local board of education in which the school is proposed to be located for information purposes; provided, however, that this shall not apply to a proposed state charter school which will solely provide virtual instruction.
(2) For petitions for state charter schools with a defined attendance zone, the petitioner shall concurrently submit such petition to the commission, to the local board of education in which the school is proposed to be located, and to each local school system from which the proposed school plans to enroll students. The commission shall not act on a petition unless the local board of education in which the school is proposed to be located denies the petition; provided, however, that such local board shall approve or deny the petition no later than 90 days after its submission, as required pursuant to subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-2064 , unless the petitioner requested an extension. Failure to approve or deny such petition by such local board, in violation of Code Section 20-2-2064 , shall be deemed a denial for purposes of this paragraph. A local board that has denied a petition for a state charter school shall be permitted to present to the commission in writing or in person the reasons for denial and the deficiencies in such petition resulting in such denial.
(3) The commission may take into consideration any support or opposition by the local board of education or local boards of education on the start-up charter school petition when it votes to approve or deny a corresponding state charter school petition.
(d) A state charter school shall:
(1) Seek highly qualified, properly trained teachers and other qualified personnel for such schools; provided, however, that such schools shall give preference to hiring an individual who is a citizen or national of the United States over another individual who is not a citizen or national of the United States if the two individuals are equally qualified, unless a teacher is a foreign exchange teacher; provided, however, that prior to hiring an individual other than a citizen or national of the United States or a protected individual as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1324b , the school shall receive approval by the commission and demonstrate that qualified teachers and other personnel were sought but not available in such area which warrants hiring an individual other than a citizen or national of the United States or a protected individual as defined in 8 U.S.C. Section 1324b , unless a teacher is a foreign exchange teacher; provided, further, that the commission and the state charter school shall not construe this paragraph in a manner in violation of 8 U.S.C. Section 1324b or other provisions of law; and
(2) Give preference in contracting and purchasing of services and materials to businesses incorporated under the laws of this state or qualified to do business within this state and having a regularly maintained and established place of business within this state, so long as such businesses are otherwise similarly situated and qualified as compared to a business from out of state.
(e)(1) The members of the governing board for the state charter school shall meet the following qualifications:
(A) Must be a United States citizen;
(B) Must be a resident of Georgia; and
(C) Must not be an employee of the state charter school.
(2) No member of the governing board of the state charter school shall:
(A) Act in his or her official capacity in any matter where he or she, his or her immediate family member, or a business organization in which he or she has an interest has a material financial interest that would reasonably be expected to impair his or her objectivity or independence of judgment;
(B) Solicit or accept or knowingly allow his or her immediate family member or a business organization in which he or she has an interest to solicit or accept any gift, favor, loan, political contribution, service, promise of future employment, or other thing of value based upon an understanding that the gift, favor, loan, contribution, service, promise, or other thing of value was given or offered for the purpose of influencing that board member in the discharge of his or her duties as a board member;
(C) Use, or knowingly allow to be used, his or her position or any information not generally available to the members of the public which he or she receives or acquires in the course of and by reason of his or her position for the purpose of securing financial gain for himself or herself, his or her immediate family member, or any business organization with which he or she is associated; or
(D) Be an officer or serve on the board of directors of any organization that sells goods or services to that state charter school.
As used in this paragraph, the term “immediate family member” means a spouse, child, sibling, or parent or the spouse of a child, sibling, or parent.
(f) The members of the governing board of each state charter school shall participate in initial training for boards of newly approved state charter schools and annual training thereafter conducted or approved by the commission pursuant to paragraph (12) of subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-2083 .
(f.1) The principal, or its equivalent, for a state charter school shall not serve simultaneously as the chief financial officer, or its equivalent, for the state charter school.
(g) An individual that works at a state charter school or an individual that has administrative oversight at a state charter school shall not serve on the board of directors of an organization that sells goods or services to such state charter school.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Georgia Code Title 20. Education § 20-2-2084 - last updated April 14, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/ga/title-20-education/ga-code-sect-20-2-2084.html
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