Savannah charter school elated with new Ga. law on funding

By Blair Caldwell| May 13, 2021 at 3:29 PM EDT – Updated May 13 at 5:36 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) – A new law in Georgia addresses funding for charter schools. A Savannah school leader was there as the governor provided what he says is needed support.

With Senate Bill 59 officially signed by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, leaders at the Savannah Classical Academy say it not only helps their staff but also the students.

“It is a win and it’s proof that there’s a strong need and desire for charter schools in Georgia. There’s legislative support, there’s community support and we’re happy to see that came out in this past legislative session that charters are here to stay,” Savannah Classical Academy Executive Director Barry Lollis said.

The K-12 school enrolled nearly 100 additional students this year because of the pandemic and at one point had more than 1,000 on the waitlist. Lollis said this legislation is important for financial stability which is why he wanted to be there when the governor signed it.

Lollis said this will allocate about $100 more per student to use for supplies and resources for the classroom.

The bill also allows charter schools to enroll in the state’s health benefit program helping them to budget better along with recruit and retain staff.

“It’s very exciting because we’ll move from our current private healthcare provider to that state health benefit program and our teachers are elated and that provides us, we know what our benefit package and costs are going to be annually, whereas when we shop every year it can go up and down because we’re so small, we’re a small group and so our premiums can fluctuate greatly,” Lollis said.

With just a few weeks left of school, officials say they are excited to close out the year strong, but ready for what next year has in store.

WTOC did reach out to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System to see if this change in funding will impact their funding but are waiting to hear back.

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