Tuesday, May 11th, 2021
Savannah Classical Academy’s Director, Barry Lollis was invited to join a small group of leaders in charter school education from across the state of Georgia, to witness the signing into law of Senate Bill 59 (SB 59). Governor Brian Kemp invited Lollis to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta earlier this week to witness the final stage of SB59 passing into law. This new legislation for the State of Georgia ensures equal provision for students at charter schools as it amends Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to elementary and secondary education.
Gov. Brian Kemp signed vital charter school legislation on May 4 during a bill signing ceremony held at Kennesaw State University. Senate Bill 59 provides more equitable funding and resources for Georgia’s 70,000 public charter school students. The signing of SB59 into law comes after receiving approval from the Georgia General Assembly during the 2021 legislative session.
The newly signed legislation does the following:
- SHBP Opt-In Flexibility: Allows state and local charter schools more than one opportunity to opt into the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).
- Funding Weight For Local Charters: Establishes a per pupil funding weight for local charter school students. (3.785% of QBE Base; $106/student starting in FY23 = $3.3M in new state funding)
- Federal Funding Allocations: Ensures districts allocate a proportionate share of federal funding to local charter schools.
“I was honored to attend this momentous occasion which ensures more funding equity and support for all charter schools in Georgia. There is still work to be done to close the funding gap between traditional schools and charter schools. I am thankful our legislators are working to change that,” said Barry Lollis, Director of Savannah Classical Academy – a K-12 charter school. “I have long been an advocate for the charter school movement and believe that this important legislation recognizes that charter schools are a vital part of public education now and for the future.”
SCA is a tuition-free, public charter school serving Chatham County students in grades K-12. The charter school is funded by the public education system but retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of parents and community members. It is the philosophy of SCA that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, education program that develops academic potential and personal character. To learn more about SCA, please visit www.savannahclassicalacademy.org.