Georgia Supreme Court Decision Limits Charter Schools

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WASHINGTON, D.C. - In response to the Supreme Court of Georgia ruling knocking down the 2008 Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act, the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools released the following statement from its president and CEO, Peter C. Groff:

"Today's four-to-three decision from the high court of Georgia struck down as unconstitutional a 2008 Act that authorized the creation of charter schools approved by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission. The courts ruling directly limits opportunities for new charter schools in Georgia, unleashes uncertainty for the 17 public charter schools created pursuant to the 2008 act and blocks families and children from accessing the public education options they deserve. This is an aggressive and unfortunate step backward for education reform in Georgia.”

"While declaring the 2008 Georgia Charter Schools Commission Act unconstitutional, the Georgia Supreme Court went even further and granted exclusive control of K-12 public education to local school boards. This ruling inhibits new and existing charter schools from bringing public school options to Georgia’s children, because local school boards are not best suited to focus singularly on authorizing and supporting public charter schools as the Georgia Charter Schools Commission was designed to be. Charter schools are independent public schools designed to improve academic achievement for students. The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools advocates for independent state-level entities like the Georgia Charter Schools Commission because such agencies carry a single mission: to devote all their time and resources to properly authorize and oversee public charter schools. Similar state level entities have shown to be successful in Arizona, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Idaho, and Utah.

“This ruling overturns the 2010 ruling which found the Georgia Charter Schools Commission to be constitutional. We are disappointed for the families and children in Georgia who will not have access to the innovative public school options provided by charter schools authorized by the Georgia Charter Schools Commission."

About the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools: The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) is the national nonprofit organization committed to advancing the charter school movement. NAPCS works to increase the number of high-performing charter schools available to all families, particularly low-income and minority families who currently do not have access to quality public schools. The Alliance provides assistance to state charter school associations and resource centers, develops and advocates for improved public policies, and serves as the united voice for this large and diverse movement. More than 1.6 million students attend nearly 5,000 charter schools in 40 states and the District of Columbia.