Lt. Governor Cagle Touts Signing of Senate Bill 39

May 22, 2007

At an event on the morning of May 22, Governor Sonny Perdue signed into law Lt. Governor Casey Cagle’s landmark Charter Systems Act legislation.   Thirty-nine charter school students representing four charter schools throughout Georgia were in attendance.

“Charter Systems offer the truest form of local control of public education.  There has been strong support for this bill across our state and we have worked very hard to make today a reality.

“I truly appreciate Governor Perdue’s support in moving Georgia forward to become a state that values innovative education.  Georgia will witness a true paradigm shift as more charter schools advance flexibility, innovation and resourceful teaching,” said Lt. Governor Casey Cagle.

“Lt. Governor Cagle has shown himself to be a strong supporter of high achievement and accountability in our education system,” said Governor Sonny Perdue.  “This legislation will allow innovative local systems to apply the same techniques that charter schools have used to generate academic success.”

   “In the past five years we have nearly tripled the number of charter schools in Georgia and this law will allow Georgia to more quickly expand our charter program," said State Superintendent of Schools Kathy Cox. "Charter schools are having a huge positive impact on student achievement by fostering parental involvement and putting more control in the hands of school-level principals and teachers." 

Four Charter Schools were recognized during the signing ceremony by Lt. Governor Cagle for the excellent work they do each day educating children:  KIPPWaysAcademy, Atlanta; OdesseySchool, Newnan; PATHWaysAcademy, Dekalb and MariettaCharterSchool, Marietta.

Cagle has heavily promoted Charter Systems for several years and the next step is for the Charter Advisory Committee to review the Charters submitted by school systems who want to be considered for one of the five pilot programs.  The bill includes funding for Charter Systems Implementation Grants of up to $125,000 for planning and incentive costs for school systems that become Charter Systems.

Specifically the Charter Systems Act would:

  • Allow the state Board of Education to extend the procedures for Charter Schools to entire school systems.
  • Establish a 9 member Charter Advisory Committee to assist with the development of charter policy, review charter petitions to ensure compliance, and to provide recommendations to the Board of Education for approval or denial of a charter petition.
  • The members of the committee will not be paid for their work, but will receive reimbursement for expenses. The members of the committee are chosen as follows: 3 State Board of Education Members chosen by the chairperson of the board; 3 members appointed by the Lt. Governor; 3 members appointed by the Speaker of the House.
  • Charter Systems will be free of many state mandates and some federal mandates-they will not be exempt from federal No Child Left Behind laws or non-discrimination mandates.
  • Fund Charter Systems Implementation Grants