In a potentially strong form of public school choice and competition, Georgia has passed a new law allowing entire school districts to seek charter status. This law would allow districts to opt-out of work rules and credentialing mandates and state mandates like class-size reduction in exchange for fiscal and academic accountability.
A plan that could give Georgia school systems a wider range of freedom to educate students was signed into law by Gov. Sonny Perdue on Tuesday. The bill, which was pushed through the Legislature by Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, would eventually allow school boards to apply for the same flexibility for their entire systems that are already granted to charter schools. The plan creates a pilot program in which five systems would be allowed to pursue charter status as early as next year.