School Choice Legislation Signed into Law in Georgia

In a move to expand educational opportunity to thousands of additional children and families in Georgia, Governor Nathan Deal signed two school choice bills into law.

House Bill 217 increases the cap on tax credit scholarships from $58 million to $100 million, meaning fewer families will be turned away from accessing a private school of their choice. House Bill 787 creates greater equity in funding for public charter schools. The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, released the following statement.

Statement from Jamie Lord, Georgia Government Affairs Advisor:

“More Georgia families will finally be able to access the school of their choice, thanks to these laws. More than 13,000 students are currently receiving privately funded scholarships thanks to the successful Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship program, and we expect thousands more to now have the benefit of receiving the education of their choice. Additionally, Georgia can continue expanding opportunity with greater funding equity for the many high quality public charter schools in the state. We stand with Georgia families and thank Governor Deal and the bill sponsors for their leadership in pushing for more educational freedom across the state.”

Details on House Bill 217:

  • Increases the program tax credit cap from $58 million to $100 million per year
  • Increases transparency by requiring Student Scholarship Organizations (SSOs) to report the students they serve in four income categories based on Free and Reduced Priced Lunch
  • Requires SSOs to report average scholarship amounts by income bracket
  • Reduces the amount of administrative allowance for SSOs, freeing up more money for scholarships

Details on House Bill 787:

  • Creates greater equity in funding between public charter schools and traditional district schools
  • Increases per pupil funding for charter school students and provides capital funding
  • Charter schools can become members of Regional Education Service Agencies.

Learn more about Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program here: https://www.federationforchildren.org/program/georgia-scholarship-tax-credit/