The Georgia Department of Education last week approved the new State Charter Schools Commission, a seven-member body that has the power to authorize charter schools even over the objection of local school boards.
The committee’s creation was authorized last year in a constitutional amendment referendum. Proponents said the panel would provide more educational choices for parents, and opponents said it would drain money from existing public schools and take power away from school districts.
The committee does not have any direct representation from the Augusta area. It includes professionals who have worked in public education, financial services and economics.
Gov. Nathan Deal provided nominations for three positions, and Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and House Speaker David Ralston provided two each. Four members will serve two-year terms, and three will serve one-year terms.
“I am pleased to see that the members of the Charter Schools Commission represent a broad cross section of backgrounds and expertise in business, education, non-profits and government,” Deal said in a statement. “I know they will take their duty of reviewing charter school
petitions and approving high quality charter schools seriously, and I look forward to working with them to improve
student learning and achievement across Georgia.”