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Fully Funding Public Education (Traditional and Charters) in Georgia a 159 Priority

Now that the chaos of the General Assembly session is over, 159 Georgia Together Board of Directors is taking a fresh look at Our Purpose and clarifying some of its tenets, starting with public education.

Our goal is to “strengthen public education throughout the state, including in urban, suburban and rural areas.” HB787, which came out of the 2018 session, provides an opportunity to clarify our position on funding for traditional public schools and charter schools within our state.

Charter schools are often highly politicized and progressives are often split on how to handle this bedrock of the school choice movement. In short, the 159 Board of Directors does not believe in a zero-sum game when it comes to adequately funding the education of young Georgians.

We believe that funding for all public schools, traditional and charter alike, should be prioritized to ensure that Georgia's students receive the high-quality education to which they are entitled — an education which should transcend economic and social barriers which have historically led to pockets of educational inequality.  

As a board, we see the value in charter schools that work to transform communities and serve students who are educationally underserved throughout our state. The passage of the final version of HB 787 and the decision to fully fund the Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula are steps in the right direction. These funding changes are critically necessary to strengthen public education offerings throughout the state.

The board recognizes that some members may have strong opinions about charter schools. As with all discussions, we ask members to be respectful with one another as everyone advocates each position. Only by listening and building consensus will we continue to improve the public education offerings across our state.