Eligibility Criteria for SCSC Petition Review

A charter school petitioning for authorization by the SCSC must:

(1) Have a state-wide attendance zone; or

(2) Have a defined attendance zone and demonstrate that the charter school has special characteristics, such as a special population, a special curriculum, or some other feature or features which enhance educational opportunities.

On September 29, 2021, the State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) voted to initiate the FY22 petition cycles by approving the FY22 petitions calendars.

To be considered for SCSC review, a start-up petitioner must submit a letter of intent to the local school district prior to the school district’s deadlines, if required by the local board of education. Local school district deadlines for submitting letters of intent vary throughout the state. It is incumbent on the charter petitioner to identify the appropriate deadlines. It is not the responsibility of the local school district to inform prospective charter schools of deadlines.

Locally-approved charter schools may apply to transfer authorization to the SCSC only if the charter school receives a recommendation for non-renewal or termination from its current authorizer (SCSC Rule 691-2-.09).

The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) will give priority consideration to FY22 charter applications (petitions) that propose charter schools located outside of “high-saturation areas.” Locations subject to priority consideration include but are not limited to Athens-Clarke County; Macon-Bibb County; Albany-Dougherty County; Augusta-Richmond County; and Columbus, Georgia. A high-saturation area shall be defined as a geographic location containing more than one charter school that serves grades K-5 or 6-8 within a three (3)-mile radius.

FY22 charter applications that propose schools located within high-saturation areas shall be subject to additional scrutiny, including an evaluation of the probability that the school can achieve its projected enrollment metrics and remain financially viable, if approved. FY22 charter applications that propose schools located within high saturation areas MUST include:

  1. Student enrollment data and waitlist information for any existing charter school serving the same grade band(s) within a three-mile radius of the proposed school location; and
  2. Pre-enrollment forms that demonstrate a high likelihood that, if approved, the school can meet its projected enrollment targets.

If a charter application for a school located in a high saturation area does not demonstrate, through objective evidence, that the proposed school is likely to meet its enrollment projections, representatives may not be granted a capacity interview. FY22 charter applications approved by the SCSC for locations in high-saturation areas will be subject to rigorous enrollment standards during the pre-opening year and may be required to defer opening if pre-opening enrollment criteria are not met.