September 16, 2016

Contact: Bonnie Holliday
Executive Director

Commission voluntarily returns over $3 million to state charter schools in Fiscal Year 2016.

ATLANTA - The State Charter Schools Commission of Georgia (SCSC) today announced that it returned $1,782,690 to state charter schools following the close of Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. SCSC operations are solely funded through an administrative fee deducted from the annual operating budgets of state charter schools. In June, the SCSC unanimously approved a recommendation to return any remaining funds to schools upon satisfaction of the SCSC’s FY 2016 expenses, as it did in both FY 2015 and FY 2014. Because these funds do not lapse, state charter schools can utilize the money in the 2016-2017 school year.

“The State Charter Schools Commission has made the extraordinary decision to voluntarily return funds to stakeholders for the third year in a row,” said Governor Nathan Deal. “I applaud the Commission for continuing to realize financial efficiencies that keep dollars in schools and classrooms, where the impact is greatest. The Commission shares my priority of ensuring that Georgia’s parents and students have access to competitive, high quality options in education.”

Earlier this year, the SCSC also voted to decrease its administrative fee from 3 percent to slightly less than 2 percent in FY 2016 for the third consecutive year. In statute, the administrative fee is set at 3 percent unless the Commission votes to reduce that percentage. By decreasing the administrative fee and returning additional funds to schools at the end of the fiscal year, the SCSC voluntarily returned $3,015,744.65 in additional funding to state charter schools in FY 2016. In the past three fiscal years, the SCSC has provided a combined total of more than $8.2 million in additional funding to state charter schools through the reduced administrative fee and returned funds.

“The SCSC maintains a lean and efficient administrative staff so as to direct as much money as possible back to schools and classrooms. We are pleased to be returning funds for a third consecutive year,” said Executive Director Bonnie Holliday.

The SCSC is a state-level, independent charter school authorizing entity. The mission of the SCSC is to improve public education by authorizing high quality charter schools that provide students with better educational opportunities than they would otherwise receive in traditional district schools. The SCSC has the power to approve or deny petitions for state charter schools and renew, non-renew, or terminate state charter school petitions in accordance with Georgia law.