What is a Charter School?

A charter school in Georgia is a public school that operates under the terms of a performance-based contract. The charter contract incorporates a broad flexibility waiver that allows the charter school to implement academic and organizational innovations by waiving certain educational state rules and regulations in exchange for increased accountability for student achievement.


Who Authorizes Charter Schools in Georgia?
  • State Charter Schools Commission

    State Charter Schools

    A state charter school authorized by the SCSC serves as an independent local education agency. Submission of a petition to the SCSC generally includes a requirement to concurrently submit a petition to one or more local boards of education. View the resources on this page to learn more about the process and requirements to submit a charter school petition to the SCSC.

  • State Board of Education & Local Boards of Education

    Locally approved charter school

    A local board of education along with the State Board of Education can authorize charter schools. The local board of education serves as the local education agency for a locally approved charter school. Contact the local board of education where you intend to locate for more information on its process to submit a charter school petition. 

Eligibility to Start a State Charter School
  • Eligible

    Georgia law requires that charter schools are governed by a registered non-profit governing board. The governing board is responsible for ensuring that academic performance measures set forth in the charter are met. The governing board’s duties and responsibilities include school-level decision making, fiscal management, and a variety of school operations such as personnel decisions. 

  • Not Eligible

    A charter petitioner does not include home study programs or schools, sectarian schools, religious schools, private for-profit schools, private educational institutions not established, operated, or governed by the State of Georgia, or existing private schools.

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FY24 Start-Up Petition Timeline




Petition Application Portal Opens

October 30, 2023

Petition Applications Due

March 15, 2024

Capacity Interviews Begin

June 3, 2024

Commission Votes on Staff Recommendations Begin 

July 26, 2024


The SCSC's FY24 Petitioner Orientation is required to be reviewed by petitioners and designed to assist potential charter school founding teams as they navigate the application process.

2023-24 Featured Training

Petitioner Bootcamp

Platform & Budget Webinar

November 2, 2023

Webinar Recap


Erin Wright

Deputy General Counsel