2018 Georgia Code
Title 20 - Education
Chapter 2 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Article 31 - Charter Schools Act of 1998
§ 20-2-2068.2. Facilities grants for charter schools; purposes for which grants may be used; upkeep of charter school property; availability of unused facilities

Universal Citation: GA Code § 20-2-2068.2 (2018)
  • (a) From moneys specifically appropriated for such purpose, the state board shall disburse facilities grants for local charter schools, state chartered special schools, and state charter schools as defined in Code Section 20-2-2081 for the purpose of providing facility funding more comparable to traditional public schools in this state.

  • (b) A charter school or state charter school may receive facilities grants if the charter school or state charter school has received final approval from the State Charter Schools Commission or from the state board for operation during that fiscal year.

  • (c) A charter school's or state charter school's governing body may use facilities grants for the following purposes:

    • (1) Purchase of real property;

    • (2) Construction of school facilities, including initial and additional equipment and furnishings;

    • (3) Purchase, lease-purchase, or lease of permanent or relocatable school facilities;

    • (4) Purchase of vehicles to transport students to and from the charter school or state charter school; and

    • (5) Renovation, repair, and maintenance of school facilities that the school owns or is purchasing through a lease-purchase or long-term lease of three years or longer.

  • (d) The Department of Education shall specify procedures for submitting and approving grant requests under this Code section and for documenting expenditures.

  • (e) Local boards are required to renovate, repair, and maintain the school facilities of charter schools in the local school system to the same extent as other public schools in the local school system if the local board owns the charter school facility, unless otherwise agreed upon by the petitioner and the local board in the charter. Subject to appropriations by the General Assembly, the state board shall disburse annual facilities grants to eligible applicants in an amount of $100,000.00 or such other amount as determined by the state board. In the event that in any fiscal year sufficient funds are not appropriated to all eligible applicants or available to make the full amount of grants to all eligible applicants, the grant award to each eligible applicant may be determined on a competitive basis by the State Board of Education. Eligible applicants may receive one or more annual grants. Nothing in this Code section shall preclude the State Board of Education from administering or continuing any other facilities grant program for charter schools.

  • (f)

    • (1) Prior to disbursing facilities grants, the Department of Education shall ensure that the governing board of the local charter school and the local board shall enter into a written agreement that includes a provision for the reversion of any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with public education funds to the ownership of the local board in the event the local charter school terminates operations.

    • (2) Prior to disbursing facilities grants, the Department of Education shall ensure that the governing board of the state chartered special school and the state board shall enter into a written agreement that includes a provision for the reversion of any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with public education funds to the ownership of the state board in the event the state chartered special school terminates operations.

    • (3) Prior to disbursing facilities grants, the Department of Education shall ensure that the governing board of the state charter school and the State Charter Schools Commission shall enter into a written agreement that includes a provision for the reversion of any unencumbered funds and all equipment and property purchased with public education funds to the ownership of the State Charter Schools Commission in the event the state charter school terminates operations.

  • (g) The reversion of property in accordance with subsection (f) of this Code section is subject to the complete satisfaction of all lawful liens or encumbrances.

  • (h)

    • (1) As used in this subsection, the term "unused facilities" means real property of a local board of education, including educational facilities, as defined in Code Section 20-2-260, which have not been used by the local board of education for the previous two years and which are not included in the local school system's five-year educational facilities plan.

    • (2) Each local board of education shall make its unused facilities available to local charter schools. The terms of the use of such a facility by the charter school shall be subject to negotiation between the board and the local charter school and shall be memorialized as a separate agreement. A local charter school that is allowed to use such a facility under such an agreement shall not sell or dispose of any interest in such property without the written permission of the local board. A local charter school may not be charged a rental or leasing fee for the existing facility or for property normally used by the public school which became the local charter school. A local charter school that receives property from a local board may not sell or dispose of such property without the written permission of the local board.

    • (3) Prior to denying the use by a local charter school of an unused facility, the local charter school shall have the right to a hearing before the local board of education in accordance with Code Section 20-2-1160, including the right to appeal an adverse local board decision.

  • (i) No municipality, county, or other local political subdivision of this state may require the nonprofit corporation that holds the charter for a charter school that has passed the Department of Education facility inspection and holds a valid certificate of occupancy to obtain any other licensure to operate the school, including, but not limited to, a business license, professional license, or occupational tax certificate; provided, however, that any for profit vendor of the charter school shall be subject to any applicable local requirements relating to doing business in this state. Charter schools shall only be subject to the zoning, planning, and building permitting requirements that apply to traditional public schools when constructing or renovating a facility; provided, however, that the location of a charter school site shall be in conformity with existing county or city comprehensive land use plans, if applicable, or existing land use patterns in the area, which requirement shall not be waived by the State Board of Education.

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