Graduation Achievement Charter High School was founded in 2012 to help at-risk students earn their diplomas. But after six years of poor performance, Georgia’s first virtual charter high school — and only “alternative” school within the state charter system — is shutting down. The last senior class graduates later this month. To learn more about the future of virtual and alternative charter schools in Georgia, we spoke with Atlanta Journal-Constitution education reporter Vanessa McCray.
In Georgia, more than 86,000 students enrolled in public charter schools for the 2017-18 school year, according to the Georgia Charter Schools Association. To look at the future of charter schools, we spoke with Jon Valant, a Brookings Brookings Institution fellow. Valant has researched charter schools around the country, including New Orleans, Louisiana, where the majority of public schools are now charter schools. Kennesaw State University economics professor Ben Scafidi also walked us through the history of charter schools in Georgia. Scafidi is the former chair of the Georgia Charter Schools Commission.
For many parents, summer break is no vacation. Instead, they are met with several dilemmas, such as how they will occupy their children while they are at work, and how to find affordable, educationally enriching programs to prevent their children from forgetting what they learned all year at school. The Southern Regional Education Board has created a template of resources on its website to help parents combat these issues. We sat down with Jeff Gagne, director of policy analysis at SREB. We also heard from Holly van der Horne, a single mom and law student at Georgia State University. She told us why year-round school would benefit working parents.