GCSA Awards Champion for Children Award to State Sen. John Albers

Wednesday, December 8th, 2021

The Georgia Charter Schools Association (GCSA) is proud to present the 2021 GCSA Champion for Children Award to state Sen. John Albers, R-Roswell. Senator Albers is receiving this honor due to his dedication to public education in the state of Georgia. While serving in the Georgia Senate, Senator Albers has not only sponsored significant legislation that has benefited public charter schools but has also consistently supported crucial charter school bills that have improved funding and provided greater access to high-quality educational options for students of all backgrounds. 
“We’re grateful for Senator Albers’ unwavering commitment to Georgia’s children,” said Tony Roberts, President and CEO of the Georgia Charter Schools Association. “His leadership and support have improved funding and resources for Georgia’s public charter schools and the 70,000 students they serve.” 
During the 2021 legislative session, Senator Albers successfully sponsored Senate Bill 59, a significant funding and resource equity bill that was approved by the Georgia General Assembly and signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. SB 59 establishes a per-pupil funding weight for local charter school students, gives state and local charter schools more than one opportunity to opt into the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP) and requires districts to allocate a proportionate share of federal funding to local charter schools.
“This is a tremendous honor for me. The Georgia Charter Schools Association is making a meaningful difference in the lives of our students, parents, teachers, and staff. It was a team effort, and I want to thank Governor Brian Kemp for his leadership and support,“ said Senator John Albers."

Other key pieces of legislation that were supported by Senator Albers and approved by the Georgia General Assembly include House Bill 755, House Bill 957 and Senate Bill 153. HB 755 requires school districts to provide locally-approved charter schools with annual allotment sheets itemizing the state, local and federal allocations. HB 957 clarifies that state charter school teachers are employed by public schools and gives charter schools the discretion to determine whether to require “proof of residency” at the time of their charter school lotteries or during enrollment. Senate Bill 153 transitions charter schools focused on drop-out recovery from the State Charter Schools Commission to the State Board of Education. SB 153 also amends the alternative education code section to create a new category of “alternative charter schools” that are local charter schools (authorized by one or more local school systems) that provide an alternative education program focused on High School dropout prevention or credit recovery.
Senator Albers joins a bipartisan group of current and former lawmakers that have received the GCSA Champion for Children Award. Former state Rep. Buzz Brockway; former state Rep. Mike Dudgeon; state Rep. Mike Glanton, D, Jonesboro; House Speaker Pro-Tem Jan Jones, R-Milton and former state Rep. Valencia Stovall are among the previous award recipients recognized by the Georgia Charter Schools Association. GCSA will present additional Champion for Children Awards on Tuesday, Dec. 7, during its annual Celebration of Advocates.