Georgia struggles to stretch its tax dollars when it comes to turning around test scores and graduation rates for thousands of students in low-performing public schools.

More than 1.7 million students were enrolled in roughly 2,250 public and charter schools in Georgia during the 2020 spring semester, around when the pandemic sent students home for virtual learning that March. Beyond health care and public safety, perhaps nothing touches the daily lives of more Georgians across the state than the successes and failures of publicly funded schools.

And for those students and their families, few areas raise more concerns than the struggles of low-performing schools in dozens of local communities hit hard by poverty, isolation and the COVID-19 pandemic.

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