SAVANNAH, GA – May 7, 2021 – Savannah Classical Academy’s Director, Barry Lollis was invited to join a small group of leaders in charter school education from across the state of Georgia, to witness the signing into law of Senate Bill 59 (SB 59). Governor Brian Kemp invited Lollis to the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta earlier this week to witness the final stage of SB59 passing into law. This new legislation for the State of Georgia ensures equal provision for students at charter schools as it amends Chapter 2 of Title 20 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated relating to elementary and secondary education.   

Gov. Brian Kemp signed vital charter school legislation on May 4 during a bill signing ceremony held at Kennesaw State University. Senate Bill 59 provides more equitable funding and resources for Georgia’s 70,000 public charter school students. The signing of SB59 into law comes after receiving approval from the Georgia General Assembly during the 2021 legislative session.

The newly signed legislation does the following:

  • SHBP Opt-In Flexibility: Allows state and local charter schools more than one opportunity to opt into the State Health Benefit Plan (SHBP).
  • Funding Weight For Local Charters: Establishes a per pupil funding weight for local charter school students. (3.785% of QBE Base; $106/student starting in FY23 = $3.3M in new state funding)
  • Federal Funding Allocations: Ensures districts allocate a proportionate share of federal funding to local charter schools.

“I was honored to attend this momentous occasion which ensures more funding equity and support for all charter schools in Georgia. There is still work to be done to close the funding gap between traditional schools and charter schools. I am thankful our legislators are working to change that,” said Barry Lollis, Director of Savannah Classical Academy – a K-12 charter school. “I have long been an advocate for the charter school movement and believe that this important legislation recognizes that charter schools are a vital part of public education now and for the future.”

SCA is a tuition-free, public charter school serving Chatham County students in grades K-12. The charter school is funded by the public education system but retains a charter that allows it to operate autonomously under a board of parents and community members. It is the philosophy of SCA that all students benefit from a rigorous, content-rich, education program that develops academic potential and personal character. To learn more about SCA, please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Kristyn Fielding at or 229-393-6457, Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950, or the team at 912-417-LFPR (5377). 


May is my favorite month of the year as it heralds in summer days by the pool, long evenings, and our traditional Memorial Day trip with family.  It is also my birthday month and although I have been celebrating the anniversary of my 39th year for well over a decade now, this past year has brought into perspective how fortunate I am to be alive and healthy.  May also marks the anniversary of my move to the USA – a happy event twelve years ago.

The month of May is named for the Greek goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants and is also from the Latin word maiores, or “ancestors” or “forefathers”, who were celebrated during this month. Maia was also considered a nurturer and an earth goddess and is also associated with fertility.  May’s birth flower is the Lily of the Valley, and I am fortunate that my birthstone is the emerald which is not only beautiful but also represents love or success. 

May is a month in demand as there are literally dozens of organizations and movements which have planted their flag for a day, week, or month of recognition.  Many of these are good causes, such as National Stroke Awareness Month, Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and National Small Business Week.  But some are about fun, sun and frivolity.

The Kentucky Derby runs on the first Saturday in May, and on May 4th we also have Star Wars Day; May the Fourth be with you is the catchphrase of this unofficial holiday celebrating the famous movie franchise (get it?).  Then of course comes Cinco de Mayo, the anniversary of the Battle of Puebla, when Mexico defeated the French forces of Napoleon III in 1862.  This is celebrated more by Hispanic people in the USA than by Mexicans who tend to have bigger celebrations on Mexican Independence Day on September 16.  Cinco de Mayo has become a celebration of the Mexican cultural heritage with lots of dancing and music, and plenty of food and drink.  Many Americans with no direct links to Mexico join in with plenty of tacos and tequila!  National Pizza Day comes later in May, as does National Naked Gardening Day, which was established by the editor of Nude & Natural Magazine and his friend who was a permaculturalist (a gardener who focuses on natural ecosystems).

May 9th this year is of course Mother’s Day in the USA and many parts of the world. Before emigrating to Georgia, I did not realize that this annual event originated in American Mothers’ Day Work Clubs which were a feminist response to the carnage of the Civil War.  Out of these grew a campaign, led by West Virginia activist Anna Jarvis, for a national holiday to celebrate the lives of all mothers.  Anna Jarvis swore at her mother’s graveside in 1905 to dedicate her life to establishing a nationally recognized day to honor mothers living and dead.  West Virginia became the first state to adopt an official Mother’s Day in 1912, and two years later the day was fixed as the second Sunday of May and enshrined in law across the United States.  In the United Kingdom, Mother’s Day is traditionally known as Mothering Sunday and celebrated earlier in the year during the fourth Sunday in Lent.

Later this month I am looking forward to May 14 which is both national Buttermilk Biscuit Day and Dance Like a Chicken Day.  On a more serious note, May 15th is National Armed Forces Day and May 22nd is National Maritime Day.  As we move into Summer, national sunscreen day on May 28 is a timely reminder to enjoy the season but avoid getting burned.  There is much more information at and

I say goodbye this week with a quote from early 20th century American lawyer, naturalist and author Samuel Scoville –  “At last came the golden month of the wild folk—honey-sweet May, when the birds come back, and the flowers come out, and the air is full of the sunrise scents and songs of the dawning year.”

God Bless America and enjoy May!

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Lesley grew up in London, England and made Georgia her home in 2009.  She can be contacted at  or via her PR and marketing agency at



SAVANNAH, GA – MAY 3, 2021 Ariel Savannah Angel Partners (ASAP) will host a one-hour virtual meeting at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, May 13 to introduce ASAP to prospective members and those considering angel investing. The meeting is open to current angel investors, as well as those who would like to learn more about working with exciting, young technology businesses.

Angel investing, which involves working with early-stage companies to provide capital, mentoring and support, can be rewarding and fun. Savannah is home to ASAP, one of the largest angel groups in the Southeastern United States, and the group seeks to expand its membership.

The presentation will include a discussion on “The Anatomy of an Angel Investment,” which details the team processes that ASAP goes through to screen, evaluate, invest in and monitor these exciting young technology businesses. ASAP members not only have the opportunity to provide capital to these transformative early-stage ventures, but many members also enjoy the teamwork and camaraderie of the group as well as the intellectual stimulation of working with cutting-edge technologies.

ASAP is certified by the Angel Capital Association (ACA) and is one of the largest Angel Groups in the Southeast, having invested over $13 million in 35 companies since its founding in 2005. ASAP has a focus on businesses that provide disruptive, cutting-edge technologies, and the group’s current portfolio is available for viewing at

For information or details on how to “attend” the virtual meeting, please email ASAP directly at, or contact board members Carl Francis ( or 912-429-3800) or Pete Kastner ( or 912-999-6564).

ASAP prides itself on providing not only capital but mentoring and industry expertise as well. For more information on the group, please visit .


For media inquiries, please contact ASAP’s media partner Lesley Francis PR, Inc. at 912-417-LFPR, Hollie Barnidge at or 912-272-8651 or Lesley Francis at or 912-429-3950