Jun 20, 2019
Daily Report Profiles 2019 Georgia Legal Award Winner, Rob Fortson
Robert L. Fortson, a McGuireWoods partner and McGuireWoods Consulting senior vice president in Atlanta, was recently selected as a Distinguished Leader in the Daily Report’s 2019 Georgia Legal Awards.
In a June 19 profile, the Daily Report spoke with Fortson about his history in the education field and his work today representing Georgia schools on legal, policy, regulatory and business matters.
Fortson discussed his time serving in Teach for America, and how that led to him attending law school with a goal of working on education law.
“What interested me most, however, was the business side of education, maximizing available resources to reform the system and make it work better for kids,” Fortson said. “Advising charter schools offers that opportunity, because I’m able to partner with educational innovators, often from the school’s inception, and help them navigate the challenges of operating a heavily regulated small business without compromising the vision/mission of their academic model.”
In his role at McGuireWoods Consulting, Fortson and his team have identified millions of dollars in funding deficits and have helped clients restore these funds from the local school district.
Fortson has also worked with a coalition to increase funding for all of Georgia’s charter schools.
“One common misconception about charter schools is that they are private schools or that they can pick and choose which kids to enroll,” Fortson said. He added, state and federal requires a charter school to accept any applicant as long as space is available, and they are held accountable for their racial and socioeconomic diversity.
“As with any other industry, attempts to break new ground are not always successful,” he said. “The value that charters bring to the educational ecosystem is this disruptive innovation and outside-the-box strategies for improving student outcomes.”