CANTON, GA (WRCB) -- Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on Thursday signed into law legislation that supporters say would provide "additional educational opportunities for Georgia students" through the creation of new state charter schools.

"By observing high-performing charter schools throughout Georgia, it's clear these institutions promote competition, innovation and creativity while encouraging strong parental involvement," said Deal. "We must empower citizens with public school options and true local flexibility if we want to improve student achievement."

The bill, HB 797, will create a state level approval mechanism for charter schools when communities request them.

Under current law, charter schools approved by the state are only able to operate on approximately half of the funds of other public schools. The bill sets forth a new funding mechanism for those schools and will establish a State Charter Schools Commission to conduct the review process for charter school petitions and ensure that charter schools are "consistent with state educational goals".

"Georgia's parents want more options, and it is my duty as governor to see that they have them. These schools help students trapped in underperforming schools and aid communities that want to invest in new and imaginative ways of learning for their children," Deal said after the bill signing.