Category: The Forum

Friday Facts: March 30th, 2012

It’s Friday! Events – April 26: Register now for ”Choice Matters: Expanding Educational Opportunity,” the Foundation’s next Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club, featuring two legislators at the forefront of Georgia school choice issues:  House Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones and Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan. Find out more at This event is $25 to attend. Register by Tuesday, April 24, 2012, online at – June 27: Mark your calendar for a Policy Briefing Luncheon at Cobb County’s Georgian Club with Arthur Brooks, president of the American Enterprise Institute, focusing on his soon-to-be-released book, “The Road to Freedom: How to Win the Fight for Free Enterprise.” – September 28: Save the… View Article
By Mike Klein The final breath has  been drawn by this year’s Georgia General Assembly.  Here is what lawmakers did on seven issues that are closely tracked by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  This article discusses state charter schools, digital learning, criminal justice and juvenile code reform, pension and tax reform and health care reform.  All of these will require more work going forward and in some cases, much more work starting soon. State Charter Schools This November voters will decide who got it right:  Lawmakers four years ago when they created a state charter schools commission or the state Supreme Court last spring when it ruled that the commission was unconstitutional.  The very fact that voters – not the… View Article
The Georgia General Assembly voted for school choice during the 2012 legislative session, passing legislation to give voters a say on state-authorized public charter schools. On Thursday, April 26, at 8 a.m. at Cobb County’s Georgian Club, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast features two legislative leaders at the forefront of the bipartisan campaign for the constitutional amendment that will be on the ballot in November. The event’s speakers are Rep. Jan Jones, Speaker Pro Tempore of the Georgia House of Representatives, and Georgia House Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan, who will provide an overview of education issues addressed by the Legislature and what lies ahead. This event is $25 to attend. Register by Tuesday, April 24, 2012, online at… View Article

TED-Ed – More Ideas Worth Spreading

By Eric Wearne Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation TED (originally “Technology, Entertainment, Design,” but now just TED) bills itself as “a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.”  Its award-winning TEDTalks site hosts video talks by both well-known (and lesser-known) speakers on topics ranging from “tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data” to ethical questions about bio-engineering to how schools help kill students’ creativity. TED hosts two annual conferences, an award-winning video site (TEDTalks), and several other programs.  TED itself is well worth perusing as an educational tool on a variety of topics.  But the organization has begun to work on education explicitly, with potentially powerful results. TED-Ed is the… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia criminal justice reform has passed both chambers but the House would need to agree to substitute legislation because the Senate added seven amendments when it passed the bill 51-0 on Tuesday afternoon.  Two other floor amendments failed and two were withdrawn. None of the amendments dramatically change Georgia’s most sweeping criminal justice reform since a generation of do the crime, do the time laws were passed some twenty years ago. Governor Nathan Deal made criminal justice reform a major priority during his first State of the State address in January 2011.  The work of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform last year and the legislature this year are an important first step forward with others… View Article

Checking up on Health Care

 Health Policy Briefs: March 27, 2012 Compiled by Benita M. Dodd  The U.S. Supreme Court heads into its third day of oral arguments on the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Wednesday.    To get a perspective that digs deeper than the mainstream media, visit these links provided by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Click here for coverage of Day 1 at the U.S. Supreme Court from the Heritage Foundation.   Today, on Day 2 of deliberations, reports Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, “The funniest answer in the two hours (although there was no laughter in the courtroom) was when [Solicitor General Donald Verrelli, who was defending the law] claimed that Congress had passed… View Article
Georgia legislators overwhelmingly approved next year’s budget just one day after they voted to pass significant pension investment reform.   This afternoon the Senate began discussion of House Bill 1176 criminal justice reforms. Senators offered eleven amendments to the criminal justice reform legislation. Next year’s $19.342 billion budget that passed both chambers Tuesday is 5 percent higher than $18.2 billion current fiscal year funding.  Governor Nathan Deal’s office recently increased the revenue estimate by $177 million.  “While this is positive affirmation that we are recovering slowly, it should be understood that this growth does not begin to regain all the lost ground from our high water mark in Fiscal 2008,” said House appropriations chair Terry England. “At that point (during fiscal… View Article
By Mike Klein Georgia’s current sixth graders will start high school with more digital learning options.  Monday the House passed Senate legislation to expand those resources and prohibit local systems from blocking students who want to take online courses.  The bill passed 125 – 38.  Georgia Virtual School would manage the expansion and emerge with a more ambitious footprint.  Having already passed the Senate, the bill is now ready for Governor Nathan Deal’s consideration. Senate Bill 289 stipulates that expanded digital learning options in high schools would start to become available in the fall 2014 school year.  Rep. Mike Dudgeon presented the legislation on the floor, saying, “When this bill is fully implemented in 2018 I think we will look… View Article
Atlanta – Next week is huge for the 26-state coalition challenging the constitutionality of the Obama administration’s Patient Protection and Affordability Act, and Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens will be among the handful of people in Washington on Monday at the U.S. Supreme Court hearing. On Thursday, Olens updated attendees at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast on the litigation. To view his videotaped speech on the Foundation’s YouTube channel, click here. To watch Foundation Senior Fellow Ronald E. Bachman discuss state-focused solutions during the same event, click here. And click here to read Bachman’s commentary on Georgia reforms released today: “It’s Not Too Late for Georgia Health Reform.” And to read more health care… View Article

Friday Facts: March 23, 2012

It’s Friday!   Quotes of note – “More frightening than any particular beliefs or policies is an utter lack of any sense of a need to test those beliefs and policies against hard evidence. Mistakes can be corrected by those who pay attention to facts … dogmatism will not be corrected by those who are wedded to a vision.” –  Thomas Sowell – “Revolutionary … the ground has moved beneath the feet of higher education, much of which will look very different in but a few short years.” – Thomas K. Lindsey, writing on the impact of MIT’s new digital learning project, MITx – “If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.” – Winston Churchill View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has hit another homerun with its Guide to the Issues. This is must reading for anyone interested in public policy in Georgia, and it is an outstanding road map for conservative, common sense solutions to our challengers of today and tomorrow.

Former Georgia Senate Minority Leader Chuck Clay more quotes