Category: The Forum

Celebrate National School Choice Week at Jan. 27 Event

EVENT INVITATION December 18, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Celebrate National School Choice Week January 27! Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd shows off the trademark school choice “woobie” at a National School Choice Week Celebration rally at the Georgia State Capitol.  Attend the Foundation’s January 27 event and get your very own woobie! Atlanta – National School Choice Week provides the theme for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s first event of the year every year, and 2016 is no exception! You are invited to join the Foundation on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 for, “Georgia Education: Reforms and Recommendations,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. This panel discussion includes two education reform… View Article

Friday Facts: December 18, 2015

It’s Friday! Quotes of Note The Georgia State Capitol was all decked out for Christmas when Kelly McCutchen visited! “To the Founders, free speech was indispensable. How could the people choose among candidates or public policies if debate were not free? As Benjamin Franklin wrote, ‘Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.’ Today, this view no longer holds for many. Students silence those with views they deem unacceptable, often encouraged by a complicit faculty and a craven administration.” – David Tucker, “Stand Up for Free Speech on National Bill of Rights Day”  “To compel a man to subsidize with his taxes the propagation of ideas which he… View Article
By Ben Scafidi Humans seem to always want more – more time with our families, more health care, more funding for roads, more tax cuts. More funding for our public K-12 schools. And more student achievement. When it comes to getting “more” of something, however, we either (a) have to accept less of something else or (b) increase the productivity of what we’re doing. Governor Nathan Deal and the Georgia General Assembly have been blessed with extra tax revenues over the past two legislative sessions, thanks to their smart economic stewardship and the ingenuity of everyday Georgians. And, in the spirit of “more,” they chose to devote over a billion dollars of those extra revenues to additional funding for our… View Article

Could Georgia Education Funding Reform Impact Achievement?

The very first recommendation in the final report from the Georgia Education Reform Commission was this: Develop a student-based funding formula. What does this mean? According to education experts from the Reason Foundation, under a student-based budget, “Actual dollars follow students to the school level to be spent flexibly by school leaders.” In addition to enhancing equity and transparency, research has shown this can enhance student achievement. The Reason Foundation’s Director of Education, Lisa Snell, speaking at a school finance forum hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, noted a study that found, “holding all else constant, a school district that allocated 50 percent of its FY2011 budget to weighted student formula, where money follows the student, is nearly 10… View Article

Student Achievement and Spending

It’s difficult to compare state student achievement data because demographics vary greatly. In Georgia, for example, 60 percent of students are deemed “low income,” while only 40 percent of Pennsylvania’s students are low income. Many people argue that comparing these states without adjusting for these demographics is very unfair. So how would Georgia compare if you adjusted for demographics? The Urban Institute has the answer in their recently published study. The study “adjusts the relative performance of each state for the following rich set of student level factors: gender, race and ethnicity, eligibility for free or reduced-price lunch, limited English proficient, special education, age, whether the student was given an accommodation on the NAEP exam (e.g., extra time or… View Article
North Carolina House Majority Leader Mike Hager discussed his state’s woes caused by a renewable portfolio mandate. December 10, 2015 I’m back in the office after a great Heartland Institute Emerging Issues South Forum in Nashville yesterday, where I moderated a panel on energy and environment issues. (I’m honored to be a Policy Advisor for the Heartland Institute.) Some takeaway points: While we’re watching the big stuff — Keystone, Clean Power Plan, fracking overregulation, etc., Bette Grande of Heartland explained, federal agencies work overtime to trip you up throughout the process, so that while you think you’ve cleared one hurdle in applications, you encounter another. Tom Tanton of the Energy and Environment Institute pointed out two things: American technological innovation… View Article

Friday Facts: December 11, 2015

It’s Friday! ICYMI: On December 5, we sent you some great news about results at the Foundation. If you missed it, you can read it here. Quotes of Note “Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson  “The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy. An equal dispensation of protection, rights, privileges, and advantages, is what every part is entitled to, and ought to enjoy.” – Benjamin Franklin “‘Can you assure the boys and girls of this country that NORAD and the Air Force… View Article

Solving the Failure of Education Desegregation

By Benita M. Dodd BENITA DODD Education desegregation started out with such lofty promise in America. So why have decades of massive government efforts to mandate integration in schools and encourage racial diversity produced such dismal results? In his latest study, Dr. Ben Scafidi, Senior Fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, set out to examine why schools continue to be segregated and how to overcome this. He found that neighborhoods and schools both moved toward racial integration in the 1960s and ‘70s, but in the 1980s segregation began returning to public schools even as neighborhood integration continued. Public school integration reversed at the same time neighborhood segregation by income increased, according to… View Article
Letter to the editor, The Citizen, sent December 9, 2015 in response to a letter from Peachtree City Public Information Officer Betsy Tyler alleging the city’s plans were “misrepresented” by the Foundation President Kelly McCutchen and Watchdog.org reporter Chris Butler: Peachtree City’s Public Information Officer and City Clerk, Betsy Tyler, accuses the Georgia Public Policy Foundation of being “alarmist” in questioning Peachtree City’s plan to build out a government-owned broadband internet network (“PTC’s cable plans misrepresented in story,” December 8, 2015). We admit to being alarmed that a supposedly fiscally conservative city in Metro Atlanta would engage in such a risky venture, but we are far from alarmist. The Foundation has a nearly 25 year record of defending… View Article

Foundation Results

This post was sent to readers of the Friday Facts on December 4, 2015, by Foundation President Kelly McCutchen. Nine months ago, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd headed down the road for a fact-finding day trip to Dublin, Ga., to research an article marking the one-year anniversary of Dublin City Schools’ solar energy project. “What started out as a commentary on Sunshine Week and the solar project’s anniversary led to a trail of lofty projections, broken promises, unpaid bills, questionable math and taxpayers left on the hook,” we noted back in March. Nobody had reported yet on the financial mess involving the solar industry in Dublin. “The financial fallout is likely to grow, but a cloud of hush surrounding the… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes