Category: Education

Testimony on Education Savings Accounts

Senate Education and Youth Committee Wednesday, February 22, 2017 Testimony of Kelly McCutchen, President, Georgia Public Policy Foundation I would like to focus my testimony on the impact of Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) on public schools. Regarding student achievement, research shows that school choice improves outcomes modestly for public school students. As of last May, 33 empirical studies had been published that examined the effect of school choice on students’ academic outcomes in public schools. Of those, 31 found choice improved public schools. One found no visible effect. One found a negative effect.[1] Regarding fiscal impact, being fiscally conservative, we certainly appreciate any concern about the cost to taxpayers of any new state programs. Fortunately, any negative… View Article
By Jenn Hatfield When President Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, the clock started ticking on the 282 promises he made on the campaign trail. While his every move has garnered significant media attention, Trump has also pledged to make what happens in Washington matter less. In his inaugural address, he declared, “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.” So it’s only fitting to give a bit more attention to what governors are saying – especially on K-12 education, where Trump and Secretary of Education have both promised to respect state autonomy and make good on the states-rights spirit of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As a… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation News Release For Immediate Release February 7, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  Foundation Welcomes DeVos as Secretary of Education Atlanta – Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, had the following response to today’s Senate confirmation of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Education.  “The vote for Betsy DeVos is a vote for America’s children. “Mrs. DeVos has exercised her constitutional right to put her money where her mouth is – into school choice – and we’re excited to see her promote her preference to give families options for their children’s education. “Competition is a rising tide that lifts all boats; there’s especially no reason for an… View Article
Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Kyle Wingfield’s column in the Sunday edition on February 5, 2017 focuses on the Foundation’s new study by Ben Scafidi, “Balancing the Books in Public Education,” which points out that the Georgia Department of Education website underreports public education spending. Wingfield’s column can be accessed online here (subscription required); it is reprinted below in its entirety. Why school spending has soared, but teachers’ salaries haven’t By Kyle Wingfield The fault line dividing public opinion about school choice and other education reforms is spending. Proponents say we spend plenty today, with mediocre results. Opponents say the results would improve if we spent more. The latter argument largely boils down to paying teachers better, hiring more of… View Article

Expand Retirement Options, Shrink Teacher Doldrums

This commentary appeared in the February 1, 2017, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal. By Benita M. Dodd PAGE, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, has surveyed its members and the findings, reported in its January/February 2017 newsletter (PAGE One), are depressing. The survey found that nearly half of teachers (45 percent) say they are unlikely to remain in education for the next 10 years. Sadly, a majority – 53 percent – also said they would not recommend a career in education. The report notes, “With the current teacher shortage and continuing teacher pipeline issues, these statistics are of great concern to PAGE.” The survey also found that 59 percent of the respondents oppose converting the Teacher Retirement System from… View Article
Marietta Daily Journal reporter Mary Kate McGowan covered the Foundation's Leadership Breakfast on January 26, 2017, which celebrated National School Choice Week and highlighted public education funding in Georgia. Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi, a professor of economics at Kennesaw State University, unveiled his study that revealed the Georgia Department of Education underreports education funding on its website. Published in full below is The Marietta Daily Journal article and Dr. Scafidi's letter to the editor in response to comments in the article. State education department reporting called into question By Mary Kate McGowan CUMBERLAND — As school choice proponent Betsy DeVos awaits her confirmation as the next education secretary, the argument for school choice is heating up at the local level.… View Article

Balancing the Books in Georgia Public Education

By Benjamin Scafidi BENJAMIN SCAFIDI Parents, educators, policy-makers and all other taxpayers have a right to know just how much taxpayer funding is spent on Georgia public schools, how this funding has changed over time, and how their public school dollars are being spent. Unfortunately, official state websites have historically contained misleading information that hinders Georgians’ understanding of the true resource cost of our public education system and the uses of those taxpayer funds. Specifically, official state of Georgia websites give the impression that taxpayers spend billions of dollars less on K-12 public education than is actually spent. For example, according to the official spending figures on the Georgia Department of Education (GaDOE) website, Georgia public schools spent a total… View Article

Issue Analsysis: Balancing the Books in Education

This issue analysis was published on January 26, 2017. The study can be downloaded here (PDF) and the Powerpoint presentation by Dr. Scafidi can be downloaded here (PDF). The press release is below.   GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release January 26, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050 New Study Finds Georgia Underreports Public School Spending Atlanta – For decades, Georgia’s Department of Education has underreported by billions of dollars what the state spends on public schools, according to an Issue Analysis released today at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual National School Choice Week event. The report, “Balancing the Books in Education,” by Foundation Senior Fellow and Kennesaw State University economist Dr.… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release January 26, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  New Study Finds Georgia Underreports Public School Spending Atlanta – For decades, Georgia’s Department of Education has underreported by billions of dollars what the state spends on public schools, according to an Issue Analysis released today at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual National School Choice Week event. The report, “Balancing the Books in Education,” by Foundation Senior Fellow and Kennesaw State University economist Dr. Benjamin Scafidi, notes that official state websites give the impression that taxpayers spend billions of dollars less on K-12 public education than is actually spent. For example, while the Georgia Department of Education website… View Article

Teachers Unions, Faulty Economics and School Choice

By Jeffrey Dorfman JEFFREY DORFMAN School choice is one of the most controversial and hard-fought public policy debates of the past few decades. Most liberals, who get significant funding from public school teachers unions, line up against any form of school choice, while many conservatives favor allowing some form of market to introduce competition amongst schools for education tax dollars. The argument against school choice always seems to focus on how it would “defund” public schools by “draining” monies away. This argument, however, is based on faulty economics and should be discarded or strongly rebutted by school choice proponents. School choice comes in a variety of flavors. Some public school districts let residents choose their preferred school within the district;… View Article

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Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes