Category: Education

2017 Forum Delivers on Education Innovation

By Benita M. Dodd Vicki Davis (left) and Gordon Rogers shared their thoughts on education transformation at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum in October. Ask around the Gold Dome whether Georgians can expect significant reform in education in 2018 and you’ll probably hear, “It’s an election year; nobody wants to rock the boat.” Ask those who heard Vicki Davis and Gordon Rogers outline opportunities in Georgia education during their talks at the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum and you’ll hear optimism: Change can still happen, for students, teachers and classrooms. Davis’ infectious enthusiasm reflects why the teacher from the tiny town of Camilla, Ga. – blogger “Cool Cat Teacher” – has 138,000 Twitter followers, hosts two iTunes chart-topping podcasts… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd With politics and the weather in unusual and untimely states of flux in 2017, the 2017 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum was undoubtedly one of the most difficult to organize since the Georgia Public Policy Foundation established the event in 2010. Happily, the annual Forum produced some remarkable, practical solutions to policy challenges in Georgia. About 150 attendees attended the daylong session October 13 in Atlanta, learning from speakers about tax, health care and education reforms specific to Georgia. The morning keynote speaker, chief economist Jonathan Williams of the American Legislative Exchange Council, shared his optimism about the GOP framework proposed for federal tax reform, noting that it has been more than 30 years since President Reagan… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd John Goodman, “the Father of Health Care Savings Accounts,” discussed health care reforms with Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen at the 2015 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum. This year’s Forum focuses on state options amid Congressional deadlock. Education and health care are two of Georgia’s biggest challenges. Effective – and cost-effective – solutions have been state goals since long before the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established in 1991. Through events and publications such as the Guide to the Issues, the Foundation has offered Georgia-specific, limited-government, market-oriented policy solutions and alternatives. In 2010, the Foundation followed in the steps of the Texas Public Policy Foundation, then in the eighth year of its annual Policy… View Article

A Celebration in Education: 25 Years of Charters

By Benita M. Dodd The Georgia Public Policy Foundation helped establish Tech High, a STEM charter high school in Atlanta Public Schools. The school was successful academically but succumbed to the bureaucratic burdens of the school district. Twenty-five years ago this month, City Academy High School opened in Saint Paul, Minn., the first charter school in the nation after Minnesota’s state law authorized the opening of eight “results-oriented, student-centered public schools.” As it celebrates its silver anniversary, City Academy can take credit for inspiring 165 charter schools with nearly 54,000 students in Minnesota today. But wait, there’s more! By the 2016-17 school year, there were more than 6,900 charter schools operating across the nation, with more than 3.1 million students,… View Article

Free Speech Must Persevere on Campus

By Eric Wearne As a new college year begins, consider these quotes: “I have been told by the Chief of Police it’s not safe for me to be [here].” “We confronted an angry mob as we tried to exit the building. … One thug grabbed me by the hair and another shoved me in a different direction.” “You should not sleep at night! You are disgusting!” A scene from the civil rights era? From a character in a Solzhenitsyn novel, sentenced to a Soviet Gulag camp? From a dissident in Cuba held political prisoner by Castro? None of the above. These recent statements involve college professors who experienced protests or, in some cases, assaults by students on their campuses. Such… View Article

Reading is Fundamental to American Liberty

By Gerard Robinson “Reading is fundamental” was a popular slogan when I was an elementary student in Los Angeles during the 1970s. Today, parents, teachers and tutors stress the importance of literacy to public, private, home and virtual school students. Reading is not only still fundamental; it is even more profoundly so than it was 40 years ago. Why? Our knowledge economy, economic self-sufficiency, and military soundness require a highly literate population. To comprehend just how important reading is to American liberty, it is worth a look backward to see what our founding generation believed about literacy. The Founders’ decision to dissolve their bonds with England was a declaration for the liberty to learn as much as it was a… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release June 26, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd, Georgia Public Policy Foundation benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  Foundation Welcomes Ga. High Court Ruling on Tax Credit Scholarships Atlanta – The Georgia Supreme Court ruled today that the state’s Qualified Education Tax Credit (tuition tax credit scholarships) program is constitutional. Four Georgia taxpayers (Gaddy et al v Georgia Department of Revenue et al) filed suit challenging the program, which allows Georgians to donate to student scholarship organizations (SSOs) and receive a tax credit for their contribution up to a certain amount; the state limits the program to a total of $58 million in donations annually. The SSO must distribute the funds as scholarships… View Article

Get Real About the Federal Education Budget

By Larry Sand Did you know that the Trump/DeVos budget is manifestly cruel to children and catastrophic to public schools? Are you aware that Trump/Devos are planning to slash funding for public schools and use voucher schemes to funnel taxpayer dollars to unaccountable private schools? I didn’t “know” these things until the two national teachers union leaders told me. Climbing out of the union rabbit hole and venturing back to the real world, one regains perspective. And the reality is that the Trump/Devos budget cuts – which, of course, will have to run through the Congressional obstacle course before becoming law – don’t warrant the union leaders’ outlandish hyperbole. Not one iota. In a nutshell, the budget does away with… View Article

Education is Key to Redeeming Lives in Prison

By Gerard Robinson and Van Jones Every year, more than 650,000 men and women leave prison and return home to communities across America. They are often released with little more than some spare change, a bus ticket and a criminal record that bars access to some of their most basic rights and privileges. Facing deep social stigma, many returning citizens feel as though they have left the grips of a physical prison only to find themselves engulfed in a new, social prison. It is tragic but not surprising that 50-75 percent of them end up incarcerated again within five years. In today’s knowledge economy, higher education is one of the first rungs on the ladder to economic freedom and social… View Article

Education Reform Requires More Than Tweaks

By Benita M. Dodd It’s no secret that a 2017 legislative session begun with a smorgasbord of meaningful education reforms disintegrated into crumbs for Georgia families struggling to find viable alternatives when public schools fail to meet their children’s needs. This week, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law some education legislation that survived anti-choice sentiment under the Gold Dome. Last year, voters defeated a constitutional amendment for a statewide “Opportunity School District” covering Georgia’s chronically failing schools. It fell victim to a well-funded opposition campaign. Foes themed their opposition around Georgians’ fierce loyalty to local control, claiming it would take money and control from the local school board and superintendent. Lost in the kerfuffle, unfortunately, was that providing parental… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a driving force for market-based solutions to policy challenges. The work done by this outstanding organization is making a real impact on the future of Georgia. I personally consider the Foundation a primary source for policy ideas. All Georgians are better off because the Foundation is helping lead the critical policy debates in our state.

Senate Majority Leader Chip Rogers more quotes