Category: Education

Pre-K’s Minimal Impact

Grover  J. “Russ” Whitehurst writes for the Brookings Institution: The movement for universal and targeted state pre-K has been successful in that enrollment in state-funded pre-K programs for 4-year-olds has doubled in the last 10 years, from 14% to 28% of all 4-year-olds. There has been a concomitant increase in annual spending from about $2.5 to $4.5 billion. Annual spending per child for state pre-K is about $4,000. Thirty-nine states offer state-funded pre-K, with 31 of those states having programs that are targeted for low-income families. When children enrolled in Head Start and other public programs, including special education, are combined with those in state funded pre-K, 42% of the 4-year-olds in the nation are enrolled in a taxpayer funded… View Article

GA Education Bill Could Create More Charter Opportunity

Update:  House Bill 897 was passed by the Georgia House 120-to-51 on Wednesday, February 26.  The bill requires Senate approval. By Mike Klein Mike KleinEditor, Georgia Public Policy Foundation Georgia charter school issues have been quiet during the General Assembly but that could change soon.  House legislation that passed the Education Committee last week would improve the chances for successful charter schools to expand their instruction.  The same bill tries to give charter schools an easier path toward access to unused public school facilities. This is a short legislative week with House and Senate floor sessions Tuesday and Wednesday. Then both chambers are in recess until next Monday which is “Crossover Day” when most bills die if they have… View Article
By Ben Scafidi BENJAMIN SCAFIDI Cuts to family budgets have been significant since the Great Recession began in late 2007. Likewise, cuts to public school budgets in Georgia – and nationally – have been significant as well. That said, the economic challenges facing public schools during the Great Recession need to be put in historical context. A recent Georgia State University policy brief reported an 18.9 percent increase in the state’s public school teachers between 2001 and 2012, and a 28 percent increase in school-based administrators.  The report did not mention the increase in students during that same period: 16.6 percent. Thus, in 2012 public school students in Georgia had proportionately more staffing than students had in 2001. Put differently,… View Article

We’re Talking About Helping Georgia Kids Learn!

The Foundation focused on Georgia public charter schools and why parents choose private schools during our most recent Leadership Series breakfast.  We also talked about Georgia’s wildly successful tax credit scholarship which has enabled families to transition from traditional public schools to other learning models.  Check out the conversation in these three Foundation YouTube channel videos. Also, click here to learn about our constitutional balanced budget amendment breakfast on Wednesday, February 26, with Nick Dranias of the Goldwater Institute, and click here for the exciting details about our Wednesday evening, March 5, annual dinner with Daniel Garza, executive director of The LIBRE Initiative.  These are two Must Go events! Our Education Breakfast:  In this first video Eric Wearne discusses the… View Article

Outsourcing of School Support Services

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy’s Michigan School Privatization Survey 2013 , released last week, finds that 357 of Michigan’s 545 local school districts (65.5%) contracted out for at least one of the three main non-instructional services — custodial, food, and transportation — in 2013, a figure that has more than doubled since the Center began publishing its annual study in 2001. The survey found that 45.5% of districts contracted with private companies for facilities maintenance and other custodial work, followed by food services at 36.5% and transportation at 21%. “Every dollar saved through privatization is a dollar that can be redirected toward the classroom where it belongs,” according to the Mackinac Center’s James Hohman. The full report is available View Article

New Funding Model Improves Student Achievement

“One of our very promising findings suggests that the larger the share of a district’s budget that goes directly to the schools on a per-student basis, the better the performance,” says Katie Furtick, co-author the Reason Foundation’s Weighted Student Formula Yearbook. According to the report, Weighted Student Funding (WSF) “is a student-driven rather than program-driven budgeting process. It goes by several names including results-based budgeting, student-based budgeting, “backpacking” or fair-student funding. In every case the meaning is the same: dollars rather than staffing positions follow students into schools. In many cases, these resources are weighted based on the individual needs of the student.” It is likely that the Weighted Student Funding model will be examined closely by Georgia next… View Article

Analyzing Education Spending

Education funding has taken center stage in Georgia political discussions. What do the numbers show? It is clear there are many Georgia school systems in difficult financial shape due to a combination of state spending reductions, declining property tax values and inadequacy of the state’s education funding formula, which was created in 1985 and may be replaced next year. Critics note the billions of dollars of state “austerity cuts” that have occured since 2003. This is the difference between the funding level determined by the state’s funding formula and the amount actually funded. In order to put this in context it is important to look at the actual numbers over time and to compare Georgia’s education funding to other states.… View Article

Georgians Embrace School Choice

By Benita M. Dodd  BENITA DODD For proponents of school choice, there’s heart-warming encouragement in the (January 22) announcement this week that the state has already reached the 2014 cap in contributions to Georgia’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which funds choices in education for Georgia’s children.   That’s $58 million volunteered by generous and committed taxpayers in the first three weeks of the year, a clear sign that there is room for school choice funding to grow.  Competition is a fine incentive, judging by the pricing and quality options it offers to discerning consumers. So it is with education choice, allowing schools and modes of education to compete to fill students’ varied needs and parents to free their children from low… View Article

Sign Up to Celebrate School Choice Week on Jan. 28

GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION EVENT INVITATION January 21, 2014 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or Attend ‘School Choice and Georgia: An Update,’ on Jan. 28 Atlanta – Have you signed up yet to attend the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s January 28 Leadership Breakfast celebrating National School Choice week? The 8 a.m. event, “School Choice and Georgia: An Update,” at Cobb County’s Georgian features a panel discussion with three of Georgia’s leading education experts: Jim Kelly and Ben Scafidi and Eric Wearne. The first 50 people to register for this event will receive their very own school choice woobie – and you can wear it to the School Choice Rally at the State Capitol that day! This event… View Article

Common Core

Background: The Common Core State Standards Initiative[1] defines itself as “a state-led effort that established a single set of clear educational standards for kindergarten through 12th grade in English language arts and mathematics that states voluntarily adopt.” Former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue co-chaired the initiative for the National Governors Association and the press conference for the national release of the Common Core standards was held in Georgia. The Georgia State Board of Education adopted the Common Core in 2010. Georgia joins 45 states that have adopted the Common Core standards for English language arts and math.[2] Georgia already had high academic standards in place. In 2004, Georgia adopted the Georgia Performance Standards (GPS) for all subjects and all… View Article

Name one other organization in the state that does what the Foundation does. You can’t.

Independent survey of Georgia business leaders on the Foundation. more quotes