Category: The Forum

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
By Ross Coker If you or your family have ever taken a vacation to a locale rich in history and lore such as Charleston, S.C., or Savannah, you might have enjoyed the spooky entertainment of a ghost tour. In the event that you did, one of the first things on your mind during the tour was likely, “I hope my tour guide is licensed by the city,” right? Probably not. Nevertheless, tour guiding in Savannah was one of many professions that was kept behind the curtain of a licensing requirement in the state of Georgia – until recently, when a group of tour guides partnered with the non-profit law firm the Institute for Justice to challenge the requirement on a… 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

Friday Facts: January 27, 2017

It’s Friday!  Events  Yellow school choice scarves were everywhere as the Foundation and friends celebrated National School Choice Week Thursday in Atlanta! This week is National School Choice Week, and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast on Thursday was among a record-breaking 21,392 taking place across all 50 states to champion choice in education. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal joined more than 600 elected officials – governors, mayors and county leaders – in issuing a proclamation to declare January 22-28 School Choice Week. Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi unveiled his study, “Balancing the Books,” which found the state Department of Education website underreports public school spending by billions of dollars. Read the news release here; see photos of the… 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
Who:   Small groups and employees working for groups with fewer than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees (part-time and seasonal employees can be excluded). When:  The 21st Century Cures Act passed Congress on December 7, 2016 and signed into law on December 13, 2016 with an effective date of January 1, 2017 (plan years beginning after December 31, 2016). What:  The Cures Act focuses mainly on speeding up drug approvals through the Food and Drug Administration, but as an important additional feature of the law created a new type of Health Reimbursement Arrangement called a “Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement” (QSEHRA). Executive Summary:   The Cures Act overturns a previous ruling by the IRS and DOL that precluded employers… View Article

Friday Facts: January 20, 2017

It’s Friday! Events January 26: January 24 is the deadline to register for the National School Choice Week Leadership Breakfast keynoted by education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi. He will unveil his study on the real numbers of Georgia’s public school spending and staffing. The topic is, “National School Week: Where’s The Money?” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here. February 22: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Institute for Justice for a Leadership Breakfast and Book Forum with Dick Carpenter, co-author of, “Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit.” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here. Quotes of note “Happily… View Article

Fixing the $1 Billion Federal Unfunded Heath Care Mandate

By Kelly McCutchen There is no question Georgia’s rural hospitals are struggling. The great majority of these hospitals are losing money every year and several have been forced to close. Their struggles were one of the primary reasons cited for Medicaid expansion. But before throwing money at the problem, it’s important to understand one of the fundamental causes: a massive unfunded mandate from the federal government. In 1986, Congress passed, and President Ronald Reagan signed, the Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) requiring hospital emergency departments to treat and stabilize all patients regardless of their ability to pay. Unfortunately, Congress didn’t appropriate funding to cover the cost. Imagine a law that required McDonald’s to give away food or Holiday… View Article

Finally, a one volume resource from an independent source that gives those of us in public life a new view on which to make public policy.

Governor Roy Barnes more quotes