Category: The Forum

By Jerry Madden Jerry Madden Criminal justice reform may wind up being the most significant conservative policy change in Washington this year. That may sound surprising to some, but not to anyone who has been watching this movement in conservative states over the last decade. Starting in Texas, conservatives of all stripes – fiscal, social, constitutional, or otherwise – have found favor with reforms to the criminal justice system that focus on increasing public safety and cutting costs to taxpayers. This is, seemingly, a very commonsense goal. But take a look at how most states and the federal government operate and you will find that well-functioning, well-focused systems are far from the norm. The results are undeniable: Texas has lowered… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release February 8, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org (404-256-4050) Foundation Named to 2017 Global ‘Best Independent Think Tanks’ List Atlanta – The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has been named one of the world’s “Best Independent Think Tanks” in the 2017 Global Go-To Think Tank Index Report, compiled annually by the University of Pennsylvania’s Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP). The Foundation joins its sister think tank, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, as the only two U.S. state free-market think tanks named in the “Best Independent Think Tanks” ranking (page 181), released this month.  “What’s especially significant is that the Foundation is ranked among organizations with much larger budgets,” said Benita Dodd, vice president of… View Article

Restoring the Dignity of Work

By Drew Ferguson  Drew Ferguson The American dream is our nation’s most enduring promise. But, too many people are struggling to turn the American dream into a reality. After my hometown and the surrounding area lost its manufacturing jobs, I watched family, friends and neighbors live through this scenario. Many came back from that, but others in the Third District of Georgia still live a different story. For the first time in generations, more people in the area moved into poverty than into the middle class. As this persists in some areas, failing schools, broken neighborhoods and loss of hope take hold. The dignity of work is replaced by the indignity of dependence. The once tightly woven fabric of the… View Article
The Atlanta Journal Constitution published an op-ed on school choice by Georgia Public Policy Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd on Sunday, February 4, 2018.  The op-ed, “Schools need more choice, not more money,” can be accessed online at this link and is reprinted in its entirety below. Schools need more choice, not more money By Benita M. Dodd  Legislators and policymakers continually debate how and how much funding to allocate to help Georgia’s public school students and public education in general. But there is a little-discussed, bigger challenge: How to meet the choices Georgians demand. How big is that challenge? The Georgia Charter Schools Association finds more than 15,000 students are on waiting lists to attend a public… View Article

Friday Facts: February 2, 2018

It’s Friday! Quotes of note “The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed. And I shall derive great satisfaction from a cooperation with you, in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow citizens the blessings which they have a right to expect, from a free and equal government.” – George Washington, from his First State of the Union, 1790 “You don’t need government calling the shots to bring meaningful reforms, and you certainly don’t need the government taking over health care the way Warren Buffett says he’d prefer. What you need are private companies experimenting with solutions, competing for consumer dollars, and reaping… View Article

College Fees: Sticker Shock for Georgia Families

By Lee Brewer Jones Lee Brewer Jones With revenue and spending contingent on the new tax law, the uncertain future of PeachCare funding (Georgia’s CHIP), and the possibility Georgia may spend on tax incentives aimed at luring Amazon’s new headquarters, it’s no surprise Governor Nathan Deal’s FY 2019 budget of $26 billion has been described as “very fluid.” In education, state budget “austerity cuts” during the Great Recession a decade ago resulted in an Institutional Fee, “a general-purchase fee charged system wide by the University System Board of Regents at all ‘teaching’ institutions.” The University of Georgia notes that the purpose of the fee, implemented in 2009, was “to ensure continued academic excellence during times of reduction in state… View Article

Friday Facts: January 26, 2018

It’s Friday! Events The Georgia winners of the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExcelinEd) national school choice video contest were honored at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s January 23 Leadership Breakfast celebrating National School Choice Week. Wearing the trademark yellow School Choice Week “woobie” are, from left, Ryan Mahoney and Adam Peshek of ExcelinEd, Grand Prize winner Cabral Clements, People’s Choice winner Damacia Howard, and Georgia Public Policy Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd. February 20: “Pension Solvency and Public Education: The Case for Reforming Georgia Teacher Pensions,” a Leadership Breakfast on Tuesday, February 20. Speakers are Len Gilroy, Senior Managing Director of the Pension Integrity Project and Director of Government Reform at Reason Foundation, and Georgia State… View Article
By Ben Scafidi Georgia could have a system of universal educational choice beginning in the fall of 2020, enabling families to choose the schools and non-school education services they deem best for their children and enabling educators to offer their best versions of school and other educational services to the public. The system is outlined in my new study, “Georgia 2020: Educational Choice for All K-12 Students,” unveiled on January 23 to coincide with National School Choice Week. I base the recommendations on logic, experience and the systemic evidence from Arizona, the state with the most educational choice in the nation. Georgia 2020 would provide students annually with $5,000 universal education savings accounts (ESAs) increase to $150 million… View Article
News Release | For Immediate Release January 23, 2018 Contact: Benita Dodd  benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org (404-256-4050) Landmark Study on Georgia’s K-12 Options Unveiled at School Choice Week Event Showing off their trademark National School Choice Week scarves at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s event are Scott Johnson, State Board of Education member; Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd; Mark Peevy, Executive Director of Secondary Education Initiatives at the Technical College System of Georgia; and keynote speaker Dr. Ben Scafidi, education expert and professor of economics at Kennesaw State University. Atlanta – Georgia can and should implement universal educational choice for K-12 students beginning in the fall of 2020, national education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi told attendees today at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation… View Article
Metro magazine takes a comprehensive look at the game-changing ride-hailing and ride-sharing services, including Lyft and Uber, that are meeting the needs of commuters and reducing operating costs for public transportation. The article by Michaela Kwoka-Coleman, “Mobility-On-Demand: The Future of Transportation,” was posted on December 26, 2017, and can be accessed online here. It examines examples around the nation of how transit agencies are partnering with on-demand services, for first-mile/last-mile transportation, paratransit and carpools.  Public transportation ridership rates have been decreasing for years, and unless transit agencies adapt their service to embrace this innovation, they will lose even more riders. The University of California, Davis Institute of Transportation Studies reported in October that urban ride-hailing passengers decreased… View Article

It’s so often a lack of information that keeps us from getting involved. The Foundation is doing for the public what many could not do for themselves. Anytime that we’re given the truth, people can make good decisions.

Deen Day Smith, Chairman of the Board, Cecil B. Day Investment Company more quotes