Then and Now: In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, there were no charter schools in Georgia. The public charter school law was signed in 1994 and the state’s first three charter schools opened in 1995. Today, according to the Georgia Department of Education, Georgia has 110 charter schools, including are 80 start-up charter schools and 30 conversion charter schools, as well as 14 charter systems in Georgia that include 107 schools.
Quotes of Note
“Instead of car-free cities, we are on the threshold of another mobility revolution that will make cars more common than ever: the self-driving car. Among other things, self-driving cars will change where we live and almost completely replace public transit systems.”– Randal O’Toole
“Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy.” – Winston Churchill
“We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” – C. S. Lewis
Not too big to fail: Regulation may be particularly detrimental to economic prosperity to the extent that it deters entrepreneurship, according to a new study by the Mercatus Center. “If larger existing firms can overcome the costs of complying with regulations more easily than new, small firms, such smaller entrants may never start their businesses in the first place,” the report finds.
Stifling innovation: Eric Tanenblatt writes in The Atlanta Business Chronicle on how government and elected officials stifle and resist innovation “by protecting a legacy structure.” The former chief of staff to Gov. Sonny Perdue cites Airbnb, Uber, Lyft and Tesla as examples, warning, “Government’s inclination to snuff out innovation when it threatens incumbents is a cancer on our body politic that must be excised.”
What’s missing: Streetsblog, a Web site that focuses on “sustainable transportation and livable communities,” published a report on transportation trends by age group. It noted small decreases in driving are “underwhelming” even among young people. But the article omits the telecommute increase – “a hefty 79 percent” since 2005 and much faster than transit usage has increased, according to the Reason Foundation.
There’s an app for paratransit: Transit agencies, including those in Washington, D.C., Chicago and New York and Boston, are increasingly eyeing app-based ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft to help alleviate the strain on paratransit services, according to The Washington Post.
Criminal justice reform
Florida again: Last week we noted that Florida is moving ahead on direct primary care legislation while Georgia’s languishes. This week, Florida’s taking the lead with tougher requirements for civil asset forfeiture; the legislation is headed to the governor’s desk.
Room for improvement: In a state-by-state comparison of the charter school movement released this week, Georgia ranks 14th among the 18 jurisdictions with more than 2 percent of their students in charter schools, according to the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools. No. 1 is the District of Columbia.
This month in the archives: In March 2006, the Foundation published, “Planes, Trains and Automobiles: Georgia Moves on Transportation.” It noted, “Regional transportation officials declared [Robert] Poole’s proposal ‘undermined by inaccurate cost estimates, lack of real-world feasibility, incomplete data’ and accused him of ‘tossing aside transit and land-use planning as “nice things.”’ In fact, the proposed express toll network, a ‘virtual’ dedicated bus lane, would be capable of providing a seamless, attractive transit network using Bus Rapid Transit.” We love it when a plan comes together!
Status of legislation: Read a roundup on the status of legislation related to Foundation policy proposals, including criminal justice, health care, education, regulation and tax reform.
Have a great weekend and don’t forget to Spring Forward!
Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd
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When I served four terms in the state Senate, one of the few places where you could go to always and get concrete information about real solutions was the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. That hasn’t changed. [The Foundation] is really right up there at the top of the state think tanks, so you should be very proud of the work that they are doing!