Friday Facts: February 12, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Rogers Wade (right), then-president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, chats with U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona after McCain’s keynote address at the Foundation’s 15th anniversary celebration in 2006. Read excerpts here; view McCain’s speech at the event on the Foundation’s YouTube channel here. The senator and former prisoner of war died in 2018 at age 81. Wade is now Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Quotes of Note “There are persons who constantly clamor. … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 5, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Reforming Georgia’s certificate-of-need (CON) laws, which protect medical monopolies, has been a priority since the early days of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, as shown in this editorial on healthcare reform in the Daily News from February 1992. The Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; its campaign against CON continues: See Chris Denson’s commentary. Accolades: For the fourth year in a row, the Foundation has been ranked one of the “Best Independent Think Tanks” in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, published … Continue Reading →

Unhealthy Blockage Constricts Certificate-of-Need Relief

By Chris Denson On March 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order relaxing many restrictions on healthcare providers. It included the suspension of the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) law. When hospitals suspended elective surgeries to preserve resources and focus personnel on COVID-19, many patients were forced to postpone often vital surgical procedures. As Johns Hopkins Medicine notes, “An elective surgery does not always mean it is optional. It simply means that the surgery can be scheduled in advance.” Some Georgians with heart … Continue Reading →

Busting 3 School Choice Myths

All families deserve the opportunity to choose the education that works best for their children. But there’s lots of myth and misrepresentation when it comes to education options. Many myths in the school choice debate crumble under the slightest bit of scrutiny. Here are three popular ones:  MYTH: School choice siphons money away from public schools. FACT: School choice returns money to the hands of students and their families. Families still have the option to take those dollars back to the same district-run public school if they want. If the … Continue Reading →

The Misleading Rhetoric Against ESAs

By Kyle Wingfield The pandemic has forced a lot of Georgia families to rethink the education of their children. Public-school enrollment this fall was about 36,000 lower than the year before, and that’s after the gains among public charter schools that offset some of the losses. Private schools and homeschooling have also become more appealing. It’s no wonder, then, that interest in expanding education options is likewise higher. Nor is it surprising that opponents are rounding up the usual excuses to try to prevent more families from gaining options. Around … Continue Reading →

It’s School Choice Week: Embrace More Education Options

National School Choice Week is January 24-30, and there’s an air of optimism among advocates of education options for children, across the nation and here in Georgia. Now is the time to promote school choice: Many families are learning – the hard way, unfortunately – that being at the mercy of education bureaucrats is much like being a puppet on a string. Schools open. Schools close. Schools offer hybrid learning options and remote options and change schedules at whim. Teachers and staff are paid, no matter what, but the upheaval … Continue Reading →

Six Ways Education Options Benefit Georgia’s Children

  Increasing education options for families empowers parents to choose an educational setting that works best for their children, and the logic goes beyond dollars and cents. Here are six real ways that increasing options benefit Georgia families.   Staying in school Students in public charter schools were 8% more likely to stay in college for two consecutive semesters and were 2% more likely to complete their degree or certificate. Higher Graduation Rates Access to an Education Scholarship Account could mean up to 15,000 more Georgians earn their high school … Continue Reading →

Where Have All the Children Gone?

By Chris Butler and Cindy Morley Investigative Journalists for The Georgia Public Policy Foundation For concerned parents and, by extension, Georgia taxpayers, the precise number of students attending the state’s public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic should matter a great deal: Those numbers impact the state budget.  Some parents choose to bypass Georgia’s traditional public schools in favor of alternative methods of education, including public charter schools, private schools and homeschooling. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began its U.S. spread early in 2020, has added to those numbers.  Tracking those students, … Continue Reading →

Funding Students Instead of Institutions

The Economic Impacts of Universal Education Savings Accounts in Georgia Download the Study Here Executive Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the massive power imbalance in K-12 public education in Georgia. Private businesses, including private schools and daycares, have already opened, or are fighting to reopen. Many public schools have been fighting for the opposite. A nationwide survey also found that private schools and public charter schools generally adapted better to remote learning than district-run public schools in the spring of 2020. A primary difference is one … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 22, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The debate about education funding is not new, as demonstrated in this clipping from a 1992 editorial in The Augusta Chronicle. As the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down Memory Lane from our three decades of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” We’re hiring! The Foundation is adding an external affairs manager to the team. Find out more and apply here. Quotes of Note “The greatest good we can do our country is to heal its … Continue Reading →

How Should the Gold Dome Spend Your Money?

By Kyle Wingfield What to do with your money is the topic this week at the Gold Dome. There is even more reason than usual to pay attention. State officials expect to have $27.2 billion for the next budget. That’s about $935 million more than they forecast for the current budget, which in turn is about $400 million more than they originally thought they’d have. Not too shabby, coming off a recession. Naturally, how to spend the increase is at the heart of budget hearings that begin Tuesday. And just … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 15, 2021

It’s Friday!  As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down Memory Lane from our three decades of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” It’s a testament to this policy research organization’s credibility and integrity that the media have quoted, interviewed, cited and published the Foundation thousands of times across Georgia through the years. Here’s one from 1991. We’re hiring! The Foundation is adding an external affairs manager to the team. Find out more and apply here. Quotes … Continue Reading →

A Purple State Under the Gold Dome

Georgia may be a purple state now in national politics, or even a blue one given the trifecta Democrats Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock completed in this past week’s U.S. Senate runoffs. But it remains solidly red under the Gold Dome in Atlanta. As members of the General Assembly return to the state Capitol this week to begin their annual legislative session, it bears watching how the still-in-charge Republicans react to their sudden political mortality – and how they signal their intentions to stave it off. The events since the … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: January 11, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Mutating virus: The first case of the U.K. coronavirus variant has been reported in Georgia, an 18-year-old man with no travel history, the Georgia Department of Public Health reported January 5. The state became the fifth to report a case of the variant, following New York, California, Florida and Colorado.   Resistant COVID-19: The lead researcher in Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine trials in South Africa told CBS that country has seen more than 13 coronavirus variants since the start of the … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: January 08, 2021

It’s Friday!  Happy New Year! Welcome to the first issue of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s Friday Facts for 2021. This is a special year for the Foundation: We’re celebrating our 30th anniversary!  Through the years of ‘policy over politics’ the Foundation has published hundreds of commentaries, scores of Issue Analyses and thousands of Friday Facts. Did you know? The Friday Facts started out as the Friday Fax, a weekly, members-only newsletter of tidbits shared exclusively via fax machine. This year, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down … Continue Reading →

The Changing Terrain of Electoral Votes

By Kyle Wingfield Demography isn’t destiny, no matter how many people insist otherwise. Two recent reports underscored that reality. First let’s look at the big picture. This past week, the U.S. Census Bureau released its annual population estimates. These estimates aren’t the same as the actual census, on which such important – and, to today’s exercise, relevant – decisions as reapportionment are based. But they are a pretty good preview of the real thing. A quick refresher: Reapportionment is how the U.S. House of Representatives’ 435 members are reallocated every … Continue Reading →

New Year’s Resolutions and Priorities for Georgia

By Kyle Wingfield Has there ever been a year that better informed what the next year’s work ought to be? Perhaps, but the to-do list for Georgia in 2021 clearly takes its cues from the mercifully ending 2020. Our students should be first in line to have this year’s wrongs set right. Too many education leaders waited too long to recognize that the dangers of keeping schools closed outweighed the dangers of reopening them with proper precautions. Still more sought to use the pandemic as an excuse to shirk accountability … Continue Reading →

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

By Kyle Wingfield This looks to be a different kind of Christmas. Many will carry on as before, but some will choose a socially distanced Yule. Some will be forced to keep away from family or friends who have fallen ill, and others will spend their first Christmas since losing a loved one. Even the usual heart-tugging holiday ads on TV have caught on, some of them depicting a Christmas morning video call instead of a Christmas Eve embrace. Traveling recently with one of those 24/7 Christmas-song stations on the … Continue Reading →

12 Good Tidings from the Georgia Public Policy Foundation!

Count down to Christmas 2020, Georgia Public Policy Foundation style! 12 Months of Insightful Commentary  We’re committed to bringing you the best, most thought-provoking commentary on the issues affecting Georgians. Read through 2020’s publications here. 11 Committed Board Members 2020 saw the Foundation add two new, valued members to our Board of Trustees. Welcome, Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart! Learn more here. 10 million (plus!) Georgians Georgia’s population is on the rise! We added lots of new friends and neighbors this year. 9th Most Populated Metro Area Atlanta is growing … Continue Reading →

Foundation Adds 2 New Board Members

Atlanta –  The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is pleased to announce the addition of Jay Neely and Jeb Stewart to the Board of Trustees, bringing the total number of board members to 11. John J. “Jay” Neely III is vice president for Law & Public Affairs at Gulfstream Aerospace Corp., where he manages the company’s Legal Department, state and local government affairs, and community relations. Before joining Gulfstream in 1999, Neely was an attorney in the Atlanta office of Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker, LLP. Neely is chairman of the … Continue Reading →