Georgia Public Policy Foundation Names External Affairs Manager

Hayley McCloud has joined the staff of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as External Affairs Manager. McCloud comes to the Foundation from the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, where she had worked since July 2019, most recently as Legislative Director. Her previous positions include Special Projects Coordinator at the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia; Senior Manager of State Affairs for the American College of Rheumatology, Political Field Representative for the Georgia Association of REALTORS®; and Legislative Correspondent/Field Representative for (then) U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. “We’re excited … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 12, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Now that the Trump administration is gone, it seems it’s once again OK to mention COVID-19 and China in the same breath. You may recall the virus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and spread across the world. According to Worldometer, more than 137 million people have been infected by COVID-19 since it was first reported by China in December 2019; the death toll is closing in on 3 million. Mainland China has reported just 4,636 deaths among … Continue Reading →

Analyzing Senate Bill 202

By Kyle Wingfield The 2021 legislative session is over, and the most-discussed legislation concerned election reform. While dozens of these bills were introduced, only Senate Bill 202 cleared both chambers. Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law on March 25. Much of what’s been said about this bill has been inaccurate. Rather than opining about it, I’m simply going to summarize the most important changes. Early voting: For primary and general elections, early voting will continue to begin about three weeks before Election Day. After proposals to reduce early voting … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 5, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Thundering herd immunity: A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 80% while the full, two-dose regimen reduced the risk of infection by 90%, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For comparison, the effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccine in preventing infection ranges between 10-60%, according to a 2019 influenza report from the Council of Economic Advisors. The study “raises the … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: April 02, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The more things change, the more they stay the same, as this news clipping from 1996 shows. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, continues to campaign tirelessly for government to reduce regulations on businesses, especially small businesses. Quotes of note “For years you have hired people to do work around your house. Instead of paying them in full every year, you use the money to buy holiday gifts, so that you are popular with your friends. Each year you tell … Continue Reading →

Foundation Hails U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Florida-Georgia Water Dispute

April 1, 2021 Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision today to dismiss Florida’s lawsuit in its 8-year-old “water wars” dispute with Georgia: The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling validates the December 2019 recommendation by the Special Master, New Mexico federal Judge Paul Kelly, to dismiss the case, and it vindicates Georgia, which Florida had accused of unfair use of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. As we have said previously, the cap on Georgia’s … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Monday: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press briefing today she has a “recurring feeling” of “impending doom” as new daily cases of the coronavirus are rising and the nation approaches 550,000 COVID deaths among 30.2 million cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking dashboard, the United States has reported more than 549,350 deaths among more than 30.2 million cases and leads the world in cases and … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: March 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Friday’s Freshest: Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Don’t Let Strings on Covid Cash Make Georgia Feds’ Puppet,” by Kyle Wingfield. Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has long held state government accountable for its spending, as this article from 25 years ago demonstrates. Quotes of note “People who worked through 2020 with no reduction in pay chat about how they are going to spend their ‘stimmy” checks. A poll conducted by a securities firm found that 40% … Continue Reading →

Four Reasons Georgia Needs to Protect Learning Pods

Learning pods aren’t new, but they’ve had a surge in popularity and interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this visibility has already put learning pods at risk from burdensome overregulation in some states and districts. Georgia should instead protect learning pods from government interference. Parents deserve peace of mind. By protecting learning pods, parents can rest assured that their voluntary choice to work with other parents to create group educational activities will not trigger unmanageable regulatory burdens on their households and children. Parents want pods A recent survey noted that … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: March 19, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has gauged the pulse of Georgia for reform since its early days, as this poll from 1996 demonstrates. Even then, Georgia voters supported education choice, limited spending and education options, among other reforms. (Keara has article) Quotes of note “The last 30 years of climate policy have delivered high costs and rising emissions. The only reliable ways to cut emissions have been recessions and the COVID-19 lockdowns, both of which are unpalatable. Expecting nations … Continue Reading →

Three Big Reasons to Protect Learning Pods in Georgia

Learning pods aren’t new, but their popularity during COVID-19 has brought them to the forefront in childhood education. Regulators in some states and districts are using this new visibility to try to burden parents and students with new regulations on a model that works for them. Here’s three big reasons why now is the time to protect pods.

To Understand Georgia’s Future, Look in Washington

By Kyle Wingfield The work continues under the Gold Dome, but look farther north to understand Georgia’s future. In Washington, the most evenly divided Congress in two decades wants to turn states into subsidiaries of the federal government they created. Longtime readers know I’m not prone to hyperbole. But these bills could decimate the federalist balance the Founders struck. What’s more, they would erode the ability of well-run states like Georgia to sharpen their competitiveness. First is the latest COVID-19 relief bill. It subsidizes workers who never lost jobs, sends … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: March 12, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has championed education options since its beginning. In 2012, Georgia legislators approved the State Charter Schools Commission. View the Foundation’s 2012 video about public charter schools here. Quotes of Note “The coronavirus lockdowns constitute the most extensive attacks on individual freedom in the West since World War II. Yet not a single government has published a cost-benefit analysis to justify lockdown policies – something policymakers are often required to do while making far less … Continue Reading →

Preparing for a Return to “Normal”

By Kyle Wingfield To look back at my calendar this time a year ago is to relive another era. I’d just returned from a three-day conference with peers from around the country. I had three dinner parties on tap, a full slate of lunch meetings, baseball games and scout meetings for the kids, a weekend in Athens my wife and I ultimately decided to skip. Things made their way to the cliff’s edge one by one. A phone call to go over details with the speakers for a March 18 … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: March 05, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, this article from 1992 is a reminder that many of the issues that concerned Georgians 30 years ago continue to be worrisome today – among them, taxes, education options and politics vs. good policy. It’s no wonder that, nearly 30 years later, these issues remain on the Foundation’s front burner. Quotes of Note “As I’ve said throughout my tenure as governor and secretary of state I think it should be easy to vote and … Continue Reading →

Doing Your Homework on Education Options

The appropriate use of public funds should be a priority for policymakers. But those who object to legislation to provide more education options for Georgia’s children, on the premise that these bills will result in misspent public funds, should do a bit more homework. The example always cited is Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program. A state audit of that program in the 2018 fiscal year found more than $700,000 in funds were misspent by participating parents. That dollar figure not only gets thrown around as if it’s the inevitable … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Zell Miller, who was governor of Georgia before becoming U.S. senator for Georgia, died March 23, 2018, at age 86. His birthday would have been February 24, and the privatization and outsourcing policies he implemented were championed by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as one of its first initiatives in 1991. This 1991 editorial by the Atlanta Journal is a reminder of how far Georgia has come – and how important the Foundation’s research continues to be as we celebrate 30 years of policy over politics … Continue Reading →

Where Have All The Children Gone?

Part II: Tracking Truants and Absentees in Georgia Schools By Cindy Morley Investigative Journalist for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Read part 1 of our investigation into Georgia’s missing schoolchildren. Absenteeism has long been a concern of educators and others who spend their days working with schoolchildren. For decades, officials have searched for ways to address chronic absenteeism. COVID-19 and the transition to online learning have intensified the challenge. Nationally, studies show, student absences have doubled during the pandemic, whether in fully remote schools, in-person learning, or hybrid learning environments. … Continue Reading →

Recognizing the Truth About Education Options

Georgia’s lawmakers have another opportunity to help thousands of children find the best education for their own unique needs. Rep. Wes Cantrell, a Republican from Woodstock, has proposed allowing state education dollars to follow a limited number of students to the education of their choice. Detractors will raise numerous objections, mostly about money. In seven years of following this debate, I’ve heard it all – and written about how those objections are wrongheaded. But here’s one basic claim I’ve never heard from opponents: “Every single child in our entire state … Continue Reading →

Recent Foundation Publications

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2021 publications are listed below by date of publication. Click on a link to read. Sign up here to be added to the Foundation’s media mailing list and receive news releases, commentaries and event updates and invitations.  Click on this link  for a list of publications from 2020. June 11: How Georgia is ‘Amazon-izing’ Healthcare and Fixing What’s Wrong with the Affordable Care Act, by Randy Pate. While Republicans nationally struggle to agree on solutions in healthcare and Democrats push for more government control, Georgia … Continue Reading →