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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 →

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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 →

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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 →

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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. July 9: New Express Lanes to Ease Taxpayer Toll, by Benita Dodd Capitalizing on the success of existing toll projects, the GDOT has unveiled its most promising plan yet to improve mobility and increase capacity on I-285. … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: February 19, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Expanding school choice has been front and center for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its inception, as this article from 1992 demonstrates. The Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, continues to fervently champion education options. Quotes of Note “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of the day.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1816 “Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government … Continue Reading →

Cents and Sensibility in Georgia Energy Policy

By Benita M. Dodd Millions of residents in Texas struggled to cope without electricity in homes and businesses this past week as an Arctic blast led to widespread power blackouts across the state. The finger-pointing began even before power was restored. Blame alternated among renewables, infrastructure shortfalls, lack of preparedness, and Texas’ independent streak that led it to create a power grid separate from the rest of the nation. Could such a deadly disaster take place in Georgia, another Southern state with its own, unique challenges in extreme weather? First, … Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →