Category: Education

By Benita M. Dodd National Charter Schools Week, held May 12-18, is a worthwhile celebration: More than a quarter-century ago, the nation’s first charter school opened in Minnesota; more than 20 years ago, Georgia’s first start-up charter school was authorized. So how is it that so many Georgians remain unaware or, worse, are antipathetic, when it comes to this education option for nearly 75,000 Georgia students? Some parents are even unaware even that charter schools are, in fact, public schools, a failing that has led choice advocates to employ the term “public charter schools.” And when overburdened news reporters are spoon-fed by anti-choice advocates, this often perpetuates the myths that charter schools: steal the cream of the crop from… View Article
A new paper by Nat Malkus of the American Enterprise Institute examines “The evolution of career and technical education: 1982–2013.Key Points As vocational education has evolved into career and technical education (CTE) over the past several decades, it has progressed away from the stigma and stereotype of “voc-ed” as an academic dead end. However, the transformation from vocational education to CTE may have hidden, rather than solved, the durable challenges of vocational education. Over 30 years, the percentage of graduates concentrating in “Traditional Vocational” occupational areas—such as manufacturing or agriculture—has fallen, while the percentage concentrating in “New Era” areas—such as computer science and health care—has grown dramatically. Across many measures, including school engagement, academic performance, and college… View Article
By Matt Ladner In “The Aviator,” director Martin Scorsese tells the story of Howard Hughes. Hughes is portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio as obsessively pushing the envelope forward in aviation, breaking both technical and legal barriers to progress. Pan American Airways serves as the film’s antagonist, attempting to preserve a legal monopoly on trans-Atlantic flight. Hughes sees this as “un-American.” He overcomes the Pan Am monopoly within a couple of hours of screen time. District near-monopoly on K-12 education has greater staying power. K-12 has been slowly evolving to become more diverse, pluralistic and dynamic. Education scholarship accounts (ESAs, also known as education savings accounts) represent the next step for Georgia to modernize K-12. The first K-12 education savings account program… View Article

The Truth About Education Scholarship Accounts

By Jeffrey H. Dorfman The Georgia Legislature is wrapping up the 2019 session and one item still being debated is a bill (HB 68) that would create an educational scholarship account program in Georgia. Educational scholarship accounts (ESAs, also referred to as educational savings accounts) provide parents who remove their children from public schools with money each year that can be used to pay private school tuition, buy materials for home schooling, pay tutors, or cover a variety of other educational expenses. The good news is that a new study I conducted for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation shows Georgia could implement such a program with no additional state spending while also financially strengthening public schools. The main finding: Public… View Article

Give Georgia’s Students Choices, Not Excuses

By Kyle Wingfield In almost a decade of writing about school choice, I’ve heard every excuse imaginable to oppose giving students and families educational options. I’ve heard critics say school choice is only for “the rich.” Not true – families of means already have options, thanks to their ability to pay private school tuition or move into a neighborhood with good public schools; school choice is about extending that liberty to those without means. I’ve heard critics say school choice hurts students who remain in public schools. In fact, as a 2016 review of the 33 empirical studies on the topic reported, “31 find that choice improves academic outcomes at public schools. One of the remaining studies finds that choice… View Article
Maureen Downey’s “Get Schooled” blog on AJC.com published, “Opinion: New study suggests vouchers may help Georgia public schools,” an op-ed by Kyle Wingfield, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, on March 3, 2019. The op-ed is published below. Access the op-ed online at https://www.ajc.com/blog/get-schooled/opinion-new-study-suggests-vouchers-may-help-georgia-public-schools/hnoULPdg9z0XZ2Zgq8HGTN/?. Opinion: New study suggests vouchers may help Georgia public schools Kyle Wingfield, a former Atlanta Journal-Constitution opinion columnist, is president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute. In this guest column, Wingfield says legislation in the Georgia House and Senate allowing tax dollars to go toward private school tuition may help public education’s bottom line. Senate Bill 173 passed out of committee Thursday in a 9-3… View Article
The Economics of Building a Voucher or Educational Savings Account Program in Georgia By Jeffrey Dorfman Executive Summary The economics of vouchers and educational savings accounts (ESAs, also known as educational scholarship accounts) are central to their political success because attracting sufficient political support for such educational choice programs depends at least partially on persuading opponents that these programs will not deprive schools of needed funding for the remaining students. The economic concept at the heart of this dispute is marginal cost. Marginal cost, in the education context, is the additional cost incurred from educating one more student (or the amount expenditures can be reduced if educating one fewer student). If vouchers or ESAs remove funding from a school’s… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd More than 40,000 activities and events around the nation will celebrate National School Choice Week 2019, held from January 20-26. (One is the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual event on Tuesday at the Sloppy Floyd Towers, opposite the State Capitol. Find out more here.) The events and activities underscore the need for choice in children’s education: No two children are alike. They learn in different ways, in different environments and at different paces, and their opportunity to achieve shouldn’t be limited by ZIP code or their parents’ paycheck. The events showcase the options. These include public charter schools, which contract with their district or state authorizing agency, promising better results in exchange for greater flexibility… View Article

Five Facts Favoring Education Choice in Georgia

By Benita M. Dodd Given the state’s progress since Georgia’s first charter school was approved 20 years ago, it would seem unnecessary to have to remind policymakers and parents of the importance of choices in education. With the turnover under the Gold Dome, however, policymakers risk losing the lessons learned – the hard-won institutional knowledge – that reinforce the need for choice for Georgia’s families. In November’s elections, Democrats took 14 seats held by Republican legislators, shrinking the GOP majority. Republicans picked up three, giving the Democrats a net gain of 11. Those numbers, of course, are not as important as the fact there are more novice legislators and, with the antagonism toward choice displayed by many Democrats, likely more… View Article

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is something that I am proud to be a part of today. The research conducted by education groups like yours is invaluable in helping form opinions and allowing people to reach conclusions that ultimately help them make the right decisions.

Dan Amos, CEO, AFLAC more quotes