Category: Facts

The cost of higher education is skyrocketing across the nation, including in Georgia. But how does Georgia compare to other states? The average amount of annual in-state tuition and fees at Georgia’s public universities increased by more than 31 percent over the last five years (a greater increase than all but one state). The average amount of tuition and fees, $8,447, ranks below the national average at 31st. Net tuition revenue per FTE (tuition after scholarships and other grants) is $4,468, ranking Georgia 41st highest in the nation. State funding per student is $7,297, which ranks 14th highest in the nation. Amount Rank Average Annual In-State Tuition & Fees at Public Four-Year Institutions, 2015-16 $8,447 31 Percentage Change in In-State… View Article
Everyone likes rankings, and one of the most frequent questions we receive is about where Georgia ranks in terms of K-12 spending and achievement. Georgia’s spending per student is higher than all but one of its neighboring states, according to the most recent data. In terms of student achievement, adjusting for demographic factors that schools can’t control, Georgia ranks 19th highest in the nation. (An analysis of how Georgia compares based on unadjusted NAEP scores is available here.) Clearly, spending doesn’t equal performance, at least not in 2013. The states in Table 1 are listed in order of spending, but their academic achievement varies dramatically. Georgia ranks much higher than most would guess at 19, but Florida (#4) and… View Article

Could Georgia Education Funding Reform Impact Achievement?

The very first recommendation in the final report from the Georgia Education Reform Commission was this: Develop a student-based funding formula. What does this mean? According to education experts from the Reason Foundation, under a student-based budget, “Actual dollars follow students to the school level to be spent flexibly by school leaders.” In addition to enhancing equity and transparency, research has shown this can enhance student achievement. The Reason Foundation’s Director of Education, Lisa Snell, speaking at a school finance forum hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, noted a study that found, “holding all else constant, a school district that allocated 50 percent of its FY2011 budget to weighted student formula, where money follows the student, is nearly 10… View Article
The Heritage Foundation has produced a helpful factsheet that explains civil asset forfeiture. No. 4, especially, stands out: 4. What if I’m innocent? Surely, innocent people can’t have their property taken. Being innocent does not mean that a state has to return your property. The Supreme Court of the United States has held that the “innocent owner” defense is not constitutionally required. Furthermore, even in states where you do have an innocent owner defense, the burden is typically on you. Your property is presumed to be guilty until you prove that you are innocent and that your property therefore should not be forfeited. In other words, you must prove (1) that you were not involved in criminal activity and (2)… View Article

Where Does Georgia Rank in K12 Education?

By Kelly McCutchen Where does Georgia rank in education? Most people look at graduation rates and SAT scores and answer: “Near the bottom.” But states have different graduation requirements and not everyone takes the SAT. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) provides a better comparison. A fair analysis also has to address varying poverty rates. No matter how you look at test scores – by state, by system or by school – there is a strong negative correlation between test scores and poverty. In other words, the higher the poverty rate, the lower the test scores. Georgia has one of the top 10 highest K-12 poverty rates in the nation, so the best way to compare states is to… View Article

ESAs and Accountability

If Georgia were to follow Nevada’s example and approve universal Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) next year, how would we handle accountability? Matthew Ladner has some helpful guidance in this article written for the Fordham Institute, “New tools for new challenges: Updating accountability for ESAs.” He notes that we should not assume that all public dollars are held accountable, since “high school students have been doing ‘dual enrollment’ in community colleges for decades. How do states hold community colleges accountable for student outcomes? Unfortunately, they generally don’t.” The same holds true, he notes, for classes not measures by state tests, such as foreign language courses. He notes that Arizona’s experience is helpful. They have found it more effective to… View Article
Ever since school choice programs have existed, opponents have argued these programs do financial harm to tradational public schools. Our Senior Fellow, Dr. Ben Scafidi, published a study for the Friedman Foundation to address the following question: “If a significant number of students left a public school district for any reason from one year to the next, then is it feasible for the district to reduce some of its expenditures commensurate with the decrease in its student population?” According to Scafidi: “The answer that comes from analyzing the finances of large and small school districts that lost students is ‘yes.’ Both the large school districts and the small ones were able to reduce the combination of instructional and support expenses… View Article

Principles for Professional Licensing Reform

Gov. Rick Snyder recently announced plans to reform professional licensing in Michigan, writes Mackinac Center for Public Policy policy analyst Jarrett Skorup. Gov. Snyder has proposed a set of principles to guide reform: There must be a substantial harm or danger to the public health, safety, or welfare as a result of unregulated practice, which will be abated through licensure. The practice of the occupation must require highly specialized education or training. The cost to state government of regulating the occupation must be revenue neutral. There must be no alternatives to state regulation of the occupation (such as national or third-party accreditation) which adequately protect the public. The scope of practice must be clearly distinguishable from other licensed, certified,… View Article

Free the Nurses

In March, Nebraska became the 20th state to allow nurses with the most advanced degrees to practice without a doctor’s oversight in a variety of medical fields. Writing in Forbes, John Goodman argues that more states should move in this direction. “These regulations have the greatest impact on the poor, especially the rural poor. The farther a nurse is located from a doctor’s office, the less likely the physician will be willing to make the drive to supervise the nurse. This means that people living in poverty-stricken Texas counties must drive long distances, miss work and take their kids out of school in order to get simple prescriptions and uncomplicated diagnoses. This problem might be alleviated if nurse practitioners were… View Article

The Foundation’s Criminal Justice Initiative pushed the problems to the forefront, proposed practical solutions, brought in leaders from other states to share examples, and created this nonpartisan opportunity. (At the signing of the 2012 Criminal Justice Reform bill.)

Governor Nathan Deal more quotes