Category: Foundation in the News

Atlanta Has Reached Peak Transit

By Randal O’Toole For decades, the transit industry has tried to convince Americans that they have a moral obligation to subsidize public transit and to spend billions of dollars building new rail transit lines. Yet the reality is that transit is increasingly irrelevant, as Atlantans have shown by deserting transit in droves. Federal transit data show that Atlanta transit ridership has declined every year since 2009 and was lower in 2014 than in any of the previous 30 years. Since the region’s population has grown by nearly 150 percent during those years, per capita transit ridership has dropped by more than 60 percent since 1985. Data are not yet available for all of 2015, but in the first nine months… View Article

AJC Quotes Kelly McCutchen on Tax Reform Proposal

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Foundation President Kelly McCutchen in the February 26 edition in an article about a tax cut proposal in the Legislature. The article is reprinted below; read it online at http://www.myajc.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/its-an-election-year-tax-cut-proposals-advance-in-/nqYFP/ (Subscription required.) It’s an election year — tax-cut proposals advance in Georgia By James Salzer It’s an election year, and that means lawmakers probably can’t end the 2016 session without some kind of tax cut, or at least a last-minute debate on one. And state Senate Finance Chairman Judson Hill, R-Marietta, has just the ticket for election-wary politicians. The Senate could vote as early as Monday on proposals from Hill. One, Senate Resolution 756, is a proposed constitutional amendment that would make a small reduction… View Article
Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute interviewed Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi on  the Georgia Education Reform Commission’s recommendations. The article is below; access the article on Heartrland’s Web site here: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2016/02/10/georgia-commission-releases-reform-recommendations Georgia Commission Releases Reform Recommendations By Kenneth Artz A Georgia government commission released a report in December 2015 detailing recommended reforms lawmakers should consider during the recently convened legislative session. The commission called on the state’s legislature to fund charter schools in a more equitable manner and provide more support for districts wishing to explore tying teachers’ pay to student performance. The commission was composed of private-sector leaders, local and state education officials, and lawmakers. The stated goal of the Georgia Education Reform Commission is to “[provide]… View Article
The Marietta Daily Journal quotes Foundation President Kelly McCutchen in a January 31 article about the Foundation’s Leadership Breakfast celebrating National School Choice Week. The text is below; access the article online here. State senators speak out on alternatives to public school By Jon Gargis CUMBERLAND — Hours before a downtown Atlanta rally focused on school choice, state Sen. Hunter Hill, R-Smyrna, and Georgia Public Policy Foundation officials were among those who spoke of alternatives to public school education and the way the state funds it. “If you’re concerned about economic inequality, economic opportunity is what we need to promote. That’s what school choice is all about — making sure that everyone in our society has a great opportunity… View Article
A January 22, 2016 article by Dave Williams in The Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd on the folly of rail expansion for metro Atlanta. The article is below; access the article online here. Market forces will power state’s new transportation plan By Dave Williams Toll lanes across the entire top end of the Perimeter and on Georgia 400 north to Atlanta’s far suburbs. Rebuilt interchanges at Interstate 285 and I-20 east and west of Atlanta. And new truck-only lanes on I-75 from Macon to McDonough. All are part of an ambitious $10 billion, 10-year transportation plan Gov. Nathan Deal announced Jan. 12. After some initial experiments, the plan’s unprecedented scope shows theGeorgia Department of View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Sunday edition on January 10, 2016 published this op-ed by Foundation president Kelly McCutchen on the Foundation’s hopes for the legislative session. The link to the op-ed is here. Time to prioritize, advance state’s economic prospects By Kelly McCutchen As the Georgia General Assembly meets in 2016 amid an upswing in state revenues, lawmakers should avoid the temptation to grow government spending and programs. Rather, legislators should focus on prioritizing the Rainy Day Fund, limiting government and advancing economic opportunity. Economic opportunity begins with quality education. Replacing the 30-year-old school funding formula with a student-centered model is overdue and will dominate the headlines, but the shift to a competency-based education system is perhaps the most overlooked… View Article
ZPolitics’ inaugural issue of Capitol Faces contained an article by Benita Dodd, vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.  The article is published below; the zpolitics link is here.   WANT TO BUILD GEORGIA’S ECONOMY? PUSH BACK ON AN OVERREACHING EPA By Benita Dodd Like the federal Environmental Protection Agency’s occasional field hearings, Georgia legislators and policy-makers are inundated by environmental activists with emotional but outlandish claims about the devastation that will occur unless Regulation X or Bill Y are implemented or Activity Z is prohibited. Back in May 2011, it was the “mercury rule,” a regulation that would affect power plants responsible for nearly half of the power generation in the nation. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation testified… View Article
The New York Times quoted Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd in a January 1, 2016, article by Alan Blinder about the Atlanta Streetcar System. The full article is below; the link to the newspaper is here. Atlanta Begins Charging for a Streetcar Named Undesirable by Some By Alan Blinder ATLANTA — The streetcar was stopped in downtown traffic, and before long Keisha Schwarzel figured that was enough of a first experience with the year-old addition to Atlanta’s transit system. “I’d rather walk,” Ms. Schwarzel, 35, said on a rain-drenched Wednesday morning. And that was when the ride was free. On Friday, looking beyond the setbacks that became grist for the mass-transit skeptics who populate the suburbs, Atlanta’s 2.7-mile,… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen was interviewed for a November 2, 2015, Heartland Institute article by Tony Corvo on Peachtree City’s planned taxpayer-funded broadband.  The full article is below; access it online here. Georgia Lawmakers Boot Up Taxpayer-Funded Internet By Tony Corvo The Peachtree City, Georgia City Council recently approved spending $3.2 million in taxpayer dollars to build and fund a municipal broadband Internet system. The new taxpayer-funded Internet service provider (ISP) will be funded through a mixture of subscriber fees and excise fees paid by cable television subscribers. Broadband ‘Boondoggles’ “I can’t speak for Peachtree City residents, but I think taxpayers are fed up with funding government boondoggles, especially when government is attempting to compete with… View Article

Launch Georgia K-12 Education on the ‘Seven Cs”

This op-ed by Jim Kelly, a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, was published in the September 4-10, 2015, edition of the Atlanta Business Chronicle. By Jim Kelly As Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission approaches the release of its first round of draft proposals, now is a good time to focus on some overarching principles for improving K-12 education in Georgia. Otherwise, detailed prescriptions for more equitable education funding, student performance, and teacher recruitment, retention and compensation will fail for a lack of attention to seven essential elements of effective education: creed, competence, curriculum, character, community, compassion and choice.  Among the standard definitions of the word “creed” is “a set of beliefs or aims that guide someone’s… View Article

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State Representative Bob Irvin more quotes