Category: Foundation in the News

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted the Foundation’s Benita Dodd in its August 26, 2015 edition (subscription required) in the article, “Education Reform Commission wants more money for poor schools,” by Ty Tagami. Below is the text of the article. Georgia should consider allocating larger proportions of money to school districts with higher numbers of poor students, say people working to overhaul state education law for Gov. Nathan Deal. Deal’s Education Reform Commission has been working since spring to recommend a new approach to everything from the way teachers are paid to school choice. Re-writing the decades old law that distributes state money among school districts was one of the biggest assignments. The current formula, in place since the 1980s, does not… View Article
Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd wrote an op-ed on civil asset forfeiture in Georgia for the July 17, 2015, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It appeared behind the paywall (link here); the complete text appears  below. Theft by another name By Benita Dodd Dictionary.com describes “theft” as “the wrongful taking and carrying away of the personal goods or property of another.” That also describes “civil asset forfeiture” by law enforcement authorities. Law enforcement agencies have argued civil asset forfeiture is a necessary crime-fighting tool; others admit, more honestly, it’s a cash cow. Seminars list the profitable items to seize. News reports highlight agencies’ abusive spending on parties and vehicles, and even how police stop suspects’ vehicles in the cash-carrying… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed on May 19, 2015, about the Atlanta Streetcar by Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd, “A streetcar named denial.” Read it on the newspaper’s Web site here (subscription required); the full text is below. A streetcar named denial By Benita Dodd After almost five months of official Atlanta Streetcar operation, city officials are exploring route expansion to the Beltline. But storefronts boarded up and covered by newsprint along the route are their own news story on the economic-development promise. It may be that the promises are simply slow to be fulfilled. Nevertheless, looking ahead to Streetcar promises should require looking back on past promises. Deadlines: The streetcar was originally scheduled to begin operating in… View Article
The Federalist has published an article that highlights the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s role in bipartisan criminal justice reform in the state. It notes, “Georgia has distinguished itself as a front-runner on this issue. Although the overhaul of its justice system is far from complete, the Peach State has joined its Lone Star cousin as a success story that’s raising eyebrows across the nation. There’s something here for everybody to like. By reforming its corrections system, Georgia has already saved more than $20 million, with much bigger savings likely on the horizon. Its general inmate population is down, and juvenile detention rates have fallen even more. Through it all, crime rates have remained low.” The article continues: “I… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release March 13, 2015 Contact Kelly McCutchen at 404-256-4050 or kmccutchen@georgiapolicy.org Foundation Highlights Solar Energy and Sunshine Week Atlanta – Two years ago this week, Dublin High School in Laurens County broke ground on a solar panel array that was described as a trailblazer funding model and a moneysaver for the school. As she gathered information for an article marking the March 11 anniversary of the groundbreaking, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd gained a renewed appreciation for Sunshine Week, the annual celebration of the national initiative for open government and freedom of information that takes place next week (March 15-21). What started out as a commentary on Sunshine Week and the solar… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen Georgia, like many states, faces a host of health care challenges: access to care, too many people without health insurance, failing rural hospitals and unsustainable health care spending that is crowding out other priorities – for government and for families. The debate over how to address these challenges has Georgia seemingly stuck between two options: Expand a government program (Medicaid) with its own long list of challenges . . . or do nothing. It is a false choice; Georgia has an opportunity to put forth a better solution. It won’t be easy. You start with the high hurdle of political acceptance by conservatives in Georgia and liberals in Washington. But it’s worth the effort. What if Georgia… View Article

Fiscal Prudence, Innovation Both Needed Here

This op-ed by Kelly McCutchen, president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, appeared in the Sunday, January 10, 2015, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. By Kelly McCutchen With major policy decisions on transportation, education, health care and tax reform on the legislative agenda, Georgia should think beyond the traditional approach of spending more money as the solution for every problem. Focusing on ways to enhance economic opportunity and empower individuals beats doubling down on the status quo. Economic opportunity, now more than ever, starts with education. Low- and middle-income children deserve access to the same educational opportunities available to children in affluent families.  Expanding Georgia’s successful tuition tax credit scholarship program is the best first step. Operating at about one-third… View Article

Transit findings’ not-so-silver linings

This op-ed by Benita Dodd, vice president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, was published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on January 6, 2015. By Benita Dodd An Onion report that 98 percent of Americans surveyed favor public transportation – for other commuters – is one that, since its publication in 2000, remains probably the satirical newsletter’s most reality-based article. Just this past November, an Atlanta Regional Commission survey found 70 percent of people in metro Atlanta – and 79 percent in Clayton County – consider public transportation “very important” to the region. Why is this relevant? The Census Bureau reports that just 3 percent of metro Atlanta residents use public transportation. The ARC omitted asking respondents whether they feel the… View Article
The July 19, 2014, Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Benita Dodd on mass transit in Clayton County. By Benita M. Dodd By all accounts, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) is operating infinitely more responsibly and responsively and, for that, CEO Keith Parker and a largely sensible MARTA board deserve credit. Unfortunately, that and the flimsy prospect of MARTA rail service for Clayton County hardly justify adding a penny to Clayton’s sales tax for MARTA to operate its mass transit. There’s that famous saying: “When you find yourself in a hole, stop digging.” Many Clayton workers have struggled with public transportation since the 2010 shutdown of C-Tran service. Remember why it shut down? That was the result of… View Article

The best way to make a lasting impact on public policy is to change public opinion. When you change the beliefs of the people; the politicians and political parties change with them.

Senator Herman E. Talmadge more quotes