Friday Facts: April 12, 2024

Open enrollment, an education policy that allows K-12 students to transfer from one public school to another, is gaining traction across the United States. This policy aims to give families greater freedom in choosing the most suitable learning environment for their children. 

Our most recent report delves into the current state of open enrollment in Georgia, comparing it with open enrollment accessibility in other states and offering insights into how this facet of school choice could be improved.

Despite the growing popularity of open enrollment programs nationwide, the report reveals that Georgia is not meeting its full potential in making these programs accessible to students.

The report highlights key areas in which the state is falling short and calls on Georgia to make specific improvements to the open-enrollment system.

We hope you will check out this week’s commentary on open enrollment in Georgia. We also have the latest news and analysis from the last week, including:

  • A comparison of Gwinnett and Cobb County transit plans
  • Why craft brewery freedom continues to be such a difficult fight in Georgia
  • Inflation accelerated more than anticipated in March
  • Louisiana looks to be the next state to advance school choice

Have a great weekend,

– Kyle Wingfield

Friday’s Freshest

Comparing Cobb and Gwinnett County transit plans

Gwinnett and Cobb counties will ask voters to approve a one-cent sales tax to expand public transit options this fall. The Foundation has previously released detailed information on the Cobb and Gwinnett plans, which have switched from a desire to link with MARTA to a bus-based plan. We now have a comparison between the two plans, including what is in each, what residents can expect and how much it will cost.

Georgia’s craft brewers and customers thirst for less restrictive laws

Georgia’s craft brewing industry is so important to the Georgia Department of Economic Development that it devotes an entire section of to this profession. The state’s intent, of course, is to market craft brewers to people who live elsewhere. Georgia wants to use this industry to attract more tourists and more economic development prospects. But some Georgia craft brewers say their line of work doesn’t live up to its fullest potential. So who or what do they believe holds them back? 

What happened with property tax reform this year?

This truly seemed like one of those legislative sessions when everything was aligned for meaningful property tax reform. An election year. Actual, honest-to-goodness constituents contacted their legislators – not just the special interests that patrol the Gold Dome – seeking relief from soaring property value assessments. But that’s not exactly what happened. 

Georgia landowner’s eminent domain case could force judges to resolve long-lingering questions

A Georgia railroad company wants to apply eminent domain to use land that Sparta residents Blaine and Diane Smith have had in their family for more than a century. Sandersville Railroad Company intends to construct a 4.5-mile long rail spur. Across the Smiths’ land, a train will haul as much as 500,000 tons of granite from the nearby Hanson Quarry. And last week the Public Service Commission sided with the railroad. So what’s next?

Georgia students now have a Promise

At long last, Georgia’s students have a Promise. As with many past votes on school-choice measures, the legislation received the bare minimum 91 votes needed to advance from the House. But that narrowest of margins belies the strong public support for such programs that shows up in almost every opinion poll, transcending all the usual demographic, partisan and geographic lines.

The Latest


Inflation accelerates more than expected in March as high prices persist

Inflation accelerated in March for the third straight month, keeping prices painfully high for millions of Americans and likely delaying any interest rate cuts by the Federal Reserve. The Labor Department said that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price of everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rent, rose 0.4% in March from the previous month. Prices climbed 3.5% from the same time last year, above the 3.2% figure recorded in February. 

PrizePicks, daily fantasy sports company, expanding its Atlanta headquarters

A popular daily fantasy sports company is expanding its Atlanta headquarters. PrizePicks will move into a new space inside the Star Metals Building in northwest Atlanta. PrizePicks, one the largest daily fantasy sports operators in North America, said it plans to add 1,000 jobs over the next seven years.

New report: Braves Stadium and Battery Atlanta complex continue to surpass projections

For the second consecutive year, the Battery Atlanta complex’s property taxes exceeded the county’s general fund payment into the debt fund. This milestone, first achieved last year, comes years before 2015 projections. The President and CEO of the Braves Development Company said that a record 10.3 million visitors came to the Battery in 2023, the majority from outside Cobb County.


Six Democrats in Louisiana buck party line by supporting universal school choice

Louisiana is poised to pass a universal school choice bill that would distribute education savings accounts (ESAs) to all Louisiana children. Along with traditional Republican support, six Democrats bucked their party line by supporting universal school choice after a bill passed the state’s House chamber this week. The bill will now head to the Louisiana Senate for review.

Search continues for permanent Atlanta Public Schools’ superintendent

The search for a new superintendent for Atlanta Public Schools is being extended. The Atlanta Board of Education announced this week that after careful consideration, it decided to extend the search and is working with a recruitment partner, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, to maintain the integrity of the search process. 

Georgia joins group of states suing to block Biden’s student loan handout plan 

President Biden’s administration faces yet another lawsuit as a growing number of states seek to block his student loan handout plan, with seven states, including Georgia, filing a complaint on Tuesday. The lawsuit argues that Biden’s “SAVE” plan, announced in February, is illegal and would cost American taxpayers $475 billion. 

Government accountability

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signs unpermitted events bill into law

We are less than two weeks away from the expected Orange Crush event on Tybee Island, something that city leaders say brought more than 100,000 people to the island last year. This week, Gov. Brian  Kemp signed a bill that could help the city recoup some of the costs the unpermitted event brings to the island.

City of Milton denies alcohol license to proposed farm winery after months of debate

After months of strife, the Milton City Council ultimately denied a proposed farm winery an alcohol license with a 5-1 vote on Monday. Residents Jim and Daryn Rosenberger wanted to turn their several-acre farm into a concept called “The Barnery,” also bottling and selling wine under a label named D’Rose Vintners. 


Timeline pushed back in I-16, I-95 expansion project 

We’re getting a look at the timeline for the construction project happening on I-16 and I-95. It’s a project that GDOT started back in 2020 to widen I-16 and add a lane in each direction from I-95 to I-16. Back in August of last year, they projected it to be completed in the summer of 2024 – but the Georgia Department of Transportation says the timeline has been pushed back.

Road improvements around megasite to ramp up over the next year

In just a few days, motorists who travel US 280 should expect changes ― that will continue over the next year. Other road improvements set to take place soon around the site include the frontage road, which is slated to open Dec. 31. GDOT estimates 6,000 motorists will use the access road upon completion. A whopping 20,000 motorists are expected to use the road by 2027 and 25,000 by 2030.


How much do caddies make at the Masters? Here’s how their pay at the PGA tournament works.

Being a caddie at the Masters is an entirely different experience than doing the job anywhere else. The Masters purse in 2023 was $18 million, but players aren’t the only ones in line for a big payout. The winner’s caddie can easily go home with a six-figure paycheck after four days of work.

IRS’s most wanted: The $200,000 man

The Internal Revenue Service got an audit of its own in time for Tax Day, and two irregularities jump out. President Biden’s plan to hire a new army of tax collectors is falling flat, and the agents already at work are targeting the middle class. As of last summer, 63% of new audits targeted taxpayers with incomes of less than $200,000. 

50 years after Hank Aaron’s 715th homer, Hall of Fame announces statue, Postal Service unveils stamp

The 50th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th home run was marked Monday with announcements of a new statue at Baseball’s Hall of Fame and a new commemorative stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. Meanwhile, baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred helped honor Aaron in Atlanta by joining the Braves in announcing the $100,000 endowment of a scholarship at Tuskegee University.

Quotes of the Week

“If the Masters offered no money at all, I would be here trying just as hard.” – Ben Hogan

“If you want to know which way to go in the future, you have to know which path you took in the past and where you stepped in a gopher hole along the way.” – Ronald Reagan

“Fame is a vapor, popularity an accident, and riches take wings. Only one thing endures and that is character.” – Horace Greeley

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