Friday Facts: August 31, 2012

August 31, 2012

It’s Friday! 

Quotes of Note 

“I consider the foundation of the Constitution as laid on this ground that “all powers not delegated to the United States, by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states or to the people.” To take a single step beyond the boundaries thus specially drawn around the powers of Congress, is to take possession of a boundless field of power, not longer susceptible of any definition.” – Thomas Jefferson (Letter to George Washington, 1791)

“Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas Edison

“Your greatest ally in controlling your response to your circumstances has been a quality education. But today, when I can look at your zip code and I can tell whether you’re going to get a good education, can I honestly say it doesn’t matter where you came from, it matters where you’re going? The crisis in K-12 education is a threat to the very fabric of who we are. My mom was a teacher. I respect the profession. We need great teachers, not poor ones and not mediocre ones. We have to have high standards for our kids because self-esteem comes from achievement, not from lax standards and false praise. And we need to give parents greater choice, particularly poor parents, whose kids, very often minorities, are trapped in failing neighborhood schools. This is the civil rights issue of our day. If we do anything less, we condemn generations to joblessness and hopelessness and life on the government dole. If we do anything less, we will endanger our global imperatives for competitiveness. And if we do anything less, we will tear apart the fabric of who we are and cement the turn toward entitlement and grievance.” – Condoleezza Rice


September 21: Registration is open for the third annual Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on Friday, September 21, at the W Hotel in Midtown Atlanta. This year’s event includes President of the Foundation for Economic Education Lawrence Reed, Carpe Diem Schools Founder Rick Ogston, Texas Public Policy Foundation President Brooke Rollins, Galen Institute President Grace-Marie Turner and former Florida Commissioner of Education Gerard Robinson. Registration for this daylong event, which includes breakfast and lunch, is $100. Register at 

October 16: Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher turns 87 on October 13. The Foundation marks the birthday of this remarkable leader with a Policy Briefing Luncheon and Book Forum with Thatcher advisor and longtime friend John Blundell, who is author of, “Margaret Thatcher: A Portrait of The Iron Lady.” This event is at the Georgian Club. Registration is $60 and includes a copy of Blundell’s book. Register by Friday, October 12, at Seating is limited; register early! 


Charter Funding: After much confusion, there is finally consensus on the funding of state charter schools if the proposed constitutional amendment passes in November. Excluding federal funds, which flow to all schools equally, brick and mortar state charter schools will receive $7,409 per student and state virtual schools $4,706 per student. Based on the current mix of schools, the average is $5,546 per student compared to $8,993 per student in traditional schools. That’s an average savings of $3,447 per student for schools that are providing high quality public school options to a diverse group of parents and students. 

Health care

Caps Don’t Limit Defensive Medicine: According to Gallup, one in four healthcare dollars in America is spent on defensive medicine, which costs consumers as much as $650 billion annually. In Texas, 79 percent of physicians said they practice defensive medicine compared to 81 percent in all states. This is despite the fact that Texas passed comprehensive legal reform in 2003 that included much-acclaimed caps on non-economic damages. (A similar Georgia law passed in 2005 was overturned by the Georgia Supreme Court in 2010.) “We need a non-adversarial system that quickly and fairly processes claims. Patients for Fair Compensation is currently proposing such a plan to lawmakers in several states,” says Dr. Jeff Segal writing in The Hill.

Improving access and lowering cost with technology: The Georgia Partnership for Telehealth and Peach State Health Plan announced a new strategic relationship this week to give rural and underserved communities in Georgia access to one of the most comprehensive telemedicine networks in the nation. “This partnership will help us expand our geographical reach and improve access to health care. Now our Medicaid and PeachCare for Kids® members in underserved areas can be diagnosed and treated by a specialist without traveling long distances,” said Dr. Dean Greeson, Chief Medical Officer at Peach State.

Tax Updates from my friend, Jonathan Williams at ALEC’s Center for State Fiscal Reform:

  • An economic border war under Washington’s nose:  Maryland tries to tax and spend itself to prosperity with lackluster results, while Virginia benefits from pro-growth tax rates. Wall Street Journal’s Stephen Moore will let you connect the dots. Read ALEC’s analysis of Maryland’s taxpayer migration here.
  • Apple does fall far away from the tree:  Dr. Art Laffer in the Ventura County Star on the technology giant’s recent decision to open a new campus in booming Texas instead of California’s Silicon Valley.
  • Speaking of Texas, $4 billion goes to the Lone Star State:  Watch this Fox News clip on why Samsung invested $4 billion in Texas instead of California.

Social media

New Video!  “Mary Goes to Charter School“:  In this animated short story we meet Mary, a teenager who is about to attend her first charter school, and like just about any teenager who is doing something new, she’s got some questions about what that means. Fortunately, Mary’s new friend has already attended a charter school. This is the first in a series of Foundation videos about the role of charter schools in public education.

This Week in The Forum:  In November voters will decide whether the state will share the responsibility of authorizing charter schools. This week the National PTA said it supports the proposed Georgia policy that would expand authorization. The Forum has published several articles about charter school authorization and its impact on public school education:

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Visit to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, Happy Capital Day?” by Lawrence W. Reed. 

Enjoy the best weekend of the year – the start of college football season! 

Kelly McCutchen  

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