Friday Facts: June 30, 2023

As we approach Independence Day, it is worth recalling that the United States does a few things better than any other country. And no, this isn’t limited to playing baseball or charging high interest rates.

We excel at protecting civil liberties; serving justice through our court system; balancing freedom versus security; and adhering, most of the time, to the tenets of our Constitution – the oldest such written and continually enforced document in the history of the world at a mere 235 years old. And, most important and most distinguishable, due process.

These things may be our greatest exports. The U.S. has this marvelous document, the very foundation of our freedoms – and yet, most citizens have less understanding of it than many people in Western Europe.

With so much to set America apart, our lack of emphasis on civics, government and political history is simply astonishing. This is the biggest education problem in our country. These topics need to be emphasized, not shunted aside. We have lost our sense of citizenship in this country.

Read The need to teach civics


Mark your calendars for September 12 as the Foundation will host Matthew Continetti, author of “The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism,” at a special lunchtime event. More details will be announced soon. To reserve your seat or secure a sponsorship, email .

Friday’s Freshest

Students lost decades of academic progress

For three years now, we’ve known the school closures ordered amid the COVID-19 pandemic were detrimental to student achievement. We’ve observed that the related learning loss was sharpest in places that kept schools closed the longest. Now we know the learning loss isn’t getting better.

📺 WATCH: How the pandemic changed education

States can begin verifying Medicaid eligibility for first time in 3 years

When people receive benefits they’re not supposed to get, that leaves less money for everything else the government does. And because Medicaid is a joint program between states and the federal government, and states have to balance their budgets, that means less money for schools, roads, parks, state troopers … the list goes on.

📺 WATCH: The pandemic, Medicaid funding and governing by crisis

Atlanta brewery closes, Georgia’s prohibition era laws partly to blame 

Georgia’s century-old Prohibition era laws are hampering growth in the state’s brewing industry. 

📺 WATCH: How can Georgia expand craft brewery freedom?

Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones says new study committees will steer state’s future

Lt. Gov. Burt Jones talks with us about the 2023 legislative session and his future legislative goals. 

Why do we have so few providers in healthcare?

Access to healthcare remains one of America’s most debated topics. As with too many other topics, the debate tends to focus on symptoms rather than root causes.

The Latest


New laws go into effect July 1

New laws that go into effect on July 1 will increase minimum prison sentences for anyone convicted of recruiting minors into a gang, require schools to develop a school safety plan, expand literacy assessments for younger students and prohibit outside funding for elections. 

Automotive parts manufacturer plans Henry County facility

An automotive parts manufacturer plans to establish a new facility in Henry County. NVH Korea expects to spend $72 million on the Locust Grove facility and create more than 160 jobs. The new facility at Gardner Logistics Park on Colvin Drive will supply battery parts for electric vehicles in the United States.


New test data reveals COVID school closures rapidly accelerated U.S. learning losses

New national data provides evidence of widespread learning loss among American schoolchildren following COVID-19 school closures. In all, the declines brought reading scores to their lowest point since 1975 and math scores to their lowest point since 1990.

New grads have no idea how to behave in the office

As the Class of 2023 enters the workforce, employers are seeing a lack of the skills necessary to navigate the office. The solution: classes in how to send an email, the right way to get your boss’ attention and what not to wear.


U.S. House reverses Biden administration mortgage rule

The House of Representatives passed a Republican-led bill that would reverse President Biden’s controversial mortgage rule that would force Americans with larger down payments and better credit scores to pay more for their mortgages to subsidize loans to higher-risk borrowers.

Across the country, states begin to tackle housing policy

States are beginning to tackle housing affordability because they know that if they don’t take action they could end up like San Francisco, and California in general, with rents and home prices that are unaffordable for many residents and intractable waves of homelessness. 


MARTA awards contract to finish streetcar expansion design

MARTA is moving ahead with plans to build a 2-mile extension to the city’s 2.7-mile streetcar line, with an estimated price tag of $230 million. Even if the extension doesn’t go over budget, $230 million for two miles of new streetcar track works out to a slobber-knocking total of $21,700 per foot. The Foundation has previously written why this is a bad investment that will benefit few people. 

SRTA helping to fund seven local road projects

A program of grants and loans for infrastructure improvements run by the State Road and Tollway Authority has awarded $17.3 million to help fund seven projects across Georgia. The authority’s board voted Monday to approve grants and loans from the Georgia Transportation Infrastructure Bank to four cities, two counties and a community improvement district.

Quotes of the Week

“If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.” – Ronald Reagan

“Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy.” – Margaret Thatcher
“The essence of America, that which really unites us, is not ethnicity or nationality or religion. It is an idea, and what an idea it is – that you can come from humble circumstances and do great things.” – Condoleezza Rice

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