Friday Facts: May 12, 2023

Last week’s release of eighth grade U.S. history and civics tests delivered another round of bad news for students and schools. 

The top-line results from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) showed the first declines ever recorded in civics scores and even larger drops in U.S. history scores. Though not totally surprising on the heels of the pandemic, the disappointing results raised concerns across the board about the amount and quality of civics and history instruction students are getting.

But more noticeable than the overall drops were the larger losses for students in the 10th and 25th percentiles. In comparison to the high-water marks of 2014, ​​declines at the 25th percentile were double those at the 75th, while those at the 10th percentile were triple those at the 90th percentile. That means students who already were struggling academically were affected the most.

What the newest test scores tell us

Friday’s Freshest

Low-tax states continue to attract new residents

The latest data, covering individual tax filers’ moves between 2020 and 2021, show Georgia received a net $1.28 billion increase in adjusted gross income from newcomers. And while you’d have to survey them to know their exact reasons for moving, it seems clear these newcomers wanted lower taxes. 

Shoddy jobs and bathroom bribes robbed Georgia taxpayers of millions

An Atlanta businessman pleaded guilty to bribing city officials by handing out cash in restaurant bathrooms. That story, and more, in our latest stories about waste, fraud or abuse of taxpayer money or taxpayer-funded resources throughout Georgia.

📺 WATCH: Voting with their feet

Georgia’s CON laws reduce access to healthcare

Patients in a state that maintains Certificate of Need regulations have access to fewer hospitals, fewer rural hospitals, fewer ambulatory surgery centers and fewer home health agencies.

Monica’s story

Monica O’Neal is lucky she’s alive. When it was determined she had a tumor in her spine, her doctor recommended a neurologist perform surgery immediately. Monica has good insurance. So why could she not find a neurologist to operate?

📺 WATCH: How Georgia’s CON laws limit healthcare access

Government regulations a costly barrier to home construction

Even as the number of new residential building permits grows, Georgia’s housing affordability crisis remains unsolved.

The latest


Georgia again reports decreased tax collections

Georgia officials reported net tax collections for April decreased by 16.5% compared to a year ago, marking the second consecutive month of decreased net tax collections. Last month, state officials said net tax collections for March decreased by 3% from a year ago.

Best cities to start a business in 2023

A new study recently ranked the nation’s major metro areas on 19 metrics to determine which are the best big cities to start a business in 2023. While Orlando took the top spot, Atlanta came in at No. 7.


Georgia sends every 2023 high school graduate financial literacy book

Every high school senior graduating in the state of Georgia this year has received a sendoff gift to help prepare them for navigating the real world. Last month, all 120,000 students who make up the state’s Class of 2023 were sent a book titled “‘The Talk’ (about money), A Young Adult’s Guide to the ONE DECISION That Changes Everything.”

Biden’s student loan plan could cost twice as much as projected

A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office shows that President Joe Biden’s income-driven student loan repayment plan will cost at least $230 billion over 10 years.

Government accountability

Kemp signs prosecutors oversight commission into law

Gov. Brian Kemp has signed a new law that creates a Prosecuting Attorneys Oversight Commission for district attorneys and solicitors-general across Georgia. Among other responsibilities, the eight-member commission can discipline or remove district attorneys or solicitors-general who fail to perform the duties of their office.

New Department of Energy rule targets dishwashers

The Department of Energy proposed new appliance rules that would lower water and energy use limits for Americans’ dishwashers well below current levels. The proposal would limit dishwashers to using 3.2 gallons of water per cycle, far below the current federal limit of 5 gallons. 

Augusta commissioners clash over city manager versus city administrator

Augusta leaders are looking at the pros and cons of going from a city administrator form of government to one led by a city manager. A manager would have the power to hire and fire department heads.


Atlanta most overpriced housing market in America

According to data from Florida Atlantic University, Atlanta has the most overpriced housing market in the United States. The data reveals homes in Atlanta are selling for some 51% more than what they’re worth, leading to a big difference between how much people are paying and how much the home should be valued. 

Florida enacts $711 million affordable housing plan

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a $711 million plan to make housing more affordable for Floridians. The Live Local Act will more than double funding for housing and rental programs, provide incentives for investment in affordable housing and encourage mixed-use developments in struggling commercial areas.

The home buyer’s quandary: Nobody’s selling

Many people are ready to move but don’t want to lose the low-rate mortgages they locked in a few years ago, crimping the supply of homes and keeping prices high.

Quotes of the Week

“Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” – Elizabeth Stone

“If you bungle raising your children, I don’t think whatever else you do matters very much.” – Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis

“Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – C.S. Lewis

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