Friday Facts: October 16, 2015

It’s Friday!


December 8: Register to attend, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a summit and luncheon hosted featuring experts from the Reason Foundation and Allovue.10:30-1:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Cobb Galleria Centre. $30. Registration and information here.

Quotes of Note

“A coalition of sentiments is not for the interest of printers… [T]he printers can never leave us in a state of perfect rest and union of opinion. They would be no longer useful and would have to go to the plough.” – Thomas Jefferson

“Lecture series in the car schooling. Tutoring in the coffee shop schooling. Socratic dialogue while brother plays the organ at church schooling. Classes at co-op schooling. Music lesson schooling. Biology during brother’s ear training schooling. … Homeschooling. Who came up with this name?” – Ana Martin


Transit: Light rail is a poor fit for the Sun Belt states, and an article in NewGeography outlines why. Transit works well generally in older cities with historically large downtowns built largely before the ascendency of the car. In New York, the Manhattan business districts account for about 20 percent of the workforce. In contrast, most Sun Belt cities have far fewer downtown jobs. Atlanta’s downtown, for example, has just 9 percent of the metro Atlanta workforce. 

Collaboration or control? Miami’s new transit chief will also be in charge of roads and cars for hire, Mayor Carlos Gimenez announced. “Many transit agencies are embracing the concept of ‘mobility management,’ which is a strategic approach to service coordination and customer service. … Mobility management moves transit agencies away from the traditional role as a fixed-route service operator, and toward collaboration with other transportation providers, both public and private.” 


Per-pupil spending: Money isn’t everything, as a 24/7WallSt. article on student funding indicates. In five of the nation’s worst-funded districts, graduation rates are in excess of 92 percent; in five of the best-funded states, less than 80 percent of a given class graduates high school. Nationally, district spending averages $10,700 a year. The district with the highest spending: Pocantico Hills Central School District, N.Y., at more than $61,000 per student.

School choice matters: For five consecutive years, all of the graduates of Urban Prep Academy, a Chicago charter school, have been accepted at four-year colleges and universities. Last spring, 240 students had college acceptance letters in their hands before receiving their diploma. Meanwhile, this week, the former superintendent of Chicago Public Schools – the nation’s third-largest school district – has pleaded guilty to fraud. Barbara Byrd-Bennett was indicted in what prosecutors described as a kickback and bribery scheme involving contracts.


Upbeat economics: Princeton economist Angus Deaton, 70, has won the 2015 Nobel Prize for Economics. In his 2013 book, “The Great Escape: Health, Wealth, and the Origins of Inequality,” he wrote: “Life is better now than at almost any time in history. More people are richer and fewer people live in dire poverty. Lives are longer and parents no longer routinely watch a quarter of their children die.” He concluded that international aid had little to do with that progress, and suggested that free trade and new incentives for drug companies would make a larger contribution in the future. Source: Wall Street Journal

Tax rankings: Georgia is 49th in the nation when it comes to what the state collects in taxes per capita, according to the Tax Foundation. The state took in $1,788 in 2013, the most recent data available. New Hampshire was lowest, at $1,777, while North Dakota was No. 1, collecting $7,438 per person.

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In October 2005, the Foundation published, “A Fine Week for Freedom.” It noted, “Regulations multiply as individual responsibility declines and private property rights are weakened for the ‘common good.’” 


Social media: The Foundation is closing in on 2,700 Facebook “likes” and nearly 1,500 Twitter followers at Now you can follow us on Instagram, too! 

Visit to read our latest commentary, “City-Run Broadband Internet Is a Disaster in the Making,” by Kevin Glass.

Have a great weekend!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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