Doing Your Homework on Education Options

The appropriate use of public funds should be a priority for policymakers. But those who object to legislation to provide more education options for Georgia’s children, on the premise that these bills will result in misspent public funds, should do a bit more homework. The example always cited is Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) Program. A state audit of that program in the 2018 fiscal year found more than $700,000 in funds were misspent by participating parents. That dollar figure not only gets thrown around as if it’s the inevitable … Continue Reading →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: March 2, 2021

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook! The $1.9 trillion COVID-19 package that passed the U.S. House and awaits Senate action has raised hackles in states that stand to benefit less – because their economies have been open – than states that implemented tough lockdowns. Georgia was among the first to reopen its economy, in April 2020, with Gov. Brian Kemp issuing some sensible direction in his executive orders and resisting the pressure from some local governments to shutter more … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 1, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. States have waiting for Georgia’s innovative Medicaid 1115 waiver to take effect and lead the exodus from ObamaCare. But there’s a new pharaoh in town, and he’s changed his mind about letting Georgia’s people go: Suddenly the thoughtful flexibility Gov. Brian Kemp believed was a done deal to give more low-income Georgians Medicaid coverage is no longer good enough. Yep. The waiver approved by the Trump administration’s Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in October … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Zell Miller, who was governor of Georgia before becoming U.S. senator for Georgia, died March 23, 2018, at age 86. His birthday would have been February 24, and the privatization and outsourcing policies he implemented were championed by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as one of its first initiatives in 1991. This 1991 editorial by the Atlanta Journal is a reminder of how far Georgia has come – and how important the Foundation’s research continues to be as we celebrate 30 years of policy over politics … Continue Reading →

Where Have All The Children Gone?

Part II: Tracking Truants and Absentees in Georgia Schools By Cindy Morley Investigative Journalist for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Read part 1 of our investigation into Georgia’s missing schoolchildren. Absenteeism has long been a concern of educators and others who spend their days working with schoolchildren. For decades, officials have searched for ways to address chronic absenteeism. COVID-19 and the transition to online learning have intensified the challenge. Nationally, studies show, student absences have doubled during the pandemic, whether in fully remote schools, in-person learning, or hybrid learning environments. … Continue Reading →

Recognizing the Truth About Education Options

Georgia’s lawmakers have another opportunity to help thousands of children find the best education for their own unique needs. Rep. Wes Cantrell, a Republican from Woodstock, has proposed allowing state education dollars to follow a limited number of students to the education of their choice. Detractors will raise numerous objections, mostly about money. In seven years of following this debate, I’ve heard it all – and written about how those objections are wrongheaded. But here’s one basic claim I’ve never heard from opponents: “Every single child in our entire state … Continue Reading →

Recent Foundation Publications

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2021 publications are listed below by date of publication. Click on a link to read. Sign up here to be added to the Foundation’s media mailing list and receive news releases, commentaries and event updates and invitations.  Click on this link  for a list of 2020 publications. March 26, 2021: Don’t Let Strings on Covid Cash Make Georgia Feds’ Puppet, by Kyle Wingfield You can land yourself in financial trouble by receiving a windfall, as too many lottery winners can attest. March 19, 2021: Sunshine … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 19, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Expanding school choice has been front and center for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its inception, as this article from 1992 demonstrates. The Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, continues to fervently champion education options. Quotes of Note “Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of the day.” – Thomas Jefferson, 1816 “Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government … Continue Reading →

Cents and Sensibility in Georgia Energy Policy

By Benita M. Dodd Millions of residents in Texas struggled to cope without electricity in homes and businesses this past week as an Arctic blast led to widespread power blackouts across the state. The finger-pointing began even before power was restored. Blame alternated among renewables, infrastructure shortfalls, lack of preparedness, and Texas’ independent streak that led it to create a power grid separate from the rest of the nation. Could such a deadly disaster take place in Georgia, another Southern state with its own, unique challenges in extreme weather? First, … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 12, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Rogers Wade (right), then-president of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, chats with U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona after McCain’s keynote address at the Foundation’s 15th anniversary celebration in 2006. Read excerpts here; view McCain’s speech at the event on the Foundation’s YouTube channel here. The senator and former prisoner of war died in 2018 at age 81. Wade is now Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Quotes of Note “There are persons who constantly clamor. … Continue Reading →


Friday Facts: February 5, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Reforming Georgia’s certificate-of-need (CON) laws, which protect medical monopolies, has been a priority since the early days of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, as shown in this editorial on healthcare reform in the Daily News from February 1992. The Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary this year; its campaign against CON continues: See Chris Denson’s commentary. Accolades: For the fourth year in a row, the Foundation has been ranked one of the “Best Independent Think Tanks” in the 2020 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report, published … Continue Reading →

Unhealthy Blockage Constricts Certificate-of-Need Relief

By Chris Denson On March 20, 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp issued an executive order relaxing many restrictions on healthcare providers. It included the suspension of the state’s certificate-of-need (CON) law. When hospitals suspended elective surgeries to preserve resources and focus personnel on COVID-19, many patients were forced to postpone often vital surgical procedures. As Johns Hopkins Medicine notes, “An elective surgery does not always mean it is optional. It simply means that the surgery can be scheduled in advance.” Some Georgians with heart … Continue Reading →

Busting 3 School Choice Myths

All families deserve the opportunity to choose the education that works best for their children. But there’s lots of myth and misrepresentation when it comes to education options. Many myths in the school choice debate crumble under the slightest bit of scrutiny. Here are three popular ones:  MYTH: School choice siphons money away from public schools. FACT: School choice returns money to the hands of students and their families. Families still have the option to take those dollars back to the same district-run public school if they want. If the … Continue Reading →

The Misleading Rhetoric Against ESAs

By Kyle Wingfield The pandemic has forced a lot of Georgia families to rethink the education of their children. Public-school enrollment this fall was about 36,000 lower than the year before, and that’s after the gains among public charter schools that offset some of the losses. Private schools and homeschooling have also become more appealing. It’s no wonder, then, that interest in expanding education options is likewise higher. Nor is it surprising that opponents are rounding up the usual excuses to try to prevent more families from gaining options. Around … Continue Reading →

Friday Facts: January 29, 2021

It’s Friday!  Today’s Friday Facts has an education focus, to mark the 11th annual celebration of National School Choice Week, which kicked off January 24. Memory Lane: Education options for Georgians have always been in the forefront at the Foundation, and this article from the Fall 1992 Georgia Policy Review is one example. As the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, each Friday Facts will include a little trip down Memory Lane from our three decades of “Changing Georgia Policy, Changing Georgians’ Lives.” We’re hiring! The Foundation is adding … Continue Reading →

It’s School Choice Week: Embrace More Education Options

National School Choice Week is January 24-30, and there’s an air of optimism among advocates of education options for children, across the nation and here in Georgia. Now is the time to promote school choice: Many families are learning – the hard way, unfortunately – that being at the mercy of education bureaucrats is much like being a puppet on a string. Schools open. Schools close. Schools offer hybrid learning options and remote options and change schedules at whim. Teachers and staff are paid, no matter what, but the upheaval … Continue Reading →

Six Ways Education Options Benefit Georgia’s Children

  Increasing education options for families empowers parents to choose an educational setting that works best for their children, and the logic goes beyond dollars and cents. Here are six real ways that increasing options benefit Georgia families.   Staying in school Students in public charter schools were 8% more likely to stay in college for two consecutive semesters and were 2% more likely to complete their degree or certificate. Higher Graduation Rates Access to an Education Scholarship Account could mean up to 15,000 more Georgians earn their high school … Continue Reading →

Where Have All the Children Gone?

By Chris Butler and Cindy Morley Investigative Journalists for The Georgia Public Policy Foundation For concerned parents and, by extension, Georgia taxpayers, the precise number of students attending the state’s public schools during the COVID-19 pandemic should matter a great deal: Those numbers impact the state budget.  Some parents choose to bypass Georgia’s traditional public schools in favor of alternative methods of education, including public charter schools, private schools and homeschooling. The COVID-19 pandemic, which began its U.S. spread early in 2020, has added to those numbers.  Tracking those students, … Continue Reading →

Study Shows Long-term Benefits in Georgia Education Scholarship Accounts

Education savings accounts could increase Georgia’s graduation rates and workers’ lifetime earnings as well as reduce crime and its related costs, according to a study released today by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. During the pandemic, while private schools and public charter schools have offered in-person learning, many traditional public schools have been fighting for the opposite, notes researcher Corey DeAngelis in his study, “Funding Students Instead of Institutions: The Economic Impacts of Universal Education Savings Accounts in Georgia.” Education savings accounts, also known as education scholarship accounts or ESAs, … Continue Reading →

Funding Students Instead of Institutions

The Economic Impacts of Universal Education Savings Accounts in Georgia Download the Study Here Executive Summary The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spotlight on the massive power imbalance in K-12 public education in Georgia. Private businesses, including private schools and daycares, have already opened, or are fighting to reopen. Many public schools have been fighting for the opposite. A nationwide survey also found that private schools and public charter schools generally adapted better to remote learning than district-run public schools in the spring of 2020. A primary difference is one … Continue Reading →