News

Education Information: Useful Data or Data Overload?

By Cindy Morley Investigative Journalist for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation Many agree that parents make the best decisions about their child’s education when they have reliable data: information they can use to compare the quality of school instruction, school climate, class sizes and more. So what do parents really need to know about school performance to make the right decisions? While education experts disagree on exactly what information to make available to parents and family members, they all agree the key to making the right decisions for their children … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 19, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Cat Stevens first sang, “The First Cut is the Deepest.” But last week’s second COVID-19 vaccination suggested the first shot’s not the hardest. In fact, as it did many other Americans, the second Moderna shot knocked me for a loop. It’s not just Moderna that has such an effect, of course. Others have been hit hard by the Pfizer vaccine. Both shots, as I have mentioned in an earlier post, are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. A Sacramento … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 16, 2021

It’s Friday!  Quotes of note “One single object … [will merit] the endless gratitude of the society: that of restraining the judges from usurping legislation.” – Thomas Jefferson (1825) “Market approaches based in property rights and trade can align incentives in ways that create environmental benefits. Rather than fighting over tax credits or emission standards, our efforts are better spent supporting innovation and efficiency through markets. This Earth Day, it’s time to get creative with conservation and look to market approaches that reward lasting outcomes that are good for the … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Names External Affairs Manager

Hayley McCloud has joined the staff of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation as External Affairs Manager. McCloud comes to the Foundation from the Office of the Georgia Secretary of State, where she had worked since July 2019, most recently as Legislative Director. Her previous positions include Special Projects Coordinator at the Independent Insurance Agents of Georgia; Senior Manager of State Affairs for the American College of Rheumatology, Political Field Representative for the Georgia Association of REALTORS®; and Legislative Correspondent/Field Representative for (then) U.S. Rep. Tom Price of Georgia. “We’re excited … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 12, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Now that the Trump administration is gone, it seems it’s once again OK to mention COVID-19 and China in the same breath. You may recall the virus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, and spread across the world. According to Worldometer, more than 137 million people have been infected by COVID-19 since it was first reported by China in December 2019; the death toll is closing in on 3 million. Mainland China has reported just 4,636 deaths among … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 09, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: Education options for Georgia’s children have been a primary focus of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation since its early days, as seen in this article from 25 years ago. This year, as the Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary, the state has come far since 1996: Nearly 70,000 students are enrolled in 96 public charter schools, and the General Assembly has approved legislation that improves student funding for charters. Quotes of note “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that. His … Continue Reading →

Analyzing Senate Bill 202

By Kyle Wingfield The 2021 legislative session is over, and the most-discussed legislation concerned election reform. While dozens of these bills were introduced, only Senate Bill 202 cleared both chambers. Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law on March 25. Much of what’s been said about this bill has been inaccurate. Rather than opining about it, I’m simply going to summarize the most important changes. Early voting: For primary and general elections, early voting will continue to begin about three weeks before Election Day. After proposals to reduce early voting … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: April 5, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Thundering herd immunity: A single dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or the Moderna vaccine reduced the risk of COVID-19 infection by 80% while the full, two-dose regimen reduced the risk of infection by 90%, according to a new study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For comparison, the effectiveness of the annual influenza vaccine in preventing infection ranges between 10-60%, according to a 2019 influenza report from the Council of Economic Advisors. The study “raises the … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: April 02, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The more things change, the more they stay the same, as this news clipping from 1996 shows. The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, continues to campaign tirelessly for government to reduce regulations on businesses, especially small businesses. Quotes of note “For years you have hired people to do work around your house. Instead of paying them in full every year, you use the money to buy holiday gifts, so that you are popular with your friends. Each year you tell … Continue Reading →

Foundation Hails U.S. Supreme Court’s Ruling in Florida-Georgia Water Dispute

April 1, 2021 Kyle Wingfield, president and CEO of the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, released this statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 9-0 decision today to dismiss Florida’s lawsuit in its 8-year-old “water wars” dispute with Georgia: The U.S. Supreme Court’s unanimous ruling validates the December 2019 recommendation by the Special Master, New Mexico federal Judge Paul Kelly, to dismiss the case, and it vindicates Georgia, which Florida had accused of unfair use of the water in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. As we have said previously, the cap on Georgia’s … Continue Reading →

Foundation Welcomes Georgia Legislature’s Protection of Learning Pods

March 31, 2021 Atlanta — Parents of school-age children can breathe easier after the Georgia General Assembly approved the Learning Pods Protection Act, Georgia Public Policy Foundation President and CEO Kyle Wingfield said today. Parents needed the certainty that learning pods would be protected from overregulation, Wingfield said. “Remote learning, for one reason or another, is here to stay,” Wingfield said, “and some public school districts have already announced they will offer it as a full-time option in the fall. But we also saw earlier this month that, with severe … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 29, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Monday: Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a press briefing today she has a “recurring feeling” of “impending doom” as new daily cases of the coronavirus are rising and the nation approaches 550,000 COVID deaths among 30.2 million cases. According to the Johns Hopkins University COVID-19 tracking dashboard, the United States has reported more than 549,350 deaths among more than 30.2 million cases and leads the world in cases and … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 26, 2021

It’s Friday!  Friday’s Freshest: Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Don’t Let Strings on Covid Cash Make Georgia Feds’ Puppet,” by Kyle Wingfield. Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has long held state government accountable for its spending, as this article from 25 years ago demonstrates. Quotes of note “People who worked through 2020 with no reduction in pay chat about how they are going to spend their ‘stimmy” checks. A poll conducted by a securities firm found that 40% … Continue Reading →

Georgia Public Policy Foundation Joins Free-Market Coalition Asking Treasury Secretary Yellen to Respect State Powers

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation is a co-signer on a letter from a coalition of organizations that was sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. The text is below. Dear Secretary Yellen, On March 11, President Biden signed into law the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (Act), which authorizes $1.9 trillion in new federal funding. The undersigned organizations are state and national think tanks, whose research and educational work, among other things, advances free-market public policy in each of our respective states. Many of the organizations signed on this … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 22, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. Calling the shots: The COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech are made with messenger RNA (mRNA) technology, which teaches cells how to make protein that triggers an immune response and produce antibodies without using or injecting the live virus. A drawback of these vaccines is that booster shots may be necessary. In contrast, Johnson &Johnson, China’s CanSino Biologics and AstraZeneca are “viral vector” vaccines: made with a harmless cold virus that acts like a Trojan horse to … Continue Reading →

Four Reasons Georgia Needs to Protect Learning Pods

Learning pods aren’t new, but they’ve had a surge in popularity and interest during the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this visibility has already put learning pods at risk from burdensome overregulation in some states and districts. Georgia should instead protect learning pods from government interference. Parents deserve peace of mind. By protecting learning pods, parents can rest assured that their voluntary choice to work with other parents to create group educational activities will not trigger unmanageable regulatory burdens on their households and children. Parents want pods A recent survey noted that … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 19, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has gauged the pulse of Georgia for reform since its early days, as this poll from 1996 demonstrates. Even then, Georgia voters supported education choice, limited spending and education options, among other reforms. (Keara has article) Quotes of note “The last 30 years of climate policy have delivered high costs and rising emissions. The only reliable ways to cut emissions have been recessions and the COVID-19 lockdowns, both of which are unpalatable. Expecting nations … Continue Reading →

Three Big Reasons to Protect Learning Pods in Georgia

Learning pods aren’t new, but their popularity during COVID-19 has brought them to the forefront in childhood education. Regulators in some states and districts are using this new visibility to try to burden parents and students with new regulations on a model that works for them. Here’s three big reasons why now is the time to protect pods.

To Understand Georgia’s Future, Look in Washington

By Kyle Wingfield The work continues under the Gold Dome, but look farther north to understand Georgia’s future. In Washington, the most evenly divided Congress in two decades wants to turn states into subsidiaries of the federal government they created. Longtime readers know I’m not prone to hyperbole. But these bills could decimate the federalist balance the Founders struck. What’s more, they would erode the ability of well-run states like Georgia to sharpen their competitiveness. First is the latest COVID-19 relief bill. It subsidizes workers who never lost jobs, sends … Continue Reading →

Tax and Spend Tuesday: March 16, 2021

Tax and Spend Tuesday, a roundup of news, views and policy proposals affecting your paycheck and pocketbook. Bye-bye tax cut? Remember President Trump’s 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act? The largest overhaul of the tax code in three decades created a single (permanent) corporate tax rate of 21% and, in most cases, lowered the rates in the seven individual-income tax brackets. The tax benefits for individuals and families are set to expire in 2025. H&R Block reports the average tax cut was approximately $1,200, based on the returns it processed for … Continue Reading →