News

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 →

Checking Up On Health: March 15, 2020

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. One concern amid COVID-19 lockdowns, shutdowns, mandates, sheltering at home, isolation and telemedicine is the dangerous decline in routine vaccinations among children. As communities open up again, increasing socialization and interactions, many children – and the vulnerable adults around them – may be susceptible to childhood illnesses such as measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox, and there is an opportunity for dangerous outbreaks and rapid spread of such ailments. In a January article in the journal Pediatrics, … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 12, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: The Georgia Public Policy Foundation, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, has championed education options since its beginning. In 2012, Georgia legislators approved the State Charter Schools Commission. View the Foundation’s 2012 video about public charter schools here. Quotes of Note “The coronavirus lockdowns constitute the most extensive attacks on individual freedom in the West since World War II. Yet not a single government has published a cost-benefit analysis to justify lockdown policies – something policymakers are often required to do while making far less … Continue Reading →

Preparing for a Return to “Normal”

By Kyle Wingfield To look back at my calendar this time a year ago is to relive another era. I’d just returned from a three-day conference with peers from around the country. I had three dinner parties on tap, a full slate of lunch meetings, baseball games and scout meetings for the kids, a weekend in Athens my wife and I ultimately decided to skip. Things made their way to the cliff’s edge one by one. A phone call to go over details with the speakers for a March 18 … Continue Reading →

Checking Up On Health: March 8, 2021

Medical Monday: A weekly post of healthcare- and technology-related policy news, views and commentaries. When I was young, a primary goal of mothers in my community back in South Africa was to ensure that we girls contracted German measles before we were of child-bearing age. If it got around that a young friend with German measles, we were encouraged to hang out with them so we could “get it out of the way.” And we had to stay away from pregnant women if there was any sign of infection. Why? … Continue Reading →

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Friday Facts: March 05, 2021

It’s Friday!  Memory Lane: As the Georgia Public Policy Foundation celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2021, this article from 1992 is a reminder that many of the issues that concerned Georgians 30 years ago continue to be worrisome today – among them, taxes, education options and politics vs. good policy. It’s no wonder that, nearly 30 years later, these issues remain on the Foundation’s front burner. Quotes of Note “As I’ve said throughout my tenure as governor and secretary of state I think it should be easy to vote and … Continue Reading →

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 →

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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 publications from 2020. September 30: Charter Schools Prove Their Value to Georgia Families, by Tony Roberts The enrollment gains experienced during the pandemic show the important role these innovative schools play in the state’s overall public school system. September 23: … Continue Reading →

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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 →

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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 →

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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 →