Recent Foundation Publications

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s 2020 publications are listed below by date of publication.

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December 18: New Year, New Initiative: Policy, Transparency and News, by Benita M. Dodd.

In 2021, the Foundation celebrates 30 years since it was established to champion policy over politics in Georgia. To mark this anniversary, the organization is renewing its push across Georgia, taking action to bridge the information gap across the state.

December 4: Montana’s Rescue of State Health  Plans Holds Lessons, by Marilyn Bartlett.

The Montana State Employee Group Health Plan was in severe financial trouble at the beginning of 2015, and its turnaround holds lessons for other states, including Georgia.

November 30: Study Finds Fiscal, Economic Benefits in Ga. Tax Credit Scholarships, by Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Georgia’s tax credit scholarship program saves state taxpayers millions of dollars and enhances educational attainment among scholarship students, according to a new study: An Analysis of the Fiscal and Economic Impact of Georgia’s Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit, by Ben Scafidi and Heidi Holmes Erickson.

November 20: Perfect Storm: COVID World Meets Hybrid Schools, by Chris Denson.

Using a broad swath of historical examples, philosophical grounding and narratives from parents, teachers, administrators and students, Wearne delivers a comprehensive picture of both the challenges and the potential within the hybrid homeschool.

November 13: Pandemic Pods, Parents’ Response to Fickle Schools, by Michael B. Horn.

The question is, will this enthusiasm for micro-schools, homeschools, and learning pods have any lasting impact beyond the pandemic?

November 6: Georgia’s Election Mess, by Benita M. Dodd.

The Secretary of State’s office worked diligently with county officials to fix problems. So why was the count still such a mess, days after the November 3 vote?

October 30: Policies and Politics in the Climate Change Dispute, by Dave Emanuel.

Two things are abundantly clear: Human activities aren’t the sole driver of climate change, and significant reductions of greenhouse gas emissions will not result from government regulations and climate agreements that are thinly veiled tax schemes.

October 24: Personalized Health Insurance, Ready to Roll Out Today, by Ron Bachman.

Consumers have a right to be grouped with others who have similar health risks, good or bad. Only then will they be able to get relevant and timely information, an appropriate level of coverage, proper medical care and an affordable insurance premium.

October 21: Do You Know What’s on Your Georgia Ballot? by Kyle Wingfield.

These ballot questions usually don’t spawn millions of dollars in TV ads about what’s at stake. And the questions themselves often seem written intentionally vaguely.

October 16:  For Millions, Healthcare Waivers Offer Hope, by Kyle Wingfield.

No longer will Georgians be limited to the federal marketplace,, to buy individual insurance plans. Instead, shoppers will be able to see a wider array of options via private sellers.

October 15: Foundation Welcomes Feds’ Approval of Healthcare Waivers, by Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

The Foundation has worked for years on policies that would enable all Georgians and their families to have a say in their healthcare options and affordability. The federal waivers approved today are an important step in the right direction.

October 14: To the Georgia State Schools Superintendent, from a Georgia Public Schools Graduate, by Kyle Wingfield.

When you say “insisting on high-stakes consequences is unreasonable and insensitive to the realities of the classroom,” attentive parents will hear, “of course students are going to perform poorly on those tests, because one of the ‘realities’ is they won’t learn much this year.”

October 9: The Children Left Behind, by Benita M. Dodd.

There is “an under-examined aspect of public schooling: the persistently low achievement outcomes of lower income students, often obscured by a prevailing focus on incremental improvements in average scores.”

October 2: Guide to The Issues 2020 Offers Innovation for Georgia, by Chris Denson.

Since its inception in 1996, the Guide to the Issues is a fact-based approach that advocates the principles of limited government, individual responsibility and free enterprise. Opportunity for all Georgians is essential to the Foundation’s approach.

September 25: Parents, the Pandemic and School Choice, by Benita M. Dodd.

The need for transparency now is overwhelming. Even more important now is to seize the momentum for education choice for the families who find their public school is not serving the needs of their child.

September 18: The Labyrinth of Housing Affordability, by Benita M. Dodd.

The economic impact of pandemic restrictions, exacerbated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s moratorium on many evictions through the end of the year, could leave millions of Americans with balloon payments due on rent and mortgages, and possibly eviction then.

September 11: Tests Are Crucial to Measure Students’ Learning, by Kyle Wingfield.

How do we know there’s an achievement gap? Because all kids, across a given state, have to take the same tests.

September 4: This Labor Day, A Tribute to Work, by Benita M. Dodd.

The problem of joblessness – whether by design or circumstance – is not just about the money, despite the mindset of those who game the system. It’s also about the role model that a gainfully employed person represents.

August 28: Contracting Out Transit Can Drive Quality, Cost Improvements, by Joe Hillman and Baruch Feigenbaum.

The large, blank checks often given to mass transit agencies do not create effective transit networks for the people most in need of transit services.

August 21: Arresting Law Enforcement Abuses Begins With Police Unions, by Noelle Du Bois.

Beyond achieving the traditional labor union wins of wage and workplace improvements, the collective bargaining powers of police unions have dangerously expanded and created problematic issues regarding internal regulation.

August 14: Education Options Offer Hope to Struggling Students, by Justin Tilghman.

While students may learn at different rates, if all students receive cookie-cutter instruction then some will inevitably get left behind and use misbehavior to communicate.

August 7: Ingenuity, Innovation Illuminate Georgia’s Back-To-School Path, by Benita M. Dodd.

Schools are working to socially distance students and classes. Controlling the campus is one thing; minimizing the risk for students, staff and visitors entering campuses day in and out is another.

July 31: Landmark Montana Case Advances Education Options, by Jack Park.

The high court’s decision, in a Montana case (Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue), has nationwide implications: Provisions similar to that state’s constitutional and statutory prohibition on aid to “sectarian schools” appear in many state constitutions, including Georgia’s.

July 24: Education Options are Varied and Available, by Benita M. Dodd.

Georgia parents have much to consider in the next few weeks. Educators and policymakers can help by prioritizing and publicizing diverse, accountable opportunities for Georgia’s children, in technology, curriculum and academic achievement.

July 17: Gwinnett’s Billion-Dollar Transit Boondoogle, by Dave Emanuel.

The plan to extend MARTA into Gwinnett and build a new station at Jimmy Carter Boulevard does nothing to address travel between cities in Gwinnett or to adjacent counties other than Fulton and DeKalb.

July 10: When Will the Legislature Break Up with Tax Breaks? by Frank Stephenson.

Some legislative leaders argue that reducing tax subsidies will cost jobs. Unfortunately, such thinking displays a poor grasp of economics.

July 3: Legislature Acts to Increase Transparency in Drug Pricing, by Chris Denson.

Due to their sheer size and central role in the supply chain, PBMs are responsible not only for the price of the drugs that health plan participants receive, but often which drugs they get. 

June 27: Foundation Adapts , With 2020’s Georgia Legislative Policy Forum on Zoom, by Benita M. Dodd.

After several successful Zoom events, the Foundation decided that, instead of surrendering to COVID-19, the 2020 Georgia Legislative Policy Forum will adapt. It will be hosted on Zoom as a series of weekly webinars. 

June 19: GEFA, A Growing Obstacle to Private Efficiency, by Antonio Savarias and Chris Denson.

The original goal was for GEFA to be the lender of last resort for local governments with less than perfect credit ratings and lack of access to the private financial markets. Since its inception, however, GEFA rapidly surpassed its original mission.

June 12: Reforming Policing While Preserving Law Enforcement, by Chris Denson.

There are good policies worth pursuing that will enhance accountability for law enforcement and judicial systems while respecting the difficult nature of the work required of these positions.

June 5: COVID-19: Spanish Flu 2.0, by Harold Brown.

The COVID-19 pandemic bears a striking resemblance to the Spanish flu epidemic that peaked in October 1918. Nowhere is the resemblance more striking than in New York City, where the New York Times kept a running count of cases and deaths in the autumn of 1918.

May 22: Federal Fix Can Help States and Encourage Work, by Frank Stephenson.

Congress should revisit the hastily enacted $600 supplemental unemployment benefit to end the perverse incentive against working and free up significant funds for state and local governments.

May 15: Simple Change in Law Can Save Georgia Taxpayers Over $80 Million, by Benjamin Scafidi and Heidi Holmes Erickson.

Between 2009 and 2020 – once local schools received discretion over Georgia’s Early Intervention Program – the number of students classified as EIP increased 107%, from about 57,000 students to over 118,000.

May 8: School Choice Can Help Ease Georgia’s Looming Fiscal Issues, by Marty Lueken and Benjamin Scafidi.

If the Georgia Legislature does nothing, state and local taxpayers will be on the hook for at least $142 million to educate 17,000 more children in public schools in upcoming years, in addition to all the increased needs of unemployed Georgians.

May 1: Georgia’s Reopening Approach Holds Lesson for Other States, by Kyle Wingfield and Chris Ingstad.

Gov. Brian Kemp always insisted the strictest measures on Georgians had to last only as long as necessary and no longer. The data indicate that Georgia has flattened the curve, meaning new cases are developing at a slow enough pace its healthcare providers and resources can handle them.

April 30: Issue Analysis: Fiscal Policy Considerations in COVID-19’s Wake, by Chris Denson and Greg George.

The widespread business closures state and local governments have ordered to contain the COVID-19 pandemic have resulted in financial losses for many private budgets. Public budgets will not escape this financial pain, either. 

April 30: Estimated State Grants Under the Education Stabilization Fund Included in the CARES Act, from the Congressional Research Service.

A memorandum prepared in response to Congressional interest in estimated grant allocations under the Education Stabilization Fund (ESF), which is included in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748), as signed by the President.

April 24: Medicaid Expansion’s No Cure for COVID-19’s Spread, by Kyle Wingfield.

If Medicaid expansion is helping states stave off COVID-19, the evidence not shown up.

April 21: Issue Analysis: Proposed Reforms to Georgia’s Teacher Pension System Missed the Mark, by Jen Sidorova and Len Gilroy.

Given that the legislation did not sufficiently address the scale of the problem that existed even before the COVID-related crash, there is an opportunity for better reform in the future.

April 17: Build the Foundation for a Sound Ongoing COVID-19 Response, By Benita M. Dodd.

Even great ideas and good intentions require evidence they are being executed, and that they are being implemented in the spirit in which they were intended.

April 3: Hybrid Home Schools Offer Families Options Amid Coronavirus Uncertainty, by Eric Wearne.

The COVID-19 crisis is an opportunity to rethink many assumptions we have about time use in school, about what content is truly important, and about the role of families as primary educators of their children. Hybrid home schools are not perfect at any of these, but they have some experience rethinking and re-balancing what schooling can look like.

March 27: Near-term Responses to Ease COVID-19 Impact in Georgia, by Benita M. Dodd.

The Georgia Public Policy Foundation marshaled its Senior Fellows and colleagues around the nation and compiled a list of policies that could be implemented quickly to ease the burden on providers, educators, businesses and families as the pandemic continues.

March 24: Near-Term Proposals as Georgia Tackles COVID-19, by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

Good policy is always a good idea, but its necessity becomes even clearer in times of crisis. During the present public health emergency, the Georgia Public Policy Foundation is determined to continue equipping policymakers and the public with the information and ideas they need to evaluate policy changes that would help all Georgians through this challenge. 

March 20: COVID-19 a Teachable Moment for Georgia Healthcare Policy, by Kyle Wingfield.

Over the years – in some cases, decades – our state leaders have declined to enact some important policies that would have put us in a better position. Gov. Brian Kemp has a great deal of executive discretion now that the General Assembly has ratified his declaration of a public health emergency. His administration should consider executive actions to remedy this situation so that Georgia can begin catching up as soon as possible.

March 14: Coronavirus: Self-isolation, Community Unity, by Benita M. Dodd.

It isn’t just the social-media memes about toilet paper that are bright spots amid the finger-pointing and politicizing over the COVID-19 pandemic and the ever-changing responses. There are moments to be hopeful Georgians will rise to the occasion.

March 6: Innovation, Lessons Learned Guide Georgia’s Response to Coronavirus, by Benita M. Dodd.

Notwithstanding the hordes descending on stores to hoard toilet paper, water and hand sanitizer, the response by state officials thus far has been practical and preemptive, lessons honed in recent years.

February 28: A Tail-Chasing Regional Transportation Plan, by Benita M. Dodd.

Perhaps the reason for the lack of progress is in the ARC’s approach to solving the region’s transportation challenges. In its own words, “The most cost efficient and sustainable way to leverage maximum value from our existing infrastructure is to reduce the number and length of trips it serves.” The region’s workers and commuters might disagree.

February 21: Reform is Overdue for Federal-State Medicaid Partnership, by Brian Blase.

There is a torrent of Medicaid spending with little accountability and generally poor results. According to economic research, many Medicaid enrollees value benefits from the program at much less than the cost of coverage, suggesting that overall societal welfare can be improved through program redesign.

February 14: Put the Brakes on High-Speed Rail in Georgia, by Baruch Feigenbaum.

Riding the rails sounds romantic. But once the facts are revealed, the romantic notion is replaced by the cold, hard reality of massive government subsidies.

February 7: Pulling Back the Curtain on Georgia’s Budget Woes, by Kyle Wingfield.

Georgians are puzzled by an apparent dilemma: Why, in the middle of a booming economy and record-low unemployment, is the state government facing budget cuts?  This budget crunch is self-inflicted not by tax policy, but by spending priorities.

January 31: Georgia’s Distance is No Protection from Coronavirus Fallout, by Benita M. Dodd.

Tens of thousands of metro-area residents work at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport daily. In a metropolitan area of more than 6 million residents, transmission could occur quickly. Metro Atlanta is made somewhat safer by its well-earned reputation as the poster child for sprawl, fortunately; close contact spreads the virus.

January 24: No Reason to Call Off the Tax Cut Promised to Georgians, by Kyle Wingfield.

The danger is legislators tasked with writing a budget for the 2021 budget will misconstrue the shift in when people pay their taxes as a shift in how much tax people are paying.

January 17: Don’t Stand in the Way of Georgia Families’ Education Options, by Benita M. Dodd.

The hard-fought campaign to give Georgia families greater choice in how their children are educated is far from over. Well-funded special interests continue to muddy the waters with misinformation in an ongoing effort to discourage legislators from shrinking the taxpayer-funded government monopoly on educating the citizenry.

January 10: A Job for Government, by Benita M. Dodd.

Providing Georgia’s needy with assistance is a task government has embraced. Government also has an obligation to taxpayers and families to ensure that those able to return to independence and the dignity of work are encouraged and motivated to do so.

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