Tag: Georgia policy

Giving Perspective to Scholarship Programs

By Benjamin Scafidi A recent opinion piece in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution asked, “Are vouchers a failure?” Any answer requires examining the best evidence on the topic and placing research results into a reasonable policy context. First, the best evidence: Eighteen “gold-standard” studies followed students who were randomly offered a voucher to attend a private school and compared their outcomes with students who wanted a voucher, but were randomly denied one. Fourteen of these studies reported positive effects from vouchers for some or all students. Two studies found no real effects, and two studies – both from Louisiana – found negative effects. Interestingly, the Louisiana voucher program is the most regulated voucher program in the country, with significant “safeguards”… View Article
By Jenn Hatfield When President Donald Trump was sworn into office on January 20, the clock started ticking on the 282 promises he made on the campaign trail. While his every move has garnered significant media attention, Trump has also pledged to make what happens in Washington matter less. In his inaugural address, he declared, “We are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.” So it’s only fitting to give a bit more attention to what governors are saying – especially on K-12 education, where Trump and Secretary of Education have both promised to respect state autonomy and make good on the states-rights spirit of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). As a… View Article

Friday Facts: February 10, 2017

It’s Friday! Events  Happy birthday, Georgia! Georgia Day is February 12. Today and Saturday are rare opportunities to visit the Georgia Archives in Morrow to view Georgia’s copy of the Declaration of Independence and Royal Charter, which created the colony in 1733. They are among the state’s precious documents kept in a high-security vault at the Georgia Archives, where a constant temperature and humidity are maintained to ensure their long-term survival. Public viewing is limited to mitigate fading and deterioration. The Georgia Archives is at 5800 Jonesboro Road in Morrow. Find out more here. February 22: Register by February 20 to join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Institute for Justice for a Leadership Breakfast and… View Article
Matthew Standsberry of the American Legislative Exchange Council wrote about pre-arrest diversion programs in Fulton County, Ga., in a February 3, 2017, article on ALEC’s website. The article is reprinted below; access it at ALEC at www.alec.org/article/georgia-examines-a-pre-arrest-diversion-program/. Georgia Examines a Pre-Arrest Diversion Program By Matthew Standsberry Politicians and citizens from both sides of the aisle have been pushing for criminal justice reform for years. In 2008, a study was released by the Pew Center on the States which identified that more than 2.3 million adults are currently incarcerated in the U.S. in some capacity — amounting to nearly 1 in 100 adults in the United States. In Georgia, this problem is even more severe as one in 13 adults View Article
By Benita M. Dodd In a milestone event that occurred quietly on Saturday, January 28 Georgia entered the ranks of the few, the proud, the innovative states as a 12-mile stretch of reversible toll lanes opened on I-75 south of Atlanta. Just four other states boast reversible toll lanes. A little history: Georgia has known tolls since the 19th century (at least). Few metro commuters realize the toll origins of the roads they travel: Johnson Ferry and Paces Ferry (crossing the Chattahoochee) and Bell’s Ferry (crossing the Little River in Cherokee County), to name a few, once were ferry crossings that charged a toll before bridges came along. The St. Simons Island causeway, built in 1924 to replace ferries, was… View Article

Expand Retirement Options, Shrink Teacher Doldrums

This commentary appeared in the February 1, 2017, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal. By Benita M. Dodd PAGE, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, has surveyed its members and the findings, reported in its January/February 2017 newsletter (PAGE One), are depressing. The survey found that nearly half of teachers (45 percent) say they are unlikely to remain in education for the next 10 years. Sadly, a majority – 53 percent – also said they would not recommend a career in education. The report notes, “With the current teacher shortage and continuing teacher pipeline issues, these statistics are of great concern to PAGE.” The survey also found that 59 percent of the respondents oppose converting the Teacher Retirement System from… View Article
GEORGIA PUBLIC POLICY FOUNDATION NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release January 26, 2017 Contact: Benita Dodd benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org | (404) 256-4050  New Study Finds Georgia Underreports Public School Spending Atlanta – For decades, Georgia’s Department of Education has underreported by billions of dollars what the state spends on public schools, according to an Issue Analysis released today at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s annual National School Choice Week event. The report, “Balancing the Books in Education,” by Foundation Senior Fellow and Kennesaw State University economist Dr. Benjamin Scafidi, notes that official state websites give the impression that taxpayers spend billions of dollars less on K-12 public education than is actually spent. For example, while the Georgia Department of Education website… View Article

Friday Facts: January 13, 2017

It’s Friday! Events  January 26: The National School Choice Week Leadership Breakfast is keynoted by education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi, who will unveil his study on the real numbers of Georgia’s public school spending and staffing. The topic is, “National School Week: Where’s The Money?” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration hereFebruary 22: Join the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and the Institute for Justice for a Leadership Breakfast and Book Forum with Dick Carpenter, co-author of, “Bottleneckers: Gaming the Government for Power and Private Profit.” Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $30. Information and registration here. Quotes of noteTo be upset by academic standards is to invest… View Article
NEWS RELEASE: For Immediate Release January 11, 2017 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org State Think Tanks Ask U.S. Supreme Court to Protect Free Speech Atlanta – The Georgia Public Policy Foundation has joined a coalition of 24 state-based think tanks around the nation to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to protect the names of donors to nonprofit organizations.   The coalition supports an amicus brief filed Tuesday by the Buckeye Institute of Ohio in the case of Independence Institute v. Federal Elections Commission. The coalition believes it is unconstitutional for the federal government to compel the Independence Institute of Colorado to provide its donor list and is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a district court decision supporting… View Article

New Year, Same Old Streetcar Named Disaster

By Benita M. Dodd Today the city of Atlanta begins Year 3 of operating its much-ballyhooed Atlanta Streetcar System, and so far, all that can be discerned is a lot of bally hooey. This month, the Atlanta City Council approved the final payment to URS for the design-build of the 2.7-mile Atlanta Streetcar project, making the total payment $61,630,655. That was, according to Public Works Commissioner Richard Mendoza, “$6 million less than URS originally submitted.” Not exactly. The 2014 URS contract authorized by MARTA (the transit authority designated to receive the $47.6 million federal grant for the Streetcar), was $59 million; the original URS contract, based on the preliminary design, was $52.2 million. Asked about the project’s full cost,… View Article

I thank you for what you do. For 15 years you’ve been researching and writing on issues that matter. You take on tough questions, you apply innovative thinking, you push for action, and you do it all without regard to politics.

President George W. Bush more quotes