Tag: Governor Nathan Deal

Checking Up On Health: January 26, 2016

Health Care News and Views Compiled by Benita Dodd Happy New Year! The Legislature’s back in session; the presidential candidates’ ranks are thinning and you’re probably wondering whether there’s anything worthwhile amid the rhetoric. Governor Nathan Deal has made it quite clear that Medicaid expansion is not on his agenda, and it’s a wise move. First, why would you spend scarce state dollars on able-bodied individuals? Second, why would you force low-income Georgians into a program that is dogged by poor outcomes and low physician participation? Third, as I wrote recently in a commentary, there are opportunities in Georgia to expand health care options without expanding Medicaid. For example, the 2010 health law, which requires that most people have… View Article
By Benita M. Dodd In his State of the State address to the Georgia Legislature this week, Governor Nathan Deal succinctly justified his resistance to expanding Medicaid to low-income, able-bodied Georgians. Deal recited the costs already imposed by the Affordable Care Act: Reporting requirements alone add $2.1 million in state spending, and even without Medicaid expansion, enrollment increased due to heightened eligibility awareness. This “woodwork effect” increased program costs 15.7 percent from fiscal years 2013-17, to $3.1 billion. Unsurprisingly, critics denounced the governor for “leaving” federal money on the table and poor Georgians uninsured while missing an economic opportunity. But “no” to expanding this entitlement program does not equate to “no” to health care or to economic opportunity in Georgia.… View Article

Celebrate National School Choice Week at Jan. 27 Event

EVENT INVITATION December 18, 2015 Contact Benita Dodd at 404-256-4050 or benitadodd@georgiapolicy.org Celebrate National School Choice Week January 27! Atlanta – National School Choice Week provides the theme for the Georgia Public Policy Foundation’s first event of the year every year, and 2016 is no exception! You are invited to join the Foundation on Wednesday, January 27, 2016 for, “Georgia Education: Reforms and Recommendations,” an 8 a.m. Leadership Breakfast at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. This panel discussion includes two education reform champions in the Georgia Legislature and an education innovator: Georgia State Sen. Hunter Hill, Senate sponsor of legislation creating Education Savings Accounts (ESAs) Georgia State Rep. Mike Dudgeon, vice chairman of the House Education Committee,… View Article
*Join Lisa Snell and Aaron Smith December 8 for a discussion on student-based funding in Georgia. Register here TODAY! By Aaron Smith and Lisa Snell For more than three decades, Georgia’s system of school finance has handcuffed district leaders by dictating how state funds are used. More freedom might finally be in sight for frustrated educators, thanks to the promising recommendations from Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission. The Commission has been tasked with overhauling the state’s Quality Basic Education (QBE) formula, created in 1985, which allocates over 90 percent of the state’s $8 billion in K-12 funding. If the goal of QBE’s architects was to achieve minimal transparency and flexibility, then it has been a riveting success. QBE provides… View Article
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted the Foundation’s Benita Dodd in its August 26, 2015 edition (subscription required) in the article, “Education Reform Commission wants more money for poor schools,” by Ty Tagami. Below is the text of the article. Georgia should consider allocating larger proportions of money to school districts with higher numbers of poor students, say people working to overhaul state education law for Gov. Nathan Deal. Deal’s Education Reform Commission has been working since spring to recommend a new approach to everything from the way teachers are paid to school choice. Re-writing the decades old law that distributes state money among school districts was one of the biggest assignments. The current formula, in place since the 1980s, does not… View Article

Georgia Gas Tax Hike: Much Ado About Nothing

By Clay G. Collins and E. Frank Stephenson  One of the most significant bills enacted by the Georgia Legislature in 2015 was the nearly billion-dollar Transportation Funding Act of 2015 (HB 170). A key provision of the bill was a change in Georgia’s gasoline tax, taking effect on July 1.  Before the change, Georgia had a two-part gas tax: a 7.5 cents per gallon excise tax and a 4 percent state sales tax. Gas was also subject to local option sales taxes, which run another 3 percent in most counties. Levying gas taxes as a percentage of the purchase price had drawbacks. One was difficulty in transportation planning because tax revenue fluctuated with gas prices. Another was the perverse feature… View Article
By Russ Moore While you were distracted by this year’s transportation funding or Opportunity School District debates – or possibly ignoring the Legislature entirely – Gov. Nathan Deal, Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, and both parties in both chambers unanimously set a tiny pebble rolling from the top of the mountain known as Public Education. That pebble may become an avalanche leading to an earthquake or, as we policy geeks like to say, a “Paradigm Shift.” Fortunately, the tectonic plates crumbling are Irrelevance, Dropouts and Waste, and the new Himalayas rising will be named Relevance, Graduation and Productive Citizenship. The context: For years, Georgia has ranked near the bottom of states in the quality of public education. Say what you will… View Article

Friday Facts: April 24, 2015

It’s Friday!  Social media: The Foundation’s Facebook page has 2,388 “likes.” Please share it to help us reach 2,400 “likes” in our 24th year in Georgia! Join us on twitter.com/gppf and share the Friday Facts! Quotes of Note “I own myself the friend to a very free system of commerce, and hold it as a truth, that commercial shackles are generally unjust, oppressive and impolitic.” – James Madison “There are currently 139 schools across Georgia that have received a failing grade from the state accountability system for at least three consecutive years. Too few of these students go on to higher education, too few attain job skills and too few get a high school diploma. Too often this leads… View Article

The Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal

In 2011,  Lisa Coston of Courthouse News Service reported the findings of the Governor’s office of Student Achievement about widespread cheating at Atlanta Public Schools. (The report follows.) On April 10, 2015, following a six-month trial, 11 of 12 people in APS were convicted on charges that included racketeering. Atlanta Schools Superintendent Beverly Hall, stricken by cancer, was excused for much of the proceedings and died during the trial. The prosecution team discussed the trial afterwards with WSB-TV. Watch it here. WABE interviewed Kathleen Mathers, who was the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, that gives some background to the issue and the role played by her small staff, including Eric Wearne, Senior Fellow at the… View Article
By Kelly McCutchen  As expected, transportation funding and the Governor’s proposal to address persistently failing public schools dominated Georgia’s legislative session. The measures passed, yet several opportunities to address critical economic issues were missed.  Here’s the good, the bad and the ugly on how the 2015 legislative session affects the average Georgian.  Transportation: You will be paying about 3 cents per gallon in gas taxes more than you did over the last four years. This tax increase, along with annual fees on alternative fuel vehicles and heavy trucks and a $5-a-day charge on hotel and motel rooms, adds up to more than $900 million a year in needed transportation funding.  Legislators also fixed many problems with the Transportation Special Purpose… View Article

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