Tag: Spending

Kenneth Artz of the Heartland Institute interviewed Foundation Senior Fellow Ben Scafidi on  the Georgia Education Reform Commission’s recommendations. The article is below; access the article on Heartrland’s Web site here: http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2016/02/10/georgia-commission-releases-reform-recommendations Georgia Commission Releases Reform Recommendations By Kenneth Artz A Georgia government commission released a report in December 2015 detailing recommended reforms lawmakers should consider during the recently convened legislative session. The commission called on the state’s legislature to fund charter schools in a more equitable manner and provide more support for districts wishing to explore tying teachers’ pay to student performance. The commission was composed of private-sector leaders, local and state education officials, and lawmakers. The stated goal of the Georgia Education Reform Commission is to “[provide]… View Article
By Robert Krol Each year, state and local governments decide on which transportation infrastructure projects to build. Often, priority goes to projects directed at reducing highway congestion or air pollution. The economic backbone of the decision process is supposed to be an objective cost-benefit analysis. However, calculating the costs and benefits of any major project is technically difficult. Cost estimates require a determination of labor and material quantities and prices. Benefit estimates require forecasting economic growth, demographic trends, and travel patterns in the region. Clouding the analysis is the fact that this decision process takes place in a political environment. Politicians love the publicity they get at the opening of a high-occupancy vehicle lane or the expansion of a mass… View Article

Friday Facts: January 22, 2016

It’s Friday!  Then and Now Did you know? In 1991, the year the Georgia Public Policy Foundation was established, according to one advertisement (May 1991), a business-class 386/33 personal computer with 4MB of RAM, a 200MB hard disk and 14-inch display sold for $4,299 ($7,544 in today’s dollars). A similarly-equipped 486-33 was $7,699, or $13,511 today. Source: ZDNET.com  Events  January 27: MONDAY is the deadline to register for the Foundation’s annual National School Choice Week celebration. Join Georgia State Sen. Hunter Hill, State Rep. Mike Dudgeon and education innovator Mike Davis for “Georgia Education: Reforms and Recommendations,” a Leadership Breakfast 8 a.m. Wednesday, January 27 at Cobb County’s Georgian Club. This event is open to the public.… View Article
Everyone likes rankings, and one of the most frequent questions we receive is about where Georgia ranks in terms of K-12 spending and achievement. Georgia’s spending per student is higher than all but one of its neighboring states, according to the most recent data. In terms of student achievement, adjusting for demographic factors that schools can’t control, Georgia ranks 19th highest in the nation. (An analysis of how Georgia compares based on unadjusted NAEP scores is available here.) Clearly, spending doesn’t equal performance, at least not in 2013. The states in Table 1 are listed in order of spending, but their academic achievement varies dramatically. Georgia ranks much higher than most would guess at 19, but Florida (#4) and… View Article

Solving the Failure of Education Desegregation

By Benita M. Dodd Education desegregation started out with such lofty promise in America. So why have decades of massive government efforts to mandate integration in schools and encourage racial diversity produced such dismal results? In his latest study, Dr. Ben Scafidi, Senior Fellow at the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation, set out to examine why schools continue to be segregated and how to overcome this. He found that neighborhoods and schools both moved toward racial integration in the 1960s and ‘70s, but in the 1980s segregation began returning to public schools even as neighborhood integration continued. Public school integration reversed at the same time neighborhood segregation by income increased, according to Scafidi’s study,… View Article

Foundation Results

This post was sent to readers of the Friday Facts on December 4, 2015, by Foundation President Kelly McCutchen. Nine months ago, Foundation Vice President Benita Dodd headed down the road for a fact-finding day trip to Dublin, Ga., to research an article marking the one-year anniversary of Dublin City Schools’ solar energy project. “What started out as a commentary on Sunshine Week and the solar project’s anniversary led to a trail of lofty projections, broken promises, unpaid bills, questionable math and taxpayers left on the hook,” we noted back in March. Nobody had reported yet on the financial mess involving the solar industry in Dublin. “The financial fallout is likely to grow, but a cloud of hush surrounding the… 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

Friday Facts: December 4, 2015

It’s Friday! Events Today’s the deadline! Register TODAY to attend, “The Case for K-12 Student-Based Budgeting in Georgia,” a summit and luncheon on Tuesday, December 8 hosted by the Georgia Public Policy Foundation and featuring experts from the Reason Foundation and Allovue. The keynote speaker is Lisa Snell, Director of Education Reason. Open to the public. 10:30-1:30 p.m. at The Gallery, Cobb Galleria Centre. $30. Registration and information here. Quotes of Note “One of the standard pieces of Econ 101 that we try manfully to get across to people is that if you raise the price of something then people will buy less of it. … And this is important about the minimum wage debate. If… View Article
Georgia Public Policy Foundation President Kelly McCutchen was interviewed for a November 2, 2015, Heartland Institute article by Tony Corvo on Peachtree City’s planned taxpayer-funded broadband.  The full article is below; access it online here. Georgia Lawmakers Boot Up Taxpayer-Funded Internet By Tony Corvo The Peachtree City, Georgia City Council recently approved spending $3.2 million in taxpayer dollars to build and fund a municipal broadband Internet system. The new taxpayer-funded Internet service provider (ISP) will be funded through a mixture of subscriber fees and excise fees paid by cable television subscribers. Broadband ‘Boondoggles’ “I can’t speak for Peachtree City residents, but I think taxpayers are fed up with funding government boondoggles, especially when government is attempting to compete with… View Article

Municipal Broadband Puts Taxpayers’ Wallets at Risk

By Kelly McCutchen For centuries, too-good-to-be-true deals have snagged investors with promises that they can ignore past failures because “this time it will be different.” Peachtree City’s leaders appear to have been told a similar story. The Peachtree City city council approved a resolution last month to build out a government-owned broadband Internet network for municipal buildings and local businesses. The project will require a 10-year, $3.2 million bond issue to pay for the cost of laying fiber optic lines along the right-of-way of the city’s many golf cart paths. For those who don’t know their Georgia geography, Peachtree City is not a small, rural hamlet in the-middle-of-nowhere Georgia with limited broadband Internet access. It is located just 30 miles… View Article

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