“This Is What We Were Elected to do”
Georgia was one of the few states that we and other education freedom advocates targeted for victory in 2023. But we fell short in the legislature. Fortunately, the prospects have vastly improved this year as the governor, Lt. Governor, and the legislative house leadership has in recent days made ringing endorsements for school choice.
The big news is that Georgia Governor Brian Kemp – who has been a tepid supporter of parental choice – made a thunderous appeal for school choice programs. He’s putting his legacy on the line to get parental choice and school competition this year. Here are a few excerpts from his State of the State speech:
As a small business owner for almost forty years now, I believe – like many of you – that competition and the free market drive innovation and, at the end of the day, result in a better product for the consumer. When it comes to education, the same principles hold true…
Our job is not to decide for each family, but to support them in making the best choice for their child. This week, as we begin the second year of another biennial of the General Assembly, I believe we have run out of “next years.”
I believe we can take an all-of-the-above approach to education… whether it’s public, private, homeschooling, charter, or otherwise. It is time for all parties to get around a table and agree on the best path forward to provide our kids the best educational opportunities we can – because that’s what we were elected to do.
The stakes are mighty high. Georgia now spends nearly $17,000 per student (federal, state, and local revenue).
What do taxpayers get for this money? 70% of Georgia’s 8th graders do not achieve proficiency in math and reading on the 8th grade NAEP exams. Almost three of 10 of the state’s 1.7 million public school students are “chronically absent.”
There has to be a better way to educate kids with $20 billion.