State News

Report ranks Georgia 14th nationally for educational freedom

(The Center Square) — Georgia ranked 14th in the nation for its educational freedom, according to a new index from the Heritage Foundation.

The Peach State ranked in the middle of its neighboring states. Georgia performed better than Alabama (No. 16), North Carolina (15) and South Carolina (23) but trailed Florida (1) and Tennessee (10).

“The Heritage Foundation Education Freedom report card shows that some progress has been made in empowering parental choice in Georgia. But there is much more that can be done,” Buzz Brockway, the vice president of public policy for the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said in a statement.

“Neighboring states like Florida and Tennessee offer their parents more options, and are higher ranked in education achievement,” Brockway added. “We owe it to our children to give their parents more options with programs like an Education Scholarship Account and continuing to increase Georgia’s Tax Credit Scholarship program.”

In March, Georgia senators killed Senate Bill 601, the Georgia Educational Freedom Act, after it initially appeared lawmakers might pass the legislation.

The measure would have created state-funded Promise Scholarships of up to $6,000 a year. Families of the roughly 1.7 million K-12 students in Georgia could use the money for private school tuition and other education expenses, such as tutoring and homeschool curriculum.

Separately, a November 2021 EdChoice analysis found vouchers saved taxpayers in Georgia between $605 million and $1.1 billion in fiscal 2018.

Meanwhile, the Reason Foundation’s 2022 K-12 Education Spending Spotlight found that Georgia’s spending per pupil has grown over the past two decades while its enrollment has increased at a higher rate.

By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor

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