Georgia’s tuition-tax credit law weakest in nation

Eleven states have adopted tax-credit programs that encourage donations to private-school scholarship programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislators.

None of those programs is like Georgia’s program.

Most states at least make an effort to ensure that tax-subsidized scholarships are limited to lower-income students who might otherwise be stuck in an underperforming public school. That’s the whole philosophy behind the program nationwide. States do not want the program to become a backdoor means of subsidizing private school tuition for those who can already afford it.

But Georgia law, by design, contains no such safeguard. It is against the law for the state to even ask how many of the scholarships are being awarded to lower-income students.

Most states also attempt to monitor the performance of private schools receiving that taxpayer subsidy. And they should. Under the tax-credit system, every dollar donated to a private-school scholarship fund is a dollar not paid to the state treasury, meaning that state government takes a serious hit on such programs. (In Georgia, it’s $51 million a year.) If the state is going to subsidize private-school tuition in that amount, it has an obligation to the taxpayer and to the student to ensure that the education meets minimal standards.

But Georgia law, again by design, contains no such safeguard.

In Arizona, for example, the corporate tuition tax credit is limited to low-income students. Private schools that accept the money must administer a standardized test and release those results to the public. In Florida — often cited as a model for such programs — scholarships are limited to students who qualify for reduced or free lunches, and schools that accept 30 or more such scholarship students must release results of a national standardized test to the public.

Pennsylvania’s tuition tax-credit program is means-tested. Indiana’s program is means-tested and requires standardized testing. The same is true in Virginia. In Iowa, only lower-income students are eligible for the taxpayer-subsidized scholarship, and schools must be certified by the state Department of Education, which requires standardized testing as an indicator of quality.

Louisiana imposes an income limit and requires means-testing and standardized testing. New Hampshire requires means-testing. As does Rhode Island. And Oklahoma limits recipients to students attending failing public schools.

State after state — most of them conservative — either tries to target the aid to those in need or to make the schools accountable for their product. Many do both.

Georgia does neither.

Georgia is different in another way as well. In most states, students eligible for a private-school scholarship had to be attending a public school when first applying. Again, the intent was to give students in public school an option, not to create a tax subsidy for those already in private schools.

Yet when Georgia’s law was drafted, it required only that students be enrolled in a public school, not attend a public school. The distinction might seem subtle, but it was deception by design. The slight word change meant that private school students could enroll in a public school, with no intention of ever attending, and thus become eligible for scholarship money. And that’s just what they were encouraged to do. As one of the bill’s sponsors, state Rep. David Casas of Lilburn, was caught telling a group of parents:

“Some people felt a little bit weird about that; felt it was a little dishonest that they would take their child, enroll them in a public school and not have them actually attend, but all of a sudden they actually qualify for a scholarship. I’m telling you, we deliberately put the wording in there for that.”

This year, Casas is joining state Rep. Earl Ehrhart of Powder Springs in an effort to greatly expand the scholarship programs. The current tax-credit limit of $2,500 for a married couple would disappear. Instead, you could eliminate up to 75 percent of your state tax bill through donations to a private school scholarship. The annual total of such tax credits would increase to $80 million, a $29 million hit to an already inadequate state budget.

But their bill makes no effort to tighten how the scholarships are used.

Again, by design.

– Jay Bookman

469 comments Add your comment

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:02 am

There’s a “National Conference of State Legislatures”?

Learn something new every day.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 6th, 2013
8:03 am

All Georgia legislators are crooks, period. That’s all I have to say about this. Gotta work.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:07 am

Coorperate Scholarships for American citizens.
Oversight,regulations, and general scrutinity……….out the but.
.
American citizen assacination by drone.
Not so much.
.
weird.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:09 am

JAY

Florida’s seems most practical in terms of cost and the like. What has to happen to correct the problems you often site about our, F’d up more than most, legslature?

Balance? Intelligence testing? Better pay?

I’m sure most come here to do right…What changes should we press for?

Atlanta Mom

February 6th, 2013
8:09 am

Yet another number 1 the citizens of Georgia can be proud of.

TaxPayer

February 6th, 2013
8:09 am

Republicans will tell us all why this is the way it should be, like Kyle did. :lol:

JohnnyReb

February 6th, 2013
8:09 am

Here we go again – more liberal bleeding heart social justice.

Redneck Convert (R--and proud of it)

February 6th, 2013
8:10 am

Well, I reckon it’s important enough here for Thurston Winklebeam IV to get a private education without all this bunk about evolution and being made to go to school with Those People.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Have a good hump day everybody.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:11 am

Again, the intent was to give students in public school an option, not to create a tax subsidy for those already in private schools.

Not in Georgia, it wasn’t. ’twas a feature, not a bug.

(IMNSHO.)

Mr. Snarky

February 6th, 2013
8:12 am

Georgia’s legislature is always looking out for the rich and the rich alone. That is one thing we can count on.

Thomas

February 6th, 2013
8:13 am

Most states at least make an effort to ensure that tax-subsidized scholarships are limited to lower-income students who might otherwise be stuck in an underperforming public school

Normal left/right speak- “stuck”. Really- going on 5 years suggesting you go to a metro school that has high achievement and has lower income families who found a way not to be “stuck”. Get out of your glass house and visit a school, a local fitness center, a park- it will be catharsis.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/georgia/districts/fulton-county/alpharetta-high-school-5921

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:13 am

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:07 am

I have no idea where you are going with that. I’m not sure I see connection to killing and educating…

What could be bad about limited the fruits of donations to those who need it the most? I’m sure many private schools use them to recruit key athletes…..

independent thinker

February 6th, 2013
8:15 am

Since the legislators in this state take their marching orders from the NRA, just close down this private school give away which the state cannot afford, and use the money to hire school guards as LaPierre has decreed, I suggest a fully equipped swat team member in every school with an assault weapon and very large ammo clip.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:15 am

more liberal bleeding heart social justice.

Yep, those bleeding heart Arizonans and bleeding heart Louisianans and bleeding heart Oklanhomans, all with those bleeding heart income limits for their bleeding heart programs.

williebkind

February 6th, 2013
8:16 am

“The annual total of such tax credits would increase to $80 million, a $29 million hit to an already inadequate state budget.”

Stop spending! There I fixed it.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:17 am

Thomas

February 6th, 2013
8:13 am

I moved to Johns Creek for the schools and know first hand that Alpharetta HS has great success…however, bear in mind that housing for lower income families is, relatively speaking, a new phenomenom in this neck of the woods. The big item you may want to consider it is likely the vast majority of those deemed minorities are Asian…

williebkind

February 6th, 2013
8:18 am

independent thinker

February 6th, 2013
8:15 am
Why do all that! The president can have a drone flying around the school and blast that terrorist.

Granny Godzilla

February 6th, 2013
8:19 am

The natives are so much more easily manipulated if they are kept uneducated.

Very sad, very true, very Georgia.

TaxPayer

February 6th, 2013
8:21 am

The City Council voted Monday to change the names of three parks that honor the Confederacy and two of its notable members.

The council passed a resolution to immediately rename Confederate Park and Jefferson Davis Park in downtown Memphis and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park, which lies just a few miles away. The vote was 9-0 with three members sitting out the vote.

The resolution changes the name of Confederate Park to Memphis Park; Jefferson Davis Park to Mississippi River Park; and Nathan Bedford Forrest Park to Health Sciences Park.

Looks like some of our neighbors are growing up. Good job, Memphis.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:23 am

Thomas,

The Blacks(16%) and Asians (15%) comprise the lions share of minorities at AHS. See Student tab of what you linked. You may also be surprised that most the african americans are not lower income. The free lunch program serves 9% of population. So if we adopted Florida’s law, only a small % would qualify for scholarships…

TaxPayer

February 6th, 2013
8:23 am

The natives are so much more easily manipulated if they are kept uneducated.

Why pay for an education when they can get what they need for free on FOX. After all, it’s not like Republicans do math or science.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:23 am

Remember, next time you find yourself stuck in traffic behind some luxobarge SUV bearing a “My Kid Goes 2 Fundienutterbutter Academy!” sticker–you helped fund that, AND generously allowed said SUV pilot to maintain life in a manner to which he or she has become accustomed.

Jolly good show, Georgians. Be proud.

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
8:23 am

“Here we go again – more liberal bleeding heart social justice.”

Exactly! Here we go again with the entitlement mentality. Well to do suburbanites mooching off the system. Its not enough for these leeches to send their kids to their good suburban schools they are always bragging about, they want private-public schools for their kids. First it was Obamaphones, now we have Obamaschools.

I’ll bet you can find the parents of those kids in the ObamaSchools shopping at Whole Foods!

Whatever

February 6th, 2013
8:25 am

Granny,

What about all of those natives in liberal states like Illinois. Love that Chicago school system and the great job it’s doing.

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am...I think.

February 6th, 2013
8:27 am

Thomas,
I just have to come back in and say this…
your, “American citizen assacination by drone.
Not so much.” can be your pacifier if it gets you through the day, but I’ll just point and laugh at you. You are quite good at ignoring facts just to keep on hating the president. Sad, that.

BTW: Assassination is how it’s spelled.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:27 am

JAY,

Sorry to go off topic but I note that NKorea has gone so far to get China pissed off. I wish we would adopt China’s approach to foreign policy. You don’t hear from them unless their borders are directly threatened. They don’t stick their noses in the tents of other countries, killing innocents that lend support to negative image. If a handful of terrorists blew up a building, I’m sure they wouldn’t be indiscriminately and selfishly kill 50 civilians to get 1 bad guy.

Jackie

February 6th, 2013
8:27 am

Will our education system become a total “pay-for-play” system?

http://www.arc.org/content/view/100/217/

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
8:29 am

Wonder if I can enroll a dog and then send the dog to private dog school with taxpayer funds.

Brosephus™

February 6th, 2013
8:30 am

State after state — most of them conservative — either tries to target the aid to those in need or to make the schools accountable for their product. Many do both.

Georgia does neither.

That’s because state after state, the legislators actually were trying to help students who really needed the help. In Georgia, that was not their intent, and that’s quite obvious in how the legislation was drafted and explained to the people who they truly wanted to benefit from this program.

GT

February 6th, 2013
8:30 am

One of the problems with frowning on education like Georgia is habitually doing, it makes decisions in the dark. In can’t analyze correctly the harmful direction it leads us, and has low goal expectations which are easier to govern. Imagine being blind and trying to run a maze, back that up a few degrees and you have the state of Georgia.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:31 am

Whatever

February 6th, 2013
8:25 am

Yeah but you have anomalies everywhere. It’s a sad state of affairs in low income IL neighborhoods…different issues I think in the war zones..

RB from Gwinnett

February 6th, 2013
8:31 am

So, as ususal, it’s not about the education the kids get, it’s about who controls the money.

Wouldn’t it be grand if Jay and his cohorts cared enough about the 44% graduation rate in the APS to write multiple articles on that issue instead of taking cheap shots a Christian schools whose kids actually graduate and likely move on to college? I mean, seriously, can we focus on a real issue for once and not more of this hyper partisan crap?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
8:31 am

I’m telling you, we deliberately put the wording in there for that.”

Jay, do you know if anyone check the legislative record to see what was said at the time the bill was passed. I know the records are relatively weak but would be interesting to see if this was an open purposeful act or just an open secret (wink, wink, nudge, nudge).

TaxPayer

February 6th, 2013
8:32 am

Who knows. Perhaps the immigrant Asian and other communities will take advantage of this law to make sure that their hard-earned dollars do not go toward funding the education of the children of the Republican corn. Then there are those Islamist schools here that likely want to keep their member’s earnings focused on their schools. THAT’s the ticket! Republicans just wanted to make sure that people of different faiths and ethnicities had the same rights and privileges as their constituency. Funny how some things can work out over time.

skipper

February 6th, 2013
8:33 am

When systems like Dekalb, APS etc. are in existence, then folks have about gotta do something…..right or wrong. There are a few good schools along the fringes, but by and large the mess that is APS (just one example) is a glowing example of a waste of tax dollars. You could throw cash to those buffoons all day, and it would not improve. Schools now are too busy handling political correctness, the latest cure-of-the-day, and taking the classrooms away from the teachers. Students can openly cuss a teacher, yet then cannot be touched. I attended both public and private schools. In the private school, you act up, you get that tail torn up. Amazing…very little discipline problems. And because I said APS, folks will bring race into it. Too bad……that is not the deal. There were both black and white I went to school with…..a black guy I went to school with in earlier years, then later to UGA with is now Chief of Staff (surgery) at a hospital here in Georgia (don’t wanna give his I.D. away, so will not say where.) It is the CULTURE! To vote in incompetent people who in many cases are not too educated themselves is a travesty. The right to vote does not mean the intelligence to do so. Public schools have gotten too much about a power grab, the latest fad, blah blah blah and too little about educating kids. Rant and rave on this blog all you want to. Lets see where APS is in ten years……sorry folks; it won’t be much better!

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:33 am

Before all the sad-sack Neal Boortz orphans show up with their “Government Schools Suck” rhetoric, I will remind one and all that about 90% of all American kids in K-12 attend public schools.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:35 am

In RB-landia, making a legitimate case against a truly stupid public policy equals “taking cheap shots a Christian schools.”

Golly, wonder why our RB is so very sensitive about this. Enjoying that free money you’re getting from me & mine, are ya, RB?

Justin

February 6th, 2013
8:35 am

It seems to me that the best thing to do would be to eliminate this altogether. We, as taxpayers, should not be expected to provide any funding for private school enrollment. Especially when it detracts from our own severely under-funded public schools.

The state should at least impose income limits, as well as require academic testing to ensure that the funds are not being wasted on students who are financially able to attend the private school of their choice and that these institutions are providing quality education.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:36 am

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
8:23 am

Suggest you research Obamaphone thingy. You may be surprised what you learn.

Suggest also you take a walk thru of a lower income, inner city school sometime. Perhaps exposure to that will hit home a bit.

Otherwise, I find your comments turd-like.

Whatever

February 6th, 2013
8:37 am

stands,

In stands-landia is it standard practice to ignore major issues in APS while spending the majority of time looking at secondary issues like this?

I’m not saying this law couldn’t be better. I can see how it can be improved. I also think it’s minor compared to many of the major problems we have in education.

Brosephus™

February 6th, 2013
8:37 am

Keep Up

When you do a Google search for this topic, the NY Times did an article on that where they had video links to GA legislators explaining how to benefit from the tunnels (too damned big to simply be referred to as loopholes) they wrote into the legislation.

Granny Godzilla

February 6th, 2013
8:38 am

Whatever

February 6th, 2013
8:25 am

Granny,

What about all of those natives in liberal states like Illinois. Love that Chicago school system and the great job it’s doing.
.
.
.
.
What about them?

Do they have something to do with the state of schools here?

Ah, nope.

Brosephus™

February 6th, 2013
8:38 am

dB @ 8:35

A hit dog will always holler….

indigo

February 6th, 2013
8:39 am

Georgia politicians get a two for one in this tax-credit program:

1. They get to keep their wealthy patrons happy be allowing them to get even wealthier by not having to pay expensive tuition costs for their children’s private education.

2. They provide a way for these children to attend Christian Academys and insure their fundamentalist parents that they will always think of science as “tools from the pits of hell”.

But, wouldn’t fundamentalist parents feel some guilt about an obviously dishonest program, you ask?

Knowing this mentality well, I can tell you the answer is – not now, not ever, never. They are doing “God’s will” and can cherry pick like nobody’s business.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:39 am

RB from Gwinnett

February 6th, 2013
8:31 am

Imagine how much money we could free up by eliminating tax favored status to all things Christian? From my vantage point, they simply spend the savings on new bricks and mortar for their posse. Very self serving…even much of the “charity” work is done for selfish purposes.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:40 am

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am…

February 6th, 2013
8:13 am

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:07 am

I have no idea where you are going with that. I’m not sure I see connection to killing and educating…
——————————————————————————————————————————————–
.
Why does a child from poor parents deserve more help than a child from rich parents.?
If you accept the progressive narative that rich people are greedy, then wouldn’t the rich deprive the their child a decent education if they had to pay for it?
.
Why punish the child?
Indeed…..why assacinate a child?
Because of their parents?
.
Do you see my logic now?
.

Stevie Ray..Clowns to the left and Jokers to the right..here I am...

February 6th, 2013
8:45 am

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:40 am

No. But I think I understand your point. Rich kids should have same access to tuition assistance as lower income kids.

Res ipsa loquitur…

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
8:46 am

Thanks Bro, I’ll have to take a look

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
8:47 am

In stands-landia is it standard practice to ignore major issues in APS

Given that APS is not the topic Jay’s blog this morning–

Blogspot, wordpress, the world is your oyster, knowoti’msayin?

Jay

February 6th, 2013
8:47 am

Keep Up, I don’t think most legislators outside of those who drafted the bill understood the subtle distinction between “enroll” and “attend”. But Casas and others, including then-state Sen. Eric Johnson, the bill’s sponsor in the Senate, were explicit in claiming that this was intended to help poor kids in tough schools have an option.

It was not.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:49 am

Corbin Sharpe. I think, therefore I am…I think.

February 6th, 2013
8:27 am

Thomas,
I just have to come back in and say this…
your, “American citizen assacination by drone.
Not so much.” can be your pacifier if it gets you through the day, but I’ll just point and laugh at you.
——————————————————–
.
No suprise there.
Progs usually do laugh and sneer at peace, love, abhorrence of violence, and basic deceny.
.
Different tokes for different folks…………I guess.

indigo

February 6th, 2013
8:52 am

Thomas Hewyard, Jr. – 8:40

Rich parents almost always see to it that their children get the best schooling.

Your rich parents are seeing to it that you get homeschooling. And, if you ever manage to get past the 12th grade, I’m sure college won’t be a problem with them.

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
8:56 am

Who would Jesus con?

RB from Gwinnett

February 6th, 2013
8:57 am

Stands, “In RB-landia, making a legitimate case against a truly stupid public policy equals “taking cheap shots a Christian schools.”

Check out Stands trying to speak for others. Dunce can’t even remember back to Jay’s post last week on the subject bashing some Christian school over in Loganaville that’s had DannyX whining ever since.

And for the record, I din’t bother to read most of this post. At some point the “Bash everything Republicans do” mantra gets redundant and becomes a waste of time. This one fits that bill.

And as I said, if Jay really gave a crap about education, he would be focusing more on the kids who pull the system down and the reasons for it and less on whining about some loophole being exploited.

I’m out for the day. I have to spend the day responding to some State government crap that says it was due several days before it was requested.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
8:59 am

indigo

February 6th, 2013
8:52 am

Thomas Hewyard, Jr. – 8:40

Rich parents almost always see to it that their children get the best schooling.
——————————————————————————————————————
.
That’s simply not true.
My parents were by no means rich but still sacrificed to send me to Private schools.
Conversly,,,,,I know many rich parents who refuse to send their children to private schools because they are burdened with paying for the “government” schools.
They cannot …or will not…….sacrifice their “lifestyle”.
.
Again…………….it isn’t the child’s fault.
See Abdulrahman.

independent thinker

February 6th, 2013
8:59 am

By scrapping this rich folks/donors give away and private school scam there should be enough money saved to put a well armed guard in every school and a monitor in every APS classroom to make sure the teachers are not cheating during test time.

alittlecommonsense

February 6th, 2013
8:59 am

SFD “Remember, next time you find yourself stuck in traffic behind some luxobarge SUV bearing a “My Kid Goes 2 Fundienutterbutter Academy!” sticker–you helped fund that, AND generously allowed said SUV pilot to maintain life in a manner to which he or she has become accustomed.”

That is one of the stupidest things I have seen you say. And you have said a lot of stupid things on this forum. First – you make the ridiculous assumption that everyone who sends their kid to private school goes for free because of this scholarship.

The truth is that probably 99% of people who send their kids to private school are paying for it out of their pocket. Not even getting a tax deduction for their tuition, and not using the public schools that they pay a considerable amount of taxes to support. Maybe you should thank these people for subsidising the public school system that they aren’t using. But no, you would rather be an azzwipe and make snarky comments toward them.

Bob

February 6th, 2013
9:00 am

Nothing wrong with people of means getting a break on tuition. We have been focusing on the bottom dwellers for so long it is no wonder we are tanking, let the money flow to people that earn it.
So some family that pays a hefty tax bill gets a tuition break, big deal.

Finn McCool (The System isn't Broken; It's Fixed)

February 6th, 2013
9:01 am

Jay, our duty is to subsidize the “Haves” so they can stay that way.

Didn’tcha know?

GT

February 6th, 2013
9:02 am

The priority of Georgia has never been to educate the masses. Obama to them is not a joyous occasion of what can be done; it is what results, bad, from this mass education. To them the poverty of this state is a result of an unmovable wall of ignorance below the white rulers of the legislature. In truth the pattern of this educational system was laid out centuries ago to assure no minority passed a white in education, thus being his boss or superior. This was a higher bar 50 years ago with segregated school. You could pour money into the white schools and in metro Atlanta many whites attended public schools that ranked with any in the nation. A black could actually get an average education without scaring the white population that he or she would get too uppity.

Busing put a new burden on the state of Georgia. You either had to raise the bar for all students or lose white students as collateral damage to the resistance of educating blacks. Georgia choice to dumb down the schools not only destroying the black hope but creating a new generation of white poverty, that is every bit as hopeless as the blacks. The unexpected bonus came in this class of whites being strong supporters of the very party that has held them back.

the dog

February 6th, 2013
9:02 am

I think all the great unwashed (that would be the tax payers paying for this scam) should attend every PTA meeting, recitals, science fair (yeah right) and every other school function they hold. After all, we are paying for it, right?

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
9:03 am

Thanks Jay, that’s been my general impression of a lot of things with our state legislature. That and an unwillingness to go back and fix laws to actually carry out the stated intent and remove the hidden agendas that lobbyist for various associations or others have buried in the law (and which were never caught).

kayaker 71

February 6th, 2013
9:07 am

Is this just a rehash of a previous thread or are we breaking new ground here? If you read bill 1133, it specifically states that a student cannot participate in this program if their family income, total, is more than 85K/yr. That pretty well eliminates most if not all of those evil rich Republicans who Bookman rails on about every day.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
9:11 am

alittlecommonsense Maybe you should thank these people for subsidising the public school system that they aren’t using

Why are you thanking those who pay taxes and don’t have kids in school? Please post your thank you.

And they are not “using” public education? When employers hire people who went to school and learned to read and write, they are “using” public education. When you check out at the Whole Foods and the person behind the counter answers your question about “formage” , you have “used” public education. When you watch a football game and that player was drafted after graduating a public school system, you have “used” a public education.

Cosby

February 6th, 2013
9:13 am

No matter how you cut it..it shows that the Government Schools are failing and there is a movement to create competition..bet the Teachers Union love that!

Now about those Drones killing Americans…wait until they hit a US citizen on US soil…

td

February 6th, 2013
9:13 am

This conservative does not support this law as I did not support the charter school constitutional amendment.

Education is the way out of poverty and is the way to be a successful productive citizen. Laws like this are nothing more then the cowardly way out of true reform of education by the middle class (both white and black). Instead of addressing the real problems of society that hurts education (parental involvement) and reforming education to put pressure on parents to take responsibility for the children they choose to bring into this world, this type of legislation allows middle class parents (both white and black) to keep their heads in the sand, not address the real problems and not have to do the real work necessary to insure that our society as a whole will be successful in the future.

I think the legislature and all the parents that demanded such legislation are nothing more then a bunch of lazy cowards that only care about themselves and not the entire state.

indigo

February 6th, 2013
9:15 am

Thomas Hewyard, Jr. – 8:59

Oh really.

Every rich family I’ve ever known always sent their children to the best schools. Almost all the rich are so vain about themselves that it’s imperative their offspring do will so that the family name will always be looked up to. The Kennedys are a good example of this.

charles

February 6th, 2013
9:15 am

I wonder how many posters – or even Jay have actually been involved in this process? Most schools use NAIS independent vetting for the application and limit it to children coming from public schools or schools that address disabilities. This programme has also been a huge help in supporting schools that address moderate to severe learning disabilities where the staff to student ratio is very low by necessity. Yes there are very middle class families in failing school districts that with the very high tax rates in Atlanta and Fulton County, cannot afford to save for college and pay private school tuitions. In my children’s school there is a very high percentage of minority students and many children from a wide range of financial means and backgrounds benefit from the SSO organizatoins. Simply because some schools have not used independent vetting and a strict process, perhaps addressing those schools is better than moving straight to the high level political arguement of class warfare and labelling. Or at least take time to understand how schools use the funds they raise themselves from folks who want to support their school. Our children have benefited from the SSO and it is our goal to replace that support over the next ten years using the SSO to pay back every penny and then some we received to allow another child to attend our school.

fair and balanced

February 6th, 2013
9:15 am

Danny X at 8:23:
“”"”"”"”"”"”“Here we go again – more liberal bleeding heart social justice.”

First it was Obamaphones, now we have Obamaschools.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”
Prime example here of low intelligence voter the Stupid party in this state caters too. You will see the term Obamaphone used as holy grail on Wingnut’s blog. Actually it was a program started by Saint Ronald Reagan,

“”"”"”"”"”"”"”Although no one will ever know who really coined the term “Obama phone,” the truth is government assistance for phone service has been in existence since the 1980′s. The Federal Lifeline program, which is paid for by customer fees on most phone bills, began in 1985 under the universal access initiative instated by Ronald Reagan’s administration. The government began offering discounted phone service to needy Americans who were unemployed or living at or below the poverty level.

In 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) created the Universal Service Fund, stating that all providers of telecommunications services should contribute a specified fee to the fund to be used to increase nationwide access to advanced telecommunications services” and “advance the availability of such services to all consumers, including those in low income, rural, insular, and high cost areas at rates that are reasonably comparable to those charged in urban areas.” Thus the program shifted from discounted landlines to mobile phones, since they were thought to be more useful.”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"”"
http://obamaphone.net/10-truths-about-the-obama-phone/

So the low intelligence cons need to talk about Ronniephones if they are trying to deal with reality which is often not the case.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 6th, 2013
9:16 am

RB — “Check out Stands trying to speak for others.”

Speak for yourself, RB. Nobody in this thread — not even Jay — brought up christian schools or students until *you* did. So shove your manufactured butthurt and head on back to work.

marks

February 6th, 2013
9:18 am

ahh, the state coffers take a hit, isnt that sad. Hey Jay, it OUR MONEY. Yes I know we must pay taxes and most of us do it willingly. But whining that the state coffers takes a hit because horrors of horrors some of us pay LESS taxes (notice most folks dont get money back, they pay less due to the tax credit) is pathetic. Typical liberal crap.

barking frog

February 6th, 2013
9:19 am

For years the public schools have been called overcrowded. Does this
not address this problem ?

Jay

February 6th, 2013
9:19 am

kayaker, cease spreading false information.

As I challenged you earlier, here is the entire text of HB 1133, the legislation that created this program. Read it, and please cite the provision that you describe limiting the scholarships to households with income of less than $85,000.

It does not exist. There is no limit on income and no provision for means-testing.

http://www.legis.ga.gov/Legislation/20072008/86111.pdf

DownInAlbany

February 6th, 2013
9:19 am

If you lived anywhere outside of metro Atlanta (perhaps, Albany?), you might have a different perspective of the value of GOAL. While I pay full tuition to send my kid to Deerfield-Windsor (DWS), I also send my property taxes to Dougherty County to subsidize a failing school system, if there ever has been one. Based on a letter that I received from the school last week, DWS receives the most $ from GOAL in the state. These funds have been used to bring 48 kids to DWS in the last 3 years (again from the failing DOCO system), represented in just about every grade-level. They have received additional funds for their frugal use of the funds. Even though I have chosen not to divert my income tax to GOAL, funds cannot be designated for particular students. At the end of the letter, the Headmaster encouraged anyone with questions on how GOAL is used personally contact him.

Jay, you site not one example of abuse of the system. How about a little real journalism? Why not take him up on his offer? Or is it too easy to sit in the comfort of your office and snipe? I think that, in spite of your fears, there are schools using GOAL according to its intent.

marks

February 6th, 2013
9:21 am

clarification, lets not confuse persons getting a check from the state due to over payment of taxes with persons who not only received the taxes that were withheld back but actually ended up with a net payment from the state.

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
9:21 am

“DRONES”

Is the new…

BENGHAZI!!!!

TaxPayer

February 6th, 2013
9:21 am

Uh Oh! Kayaker got called out for lying. Again.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
9:21 am

Keep Up the Good Fight! ————

“When you check out at the Whole Foods and the person behind the counter answers your question about “formage” , you have “used” public education. When you watch a football game and that player was drafted after graduating a public school system, you have “used” a public education.”
.
———————————————————————————–
Exactly.
That’s why it is so important to abolish “Government” schools.
.
Something wrong…………..is happening there.
See Detroit.

Joe Hussein Mama

February 6th, 2013
9:21 am

notevenatinyfragmentofcommonsense — “The truth is that probably 99% of people who send their kids to private school are paying for it out of their pocket.”

Good. If they want their kids going to private school, that’s what they *should* be doing.

“Not even getting a tax deduction for their tuition”

Nor should they. If you want to send your kid to private school, then have at it. But don’t expect a pat on the back or a tax deduction for doing it. Its your choice, so you pay the freight yourself.

“and not using the public schools that they pay a considerable amount of taxes to support.”

Everyone pays taxes to support the public schools, even the childless. If you don’t want to support the district’s public schools, then move somewhere else where they use a different funding mechanism to pay for them. Maybe that place will also give you a big wet kiss for sending your kid to private school, too.

“Maybe you should thank these people for subsidising the public school system that they aren’t using.”

You’re welcome. :D

“But no, you would rather be an azzwipe and make snarky comments toward them.”

He hasn’t said one thing snarky about the childless, and they fit into that same category. The only ones who are being snarky are the gimme-gimme types like you who apparently think that they deserve some sort of tongue-kiss from the state in exchange for sending their kids to private schools.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
9:22 am

lol…..on the above.
.
lol

Brosephus™

February 6th, 2013
9:22 am

If you read bill 1133, it specifically states that a student cannot participate in this program if their family income, total, is more than 85K/yr.

Reading a bill isn’t quite the same as reading the legislation that was actually signed into law. A bill can change many times before it’s finally signed into law. According to the Georgia Dept of Ed,

http://www.doe.k12.ga.us/External-Affairs-and-Policy/Policy/Pages/Tax-Credit-Program.aspx

The actual legislation itself doesn’t mention a family income limit. The only amounts that are even mention in reference to a family are the maximum tax credits allowed, which is $1000 for a single parent and $2500 for a married couple.

On that link above you will find the following link in the Resources section:

•State Law (UPDATED 5/19/2011)

I think legislation that was updated in 2011 kinda trumps bill 1133 that was actually signed into law by Gov. Perdue.

Peadawg

February 6th, 2013
9:23 am

Stop giving more tax breaks and handouts to the rich. They don’t freakin’ need it.

Jay

February 6th, 2013
9:23 am

I nominate td for post of the day. I know it’s still early, but if someone tops that one, good on ‘em, as the Aussies say.

Jay

February 6th, 2013
9:24 am

Bro, the income limit wasn’t in the original bill either. It does not exist and never existed.

Mike

February 6th, 2013
9:27 am

We need to demand that changes be adopted regarding this law. Changes that mirror one of the other states Jay mentioned. I will e-mail my Rep. today.

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
9:27 am

“Something wrong…………..is happening there.
See Detroit.”

Thomas Heyward, something is seriously wrong with your logic. Public schools in America are largely responsible for making this nation the richest country in the world. Our public schools feed our system that produces a good bit of the world’s new technology. Finding a spooky Detroit boogeyman to make your case is just plain stupid.

Jefferson

February 6th, 2013
9:28 am

Sue the state, get lawyers involved. Shut it down.

weetamoe

February 6th, 2013
9:29 am

As one who used to snicker at what we once called seggie academies, I was forced to face reality when I was teaching at a university well-known for difficult courses and rigorous standards. The kids from fundie schools were disciplined, industrious, and bright and they do know math and science. Those who mocked LaPierre’s suggestion of armed resource officers in schools are obviously unaware that Sandy Hook parents are demanding just that–and not for the remainder of this year only, but permanently. Obama has become quite adept at newspeak. Why ordering drone murders of 16 year old American citizens is downright *ethical and wise* according to him. And his adherents have learned the language as well, since any criticism or expression of horror or disgust is just hatin’ on the black man in the white house.

Keep Up the Good Fight!

February 6th, 2013
9:29 am

Heywood: Exactly. That’s why it is so important to abolish “Government” schools.

Yes I noted you cut out reading and writing. But do tell us why it is so important. You are claiming that only those who can afford an education should have one?

Jefferson

February 6th, 2013
9:31 am

Albany – you send taxes to the schools because you OWE them. Get over it.

DannyX

February 6th, 2013
9:32 am

“I nominate td for post of the day. I know it’s still early, but if someone tops that one, good on ‘em, as the Aussies say.”

Congrats td on your 326th post of the day.

Jefferson

February 6th, 2013
9:33 am

Property taxes are already deductable to the itemizer, so to screw the state out of income for personal use is as bad as the wellfare you cry about, republicans. You can see why you have the image you tote.

DownInAlbany

February 6th, 2013
9:33 am

Jefferson

February 6th, 2013
9:31 am

Thanks for your wise comments and intelligent contribution to today’s blog!

UNCLE SAMANTHA

February 6th, 2013
9:34 am

JAY HIPPOCRACY

democrats sprung the HOPE scholarship on GA

the program where the poor and minority buy lottery tickets to send UPPER MIDDLE CLASS WHITE KIDS TO COLLEGE so their parents can buy them BMW’s and COACH purses with the money they save………….

thus the poor and minority students are trapped in failing systems and will graduate so they can buy lottery tickets to support more rich white kids…………

great job

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
9:35 am

you make the ridiculous assumption that everyone who sends their kid to private school goes for free because of this scholarship.

It would be ridiculous if I had actually made such an assumption, but of course I never posted any such thing.

Lance in Carrollton

February 6th, 2013
9:35 am

I am forced to admit for a long time I believed that school choice was a way of “fixing” our education system. But after serving time in schools, this does nothing of the sort. The only thing that school choice or scholarships to private schools do is deplete state revenue when the issue is local. Not many students in North Fulton, Forsyth, Kennesaw, or other affluent areas need such programs. The poorest of families cannot pay the high tuition of private schools even with subsidies. While this may help lower middle class families get over the hump, the students of Dekalb. Clayton, and APS still may not be able to get out of “failing” schools.

Jay

February 6th, 2013
9:36 am

weetamoe, I don’t think most people are arguing against having armed officers in school. The argument is that such a step is hardly sufficient to addressing the larger problem, which it isn’t.

as to the academies, sure. If you have a class of students drawn from families with the resources to pay private-school tuition and the motivation to do so, you have a self-selected population of kids who would probably do well in almost any setting, given how closely school performance tracks income level of parents.

Jefferson

February 6th, 2013
9:38 am

Anytime, bro.

Thomas Heyward Jr

February 6th, 2013
9:38 am

DannyX————

Thomas Heyward, something is seriously wrong with your logic. Public schools in America are largely responsible for making this nation the richest country in the world. Our public schools feed our system that produces a good bit of the world’s new technology. Finding a spooky Detroit boogeyman to make your case is just plain stupid———-
.
————————————————————————————–
.
richest country?
Which public school did you go to.?
.
If you mention “formage” at any of my local grocery stores………they’ll call the manager.
The public schools are good at causing a recent graduate to ask for ID’s to buy beer……………….regardless of the old age.
Don’t EVEN attempt to ask for a certain denomination of change or attempt to do business if the “puters” are down.
.
Our greatness and technology breakthroughs or acumen is a result of private colledges, other institutes of higher learning and/or good ole fashioned self discipline and self-learning (see Bill Gates)……………………..despite the 12 previous years of government school Robotic Indoctirnation.
.
Admit it…………learn it………….live it.

stands for decibels

February 6th, 2013
9:38 am

Check out Stands trying to speak for others. Dunce

[...]

But no, you would rather be an azzwipe

A programming note: I was red-carded recently for referring to a fellow poster as the shortened form of “Richard.”