Should Georgians support Rep. Hamilton in his effort to create taxpayer funded Educational Savings Accounts for Georgia’s K-12 students for the purpose of using such funds to fund attendance at private schools?
RESULTS AS OF February 1, 2016
12% of Counties Reported
21% Voted YES | 32% MAYBE | 35% NO
HB 243: Rep. Hamilton, (R-Cumming) is proposing the State provide for an Education Savings Account (ESA). The savings account would redirect funds from public schools to an account set aside for students attending private schools. Purposes for which the money set aside could be used include tuition, text books, fees for standardized tests and other purposes.
The bill passed out of committee in 2015 and received the support of Lt. Governor Casey Cagle. Not all in the Assembly or in government show strong support for the bill. In an interview with Denis O’Hayer in February 2015, State Superintendent Richard Woods was guarded in his support. Woods was concerned that he makes sure that public education was fully funded.
Other concerns over the cost of the program have been raised in a study by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. The program, they estimated, “If approved, the proposed program would cost the state at least $223.2 million in fiscal year 2028, just counting children who enroll in the program as kindergarteners…”
Survey Respondent Comments
This bill appears to be another veiled, totally misleading, back door attempt for the government to further insinuate its tentacles in home schooling, private schools, etc. via funding. Funding? Really. News flash – IT’S OUR MONEY, NOT THE GOVERNMENTS.
And, Rep Hamilton’s voting record isn’t reflective of a legislator who supports conservative principals and values.
Just like school vouchers which put government in control.
Private education does not exist in a vacuum. It cannot be separated from general education. Funds, tax benefits, savings accounts for private schools means less funding for public schools. Sound public education for all Georgia’s students is essential for our economic future.
It gives others a chance other than the public school to receives savings.
Since the purpose is to educate the children, the money should go where ever the student goes.
Government has ruined American education. This bill could ruin private education. First the federal government needs to close the US Department of Education. The price of education is 4 times higher than it should be. Education needs to be a free market activity so that the market can determine the price. Students need to assume responsibility for their own education. Homeschooling is far superior to any other system.
This is a terrible idea. This Federal money comes with strings attached and expands government control over our schools.
The $50M or so the state allows now as GOAL funds has some abuse. I know that people that contribute only so their child can get the scholarship. That’s not how it is supposed to work.
I also questioning withholding $$ from public school because all that is ging to do is raise property taxes to make up for it.
Any time the ‘government’ wants to ‘help’ you save money, it puts you in a position to have to comply to their rules before you can get your money back.
For example, as stated in the bill, you will have to comply to the state’s:
- qualifications and requirements;
- -management of accounts;
- participating schools;
- responsibilities of parents;
- duties of the Office of Student Achievement in administering the program;
- rules and regulations;
- related matters; (what could this mean?)
Our representatives need to work on eliminating the existing burdens of taxation on families rather than creating more.
Not sure this is the right path. I generally support school choice, but the article that outlines the additional regulation of private schools when they accept taxpayer funding raises questions.
Under this plan when the private school accepts a student with ESA money the school will have to start complying with various federal laws/rules similar to the public schools that private school parents are fleeing! Private schools accepting ESA students will be under the scrutiny of the Office of Student Achievement and must comply with federal antidiscrimination provisions, demonstrate fiscal soundness, conduct criminal background checks on teachers, etc. They must administer to all participating students a nationally norm-referenced assessment or a state required, nationally norm-referenced assessment that measures learning gains and provides for value added assessments in grades and subjects that are administered to students in public schools in the state. The school shall annually provide to the office the results of any assessments administered to participating students. Parents of participating students will be required to participate in “satisfaction” surveys. This requirement mirrors the school climate surveys public school parents are asked to complete and you better bet the information is shared with the federal government. Click the link above for the bill and read for yourself! This is NO GOOD for the private schools!
Tax dollars should follow the student, whether in public or private school. The purpose of education is to educate, and we owe it to the students to give them the opportunity for the best education possible.
Although a long over due piece of legislation, it does not protect the private schools from the reach of the government. Many parents of children in public schools want to move their children to private schools but the private schools do NOT want the government in their business. That has to be part of the legislation.
We need less government involved in education, not more.
Privatize the public schools. Give everyone a voucher. Then essentially all schools operate as”private.” Schools would begin to act like businesses. The system would force teachers and administrators to compete. Good teachers get rewarded on merit. If students misbehave, they’re kicked out and have to find another school. If they don’t get into another school, their parents are held accountable. Give everyone a voucher.
Get the federal government out of our local schools.
The testing is the same as the testing in public schools, these students will have to do common core and the measures are bogus growth measures as well as value added measures with points dictated by U S DOE
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