Voucher bill imminent in the Senate
GAE has learned that legislation will be filed tomorrow that would provide private school tuition assistance (vouchers) to any student in Georgia. The bill will apparently be Senate Bill 233.
Similar to legislation defeated last session, the bill would give any student in Georgia $6,000 to spend on the private school of their choice. A medical or learning disability is not required to qualify.
With 1.75 million students, the cost to the state is unimaginable. Senators rejected this idea last year by a vote of 29-20. If half the students and their families participated, the cost to the state each year would be over $10.5 billion dollars. Even if just 10%, the cost to the taxpayers of Georgia would be $1 billion.
Given the financial needs of public schools, this money would be better spent on a myriad of funding needs such higher more teachers, counselors, social workers, school psychologists and improving the pay of all educators. Legislators could easily ensure high-speed internet throughout the state and in rural Georgia. The General Assembly could fund the transportation costs increasingly born by local systems and provide additional funding for schools that have a high number of students living in poverty.
GAE opposes all voucher legislation. Public funds should be used by public schools to provide the best education for all Georgia students.