Voucher Bill in Subcommittee on Monday - Contact Policymakers Now
SB 233, sponsored by Sen. Greg Dolezal (R-Cumming), is scheduled to be heard in the Policy Subcommittee of the House Education Committee on Monday, March 20, at 8 a.m. The bill would create a new type of private school voucher—an Education Savings Account, or ESA—that would send $6,000 to each participating student, every year. The program would join the state’s two existing voucher programs, which carry a combined price tag of about $150 million annually. Read more about SB 233 in a brief from PAGE.
As always, educators should use their personal (not school) email address and electronic device and contact policymakers outside of instructional time. The most persuasive legislator messages are personalized and demonstrate an educator’s commitment to the students the educator serves. Educators can use the following talking points in addition to personalized stories about their school community. A bill summary on SB 233 with more information is available from PAGE HERE.
SB 233 hurts students in rural Georgia by diverting critical financial resources from Georgia public schools, which serve 1.7 million students.
Georgia already has two private school voucher programs, which divert $150 million annually to private schools and have never been evaluated. Vouchers do not improve student academic outcomes as found by multiple high-quality studies.
The voucher program proposed in SB 233 has minimal transparency and accountability measures, which fall far short of the requirements for public schools. It contains no method to determine the quality of individual private schools or prevent those that do not serve students well from participating, even though the private schools would receive Georgia taxpayer funds.
Instead of diverting more public funds to private schools with a new voucher program, lawmakers can assist low-income students far more effectively by investing in funding for literacy instruction, high speed internet infrastructure, pupil transportation, and increasing the number of school counselors, school psychologists, and school social workers.
Although they have been urged to do so, legislators have not conducted a financial analysis of SB 233, which would establish accounts for individual students funded with $6,000 in state dollars every year through Grade 12, even if participating students never attended public schools.
Georgia educators, students, and taxpayers want Georgia elected officials to stand up for fiscal transparency, academic accountability, and Georgia public schools.
House Education Committee Members Contact Information
Rep. Chris Erwin (R-Homer), Chairman
Rep. Scott Hilton (R-Peachtree Corners), Vice Chairman
Rep. Lauren Daniel (R-Locust Grove), Secretary
Rep. Segun Adeyina (D-Grayson)
Rep. Bethany Ballard (R-Warner Robins)
Rep. Doreen Carter (D-Lithonia)
Rep. Mike Cheokas (R-Americus)
Rep. David Clark (R-Buford)
Rep. Brent Cox (R-Dawsonville)
Rep. Matt Dubnik (R-Gainesville)
Rep. Becky Evans (D-Atlanta)
Rep. Lydia Glaize (D-Fairburn)
Rep. Karlton Howard (D-Augusta)
Rep. Rick Jasperse (R-Jasper)
Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton)
Rep. Todd Jones (R-South Forsyth)
Rep. Mesha Mainor (D-Atlanta)
Rep. Miriam Paris (D-Macon)
Rep. Rick Townsend (R-Brunswick)
Rep. Will Wade (R-Dawsonville)
Rep. David Wilkerson (D-Powder Springs)
No Education Bills on Agenda Today
There were no education bills heard on the floor of either chamber on Thursday.
Monday, March 20 – Legislative Day 36
House Education Policy Subcommittee, 8 a.m., 506 CLOB
Tuesday, March 21 – Legislative Day 37
Senate Education & Youth Committee, 8 a.m., 450 CAP
House Retirement, 2 p.m., 406 CLOB
Wednesday, March 22 – Legislative Committee Workday
Thursday, March 23 – Legislative Day 38