2021 Bills Are Still in Play – Including Legislation Impacting GA’s Tuition Tax Credit Private School Voucher
Several important education bills which failed to pass during the 2021 General Assembly are poised to resume their journey through the 2022 legislature. Learn more in the PAGE 2021 final legislative report. This report spotlights HB 517, which takes several steps toward much-needed transparency for Georgia’s tax credit private school voucher program, but leaves many aspects of the program unclear. The bill, introduced in 2021 by Rep. John Carson (R-Marietta), follows a comprehensive review of the voucher program by the Georgia Department of Audits. The 2021 audit was undertaken at the request of the House Appropriations Committee. Though HB 517 contains some of the key action steps outlined in the audit report, it lacks other steps that should be undertaken by the Georgia Department of Revenue (DOR), the General Assembly, or student scholarship organizations (SSOs). SSOs are the pass-through entities that receive donations and issue private school vouchers.
Before passing HB 517, lawmakers should:
Incorporate the complete set of recommendations from the DOA to strengthen the program’s fiscal transparency and accountability.
Add academic transparency and accountability requirements for students, which were discussed in the audit report but were outside the scope outlined by the House Appropriations Committee.
Resist efforts to increase the existing $100 million annual cap on this unproven voucher program and eliminate the sunset on the cap, which will return tax credit voucher funding to its previous level of $58 million in 2029.
Learn more about the audit recommendations and how they compare to the current draft of HB 517, as well reviewing PAGE’s summary of the bill.
PAGE Webinar on Proposed School Budget, Including Educator Pay Raises
At 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 2, the PAGE legislative team will conduct a brief webinar on proposed pay raises for Georgia educators and other highlights of Amended Fiscal Year 2022 (AFY2022) and Fiscal Year 2023 (FY2023) education budgets. Please join us by registering HERE.
Tuesday, Jan. 25: Legislative Day 6
1 p.m., House Education, 506 CLOB, AGENDA
2 p.m., House Retirement, 406 CLOB, AGENDA
2 p.m., House Judiciary Non Civil, 506 CLOB, AGENDA
Wednesday, Jan. 26: Legislative Day 7
8 a.m., House Appropriations Subcommittee on Education, 506 CLOB, AGENDA
PAGE Day on Capitol Hill Signup
Please make plans to join us at PAGE Day on Capitol Hill, Feb. 22, 2022 by registering HERE.