Georgia Approves School Choice For Students And Families

Georgia students who are stuck in failing public schools run by leftist unions received great news this week. The General Assembly cleared a measure to greatly assist these young people in getting a quality education away from these lackluster institutions.

The Senate on Wednesday with a 33-21 vote approved the school choice program. This followed the state House giving its stamp of approval 91-82 last Thursday.

The vote predictably followed party lines.

The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act established a program to distribute school vouchers of up to $6,500 per student. These would be awarded each school year to pay for the cost of either homeschooling supplies or private school tuition.

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, who twice defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams, made school choice part of his reelection platform.

The popular governor posted on X, formerly Twitter, that he was “thankful to the General Assembly for giving final passage to SB 233 today to give students and families greater choice.”

GOP Lt. Gov. Burt Jones joined the celebration, releasing a statement calling the measure’s passage “a critical first step.” He said the struggle to guarantee quality education for the state’s children does not end with this achievement.

This year’s victory followed a crushing defeat in the Georgia House in 2023. Democrats celebrated erasing school choice last year, but it was Republicans’ turn to be jubilant after this week’s vote.

GOP state Sen. Greg Dolezal of Cumming sponsored the measure. He said that he cheered the outcome “because more parents and more families will have more opportunities.”

Recipients of the $6,500 education savings accounts must attend public schools mired in the bottom 25% of the state’s academic achievement. The funds may be used for homeschooling materials, private school tuition, tutoring, therapy or early college courses.

Students whose households have incomes less than four times the federal poverty level would be prioritized for assistance. All of an eligible family’s children could benefit from the Georgia program.

Democrats long argued that the measure will harm public education, but the General Assembly disagreed.

The formula used by the program will be limited to 1% of the state’s $14.1 billion appropriation for school funding. It will fund more than 21,000 scholarships.