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Living the Numbers: Climbing Class Sizes are Hurting Students

Posted November 20, 2014 by Claire Suggs

I traveled to communities around Georgia the past few months to share findings from our recent reports on education funding, The Schoolhouse Squeeze 2014 and Cutting Class to Make Ends Meet 2014… [Read more]. My part is easy. I explain the numbers: how much state funding has been cut, how much

Raise Georgia’s Minimum Wage to Expand Middle Class, Strengthen Economy

Posted November 12, 2014 by Wesley Tharpe

[Read more]Over the last few months I’ve found myself tipping a little extra at my favorite local restaurants and dishing out some extra courtesy when I buy from my favorite neighborhood shops. It’s not because I’m any nicer than the next person or that I recently came into newfound wealth. It’s

The New Normal Does Not Work for Georgia’s Students

Posted November 5, 2014 by Claire Suggs

[Read more]The responses we got from our annual survey of Georgia educators this summer are troubling, the stress often pouring off the pages. Here is an example from Coffee County Schools:
“[The greatest impact of the QBE austerity cuts have been] class size increases, elimination of teachers, para-professionals, secretarial and administration

Georgia Voters Should Reject Tax Cap Constitutional Amendment

Posted October 30, 2014 by Wesley Tharpe

[Read more]Next Tuesday, Nov. 4, Georgians will head to the polls to vote in what could be one of the most competitive elections in the state’s modern history. But you may be unaware that the most lasting legacy you can create for the state is how you vote on Constitutional Amendment

Georgians Set to Vote on Income Tax Straitjacket

Posted October 23, 2014 by Wesley Tharpe

[Read more]Georgians will vote November 4th whether to permanently enshrine the state’s top income tax rate of 6 percent in the state’s constitution. The so-called “tax-cap” amendment sounds American as apple pie, right? No one looks forward to the day their income tax bill comes due and the prospect of capping

New GBPI Survey: Students Still Feel Budget Cuts’ Sting

Posted October 16, 2014 by Claire Suggs

[Read more]Here is a status report on the state of education in Georgia, from someone who knows: “Delayed instructional initiatives, depleted reserves, increased class sizes, frozen wages, deferred maintenance and negligible bus replacement. It doesn’t take great imagination to envision what could have been done over the last five years with

Alan Essig: Ten Years at GBPI With a Purpose

Posted September 25, 2014 by Alan Essig

[Read more]It seems like only yesterday I joined GBPI as executive director, its first employee. I started with no office, staff or even a paper clip. Today GBPI has a staff of nine and publishes dozens of reports, briefs and commentaries a year. In just a decade we’ve become the most

Rising Inequality Makes Tax Shift Strategy Even Riskier

Posted September 18, 2014 by Wesley Tharpe

The widening gap between rich and poor makes it harder for state lawmakers to fully fund education, health care and other vital services, more so in states like Florida and Tennessee that rely mostly on sales taxes. That’s one of the main findings of a new study from Standard & … [Read more]

Taifa Butler: I Work at GBPI to Spotlight What’s Possible

Posted September 17, 2014 by Taifa Smith Butler

This September marks my third anniversary as part of the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute (GBPI) team. I’m spending much of the month scrambling to make the organization’s 10th anniversary gala next month a big success. We still have tickets for sale… [Read more] and I hope you’ll join us!
Why did

Georgia Set to Squander $7.8 Million on Food Stamps ID

Posted September 11, 2014 by Melissa Johnson

[Read more]Georgia’s Department of Human Services is asking the state to include $7.8 million in its 2016 budget to put photos on electronic cards used by food stamp recipients.
This is an expensive solution to a virtually non-existent problem. Spending millions to create photo ID cards will not prevent large-scale fraud