This session lawmakers have considered House Bill 60, House Bill 142 and Senate Bill 47, three bills that would enact or expand voucher programs to take hundreds of millions of dollars of state money away from public schools and send them to private schools. House Bill 60 and House Bill 142 did not make it out of their chamber by Crossover Day, but Senate Bill 47 did. This means that Senate Bill 47 has passed the Senate and is now in the House of Representatives where it will be further considered.
Senate Bill 47 would expand the eligibility of an existing voucher for students with special needs, but any child that takes advantage would lose out on federal funding and certain civil rights protections. While House Bill 60 and House Bill 142 failed to gain approval by Crossover Day, they could still be considered next session.
To stop these bills from becoming law, tell your lawmakers not to vote for HB 60, HB 142 or SB 47. You can quickly write to your lawmaker here. For more info and contact information, find your lawmaker here.
Shining a light on efforts to divert state dollars away from public schools through voucher programs such as Education Savings Accounts is part of our 2021 Policy Priorities. GBPI is watching the 2021 legislative session to see if any bills arrive that might threaten to divert these dollars and will post any updates on this page.
The Basics on Vouchers:
Blog: School Vouchers: Myth vs. Fact. March 3, 2021
Bill Analysis: Hundreds of Millions of Dollars at Stake for a Failed Policy. January 26, 2021
Video and Fact Sheet: What Are School Vouchers? February 12, 2020
Policy Report: Shifting Public Funds to Private Schools: High Costs, Poor Track Record. April 26, 2018
Blog: Push to Expand Private School Tax Scholarships Disregards Lack of Evidence, Accountability. February 8, 2018
Blog: Georgia’s Tax Credit School Scholarship Program Lacks Accountability. August 31, 2017
How to help:
We need help to ensure that this bill does not pass. Make sure your legislator knows you want to keep public funds in public schools by rejecting SB 47. You can find your legislator and their email address here.
You can also help build public awareness and urge others to contact their legislator. Here are a few sample social media messages that you can use as a starting point for your own message, or verbatim.
Click here to tweet, or copy and paste to share to Facebook: Senate Bill 47 would take public money away from public schools towards private schools. It expands our current educational vouchers for special needs students, but these students would lose out on federal funding and certain civil rights protections. https://gbpi.org/resources-on-school-vouchers/
Click here to tweet, or copy and paste to share to Facebook: Expanding our education vouchers with bills like SB 47 takes money away from our public schools. We need your help to make sure these bills do not pass. Learn what you can do here: https://gbpi.org/resources-on-school-vouchers/
Bill Analysis for Senate Bill 386 (LC 49 0125): Potential Voucher Expansion Leaves Students and Parents at a Loss. February 28, 2020
Policy Report: Bills Set Stage to Divert Hundreds of Millions of Dollars From Public to Private Schools. March 28, 2019
Blog: Lawmakers Push to Shift Public Money to Private Schools. March 5, 2018
Policy Report: Private School Savings Accounts Lack Oversight, Could Prove Costly. February 22, 2018
Blog: Private School Scholarship Savings Claims Deserve Skepticism. March 17, 2017
Blog: Misguided March to Expand Tax Credits for Private School Scholarships. March 9, 2017
Bill Analysis for House Bill 140: Private School Scholarships to Divert $30 Million More in Revenue. February 20, 2013