A Big Win for School Choice in Georgia

print_ga.jpgToday, the entire ed reform blogosphere is celebrating the big win for a universal voucher bill in Utah. But school choice efforts are on the march in Georgia as well.

The distinguishing feature of the Utah bill is that it would be available to all students. This is truly a breakthrough for education reformers who have been insisting that the right to choose a quality education is the civil right for our time and ought to be universal, not limited.

So perhaps it’s understandable that Georgia’s bill—which is more narrowly tailored and based on the successful Florida McKay scholarship program—is receiving less attention. While Utah’s measure is a big step in a new direction, Georgia’s measure would build on a solid foundation of proven success.  Georgia’s bill also has the advantage of simply providing more resources to parents, thereby perhaps granting them greater choice.

The debates in both Georgia and Utah were filled with high drama as the pro-monopoly legislators fought to keep their death grip on school funding by refusing to allow parents to send their children to the best schools possible.
Ultimately, however, facts, logic, and grassroots support for choice in education proved enough to win the day. While legislative debate usually proves to be dull and unappealing, last week’s events were more edifying and inspiring than most.

I’m a particular fan of the comments of Senate President Pro Tem Eric Johnson who said that

The debate [is] about whether families or the government is best equipped to decide how to educate disabled children

Now it seems to me that the word “disabled” is completely unnecessary in the above sentence.

Final bonus question: Utah and Georgia are expanding options and opportunities for parents by funding children and not bureaucracies. Why isn’t South Carolina following suit?

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