Press Release

Georgia Center for Opportunity Thanks Sen. Hill for Leadership on Education Savings Accounts
ESA can be used for tuition and other educational fees

Atlanta, GA - The Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) would like to applaud State Senator Hunter Hill (R-Atlanta) for authoring and introducing Education Savings Account legislation, SB 68 last week during the legislative session. This bill will establish and fund an education savings account program (ESA) for all Georgia elementary and secondary school students. The ESA will allow parents to use funds to pay for private or parochial school tuition, special education programs, SAT and AP testing fees, distance learning and homeschool curriculum.

“Georgia parents whose child is in a failing school would have the ability move their child from a failing school into a more challenging and stable environment. Parents of a child with special needs could ensure that he or she is getting individualized, therapeutic instruction. Homeschooling families could apply ESA funds towards a great online curriculum. Military parents could enroll their children in a private school and parents of high schoolers could use ESA funds to pay for SAT or AP exam fees. All parents would be empowered to make choices about their child’s education,“ said Eric Cochling, executive vice president and general counsel at GCO.

SB 68 currently has 5 co-sponsors: Senators Jesse Stone (R-Waynesboro), John Albers (R-Roswell), Michael Williams (R-Cumming), Chuck Payne (R-Dalton) and Ben Watson (R-Savannah). Recently, the Atlanta Journal Constitution polled registered voters statewide and found overwhelming support for school choice and vouchers, 61 percent and 69 percent respectively. This echoes the results of the 2016 Republican primary ballot poll question which found that 75 percent of voters support school choice.

Senator Hill commented, “It’s the 21st century and our modern Georgia parents need a diverse portfolio of options to choose from when deciding the best educational environment for their child. There are a lot of innovative options out there when it comes to educating kids today and parents shouldn’t be boxed into doing things only one way. I am proud to continue to sponsor legislation that will better serve Georgia’s students, expand opportunities for Georgia’s teachers, and elevate public education in Georgia.”

GCO has launched a campaign to ensure that parents have all the facts about ESAs and can become advocates in their communities. Working with the Georgia Parents Alliance they are bringing together a diverse coalition of inner city parents, military parents, home schoolers and parents of children with special needs – all of whom would be able to improve their children’s educational choices.

“For too long, educational choices were limited to the people who lived in prosperous neighborhoods. Finally, all parents will be able to choose a great education for their children, regardless of where they live and how much they make,” concluded Cochling.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity is an independent, non-partisan think tank dedicated to increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for all Georgians. We research solutions to society’s most pressing challenges, promote those solutions to policymakers and the public, and help innovative social enterprises deliver results on the ground.

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