Today, the Georgia Senate failed to pass Senate Bill 601, the Georgia Education Freedom Act, by a vote of 20-29. The bill would have created Promise Scholarships, offering Georgia families up to $6,000 a year for any approved education expense, such as private school tuition, tutoring, homeschool curriculum, virtual classes, college classes, therapies (for kids with special needs), or technology.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “What a sad day for kids in Georgia. It’s disappointing that the best interests of Georgia’s schoolchildren have once again fallen prey to politics and special-interest groups,” said Buzz Brockway, vice president of GCO. “While lawmakers will soon return to their relatively safe districts and jobs, tens of thousands of Georgia kids will be left—once again—without access to the options that would let them flourish. Simply put, a vote against S.B. 601 was a vote against the many Georgia families who desperately need help. Particularly as our state emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic where so many students are left behind, it’s unconscionable that we would deny this lifeline to families.”
A recent poll from GeorgiaCAN found that 72% of respondents favor “expanding educational options by allowing a child’s state education dollars to follow that student to the school that best fits their needs, whether that is public, private, magnet, charter, virtual, or homeschool.” Support cut across party lines, with 79% of Republicans in favor, 78% of Independents, and 64% of Democrats.