The Promise Scholarship Act Clears Senate, Awaits Governor’s Signature.

As you’ve probably heard by now, after nine years of debate, the Georgia Legislature has passed an Education Savings Account (ESA) Bill. SB 233 creates $6500 Promise Scholarship Accounts parents can use to direct funds to defined education purposes for their children. Opponents of ESAs and school choice in general haven’t updated their arguments to meet the times. In fact, opponents used the same arguments against SB 233 that they used against charter schools, the special needs scholarship, the qualified tax credit scholarship program, homeschooling, and even private schools themselves. Yet parents in increasing numbers choose these other options, and kids win.

In a recent article I wrote, I pointed to a study published late last year that found:

“…as public schools are more exposed to private school choice, their students experience increasing benefits as the program matures. In particular, higher levels of private school choice exposure are associated with lower rates of suspensions and absences, and with higher standardized test scores in reading and math.”

– “Effects of Maturing Private School Choice Programs on Public School Students.” Figlio, Hart, Karbownik, Ameican Economic Journal: Economic Policy 2023, 15(4): 255-294

By taking this step, Georgia joins Florida and over a dozen other states that are empowering parents with options. We should expect positive benefits for all of Georgia’s students as these programs mature and expand to cover more students.

I can think of no better way to end this post than with Senator Greg Dolezal’s speech to close debate on SB 233 on Wednesday (starting at 2:25:56).

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