EQUITY IN EDUCATION RELEASES STATEMENT ON ‘THE GEORGIA PROMISE SCHOLARSHIP ACT’ (SB233)
Equity in Education Calls for Lawmakers to Recommit to Public Education
ATLANTA — On Tuesday, February 13, Equity in Education (EiE) released a statement calling on lawmakers to renew their commitment to public education in Georgia. SB 233 also known as ‘The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act’ or the “voucher bill” is potentially being reconsidered in the House after a 89-85 loss in the 2023 legislative season. If proponents of the bill are successful in flipping the votes, the measure could pass this legislative season.
Currently, the voucher bill would provide roughly $6,000 per student which can be used towards private school tuition, homeschool supplies, tutoring, and other educational expenses. Equity in Education strongly supports the rights of parents to choose where they send their child to school, however we have to also acknowledge the inequities that exist within the implementation of a voucher system.
In its current form, the measure has no stipulations on the household income of voucher recipients meaning families who make two or even four times the poverty level could benefit from the program. While the bill does limit those eligible to students in the lowest-performing quarter of Georgia public schools, $6,000 is a drop in the bucket for lower-income families trying to pay for a quality private education and make ends meet. In truth, this bill will mostly benefit families who just need a “little extra” to cover the nice-to-haves. A voucher system will destabilize school districts across Georgia, will provide minimal oversight in the use of funds, and represents an overreach of the legislature.
Every parent deserves the right to choose but that choice should not come at the expense of students who are most in need. “We believe that education is the human rights issue of our time and divesting from public education is a disservice to the children of Georgia,” said EiE Executive Director Anthony Wilson. We must recommit and execute on the vision of public education that serves all students equitably.
About Equity in Education
Equity in Education (EiE) exists to ensure equity is the foundation for every stakeholder in Atlanta so that all young people have access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to live full lives. We empower communities, advance equitable policies and invest in bold leaders.