2018 Georgia Legislator Scorecard on School Choice Now Available

2018 Georgia Legislator Scorecard on School Choice Now Available

When it comes to expanding educational choice for all students and families in Georgia, our state has a lot to celebrate this year.

During the last legislative session, lawmakers took some crucial strides to help kids trapped in failing schools or stuck in classrooms that don’t meet their needs, particularly by expanding the Tax Credit Scholarship Program. Even so, so many of our state’s most at-risk children still lack access to real educational options. They’ll have to wait yet another year to get the quality education they need to achieve their dreams and become productive members of society.

Here at Georgia Center for Opportunity, our goal is to keep you fully up-to-date on which school choice bills passed—and which didn’t—during the most recent legislative session. We’re also committed to sharing how your elected representatives voted on each of these bills.

That’s why we’re so excited to release our 2018 Georgia Legislator Scorecard on School Choice. This report card tracks how every legislator voted on school choice bills before the state assembly—and assigns a letter grade just like our students receive in school. We also offer a recap of how each bill fared in each legislative chamber—with failed or stalled bills noted, indicating our focus for the upcoming 2019 session.

Many legislators say they support school choice during the campaign season, but the true test of whether they walk their talk is revealed in how they vote on bills that empower parents with the options and resources they need to secure the best education for their children.

We hope you find this scorecard useful, and we hope you share it with your family and friends! Download the Report Card HERE.

GCO releases report card grading lawmakers on school choice support

GCO releases report card grading lawmakers on school choice support

33 state lawmakers recognized for outstanding support of school choice in 2018

PEACHTREE CORNERS – On Wednesday, the Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) released their 2018 Legislator Report Card, a scorecard recognizing state lawmakers according to their voting record on key school choice bills. The report empowers parents to see where their Representative and Senator stood on bills that would expand access to quality education for kids throughout the state.

Randy Hicks, President and CEO of the Georgia Center for Opportunity, said the scorecard is necessary because too many children are waiting for their chance at a better education.

“Time and again, Georgians on all sides of the aisle continue to express their support for expanding parental choice,” Hicks said. “We praise the legislators who prioritized children and families in 2018, and look forward to seeing greater movement under the Gold Dome to ensure all students have access to the best possible education.”

Legislation considered in the scorecard include an expansion to the state’s tax credit scholarship program and increases to funding of state charter schools. Both bills passed in 2018.

The scorecard ranks legislators on an A-F grade scale, though special honors were given to those who demonstrated outstanding support for educational choice. Members were named a “School Choice Champion” if they received As following both the 2017 and 2018 sessions, while those on the “Honor Roll” were recognized for sponsoring or co-sponsoring a bill that would increase educational options.

In total, 33 current and outgoing legislators in the House and Senate received “Honor Roll” and/or “School Choice Champion” honors. Some are listed twice as they were given both designations. They include:

School Choice Champion:

Senator John Albers (R- Alpharetta)

Senator Burt Jones (R- Jackson)

Senator William Ligon Jr. (R- Brunswick)

Senator Josh McKoon (R- Columbus)

Senator Fran Millar (R- Dunwoody)

Senator Michael Williams (R- Cumming)

Representative Buzz Brockway (R- Lawrenceville)

Representative Wes Cantrell (R- Woodstock)

Representative John Carson (R- Marietta)

Representative David Casas (R- Lilburn)

Representative David Clark (R- Buford)

Representative Heath Clark (R- Warner Robins)

Representative Earl Ehrhart (R- Powder Springs)

Representative Barry Fleming (R- Harlem)

Representative Mike Glanton (D- Jonesboro)

Representative Rich Golick (R- Smyrna)

Representative Scott Hilton (R- Peachtree Corners)

Representative Jan Jones (R- Milton)

Representative Todd Jones (R- South Forsyth)

Representative David Knight (R- Griffin)

Representative Randy Nix (R- LaGrange)

Representative Ed Setzler (R- Acworth)

Representative Valencia Stovall (D- Forsyth Park)

Representative Sam Teasley (R- Marietta)

Representative Scot Turner (R- Holly Springs)

Honor Roll:

Senator Brandon Beach (R- Alpharetta)

Senator Matt Brass (R- Newnan)

Senator Chuck Hufstetler (R- Rome)

Senator Fran Millar (R- Dunwoody)

Senator Ben Watson (R- Savannah)

Representative Kasey Carpenter (R- Dalton)

Representative John Carson (R- Marietta)

Representative David Casas (R- Lilburn)

Representative Heath Clark (R- Warner Robins)

Representative Robert Dickey (R- Musella)

Representative Earl Ehrhart (R- Powder Springs)

Representative Mike Glanton (D- Jonesboro)

Representative Rich Golick (R- Smyrna)

Representative Scott Hilton (R- Peachtree Corners)

Representative Rick Jasperse (R- Jasper)

Representative Jan Jones (R- Milton)

Representative Todd Jones (R- South Forsyth)

Representative Randy Nix (R- LaGrange)

Representative Jay Powell (R- Camilla)

Representative Alan Powell (R- Hartwell)

Representative Ed Setzler (R- Acworth)

Representative Valencia Stovall (D- Forest Park)

Representative Sam Teasley (R- Marietta)

Representative Scot Turner (R- Holly Springs)

The 2018 Legislator Score Card on School Choice can be downloaded online at georgiaopportunity.org/education/school-choice.

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Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) is independent, non-partisan, and solutions-focused. Our team is dedicated to creating opportunities for a quality education, fulfilling work, and a healthy family life for all Georgians. To achieve our mission, we research ways to help remove barriers to opportunity in each of these pathways, promote our solutions to policymakers and the public, and help effective and innovative social enterprises deliver results in their communities.