Georgia State House introduces legislation to create innovative school choice program
WASHINGTON, D.C. (Feb. 4, 2015) – The American Federation for Children, the nation’s voice for educational choice, applauds State Rep. Mark Hamilton and his cosponsors for introducing legislation to create an innovative new school choice program in the Peach State. Today, Hamilton was joined by numerous cosponsors to introduce the Education Savings Account Act (HB 243), which if passed and signed into law will empower parents to customize learning experiences for their child.
“The one-size-fits-all education model is failing far too many children, which is why the ESA bill introduced today can change the education paradigm by empowering parents with the ability to customize their child’s education to fit their needs,” said Betsy DeVos, chairman of the American Federation for Children. “Today’s action is encouraging and part of a national movement to give parents more control of their child’s education, and to strengthen Georgia’s education system.”
HB 243 creates an education savings account program that gives education funds directly to students to utilize for tutoring, online learning programs, private school tuition, fees for academic exams and therapies for students with disabilities. Funding is equal to the state funding for a student, but local dollars will remain within local school districts regardless of what school a child attends using their ESA.
“For most children, and I think for the children in my district in Forsyth County, the local public schools are doing a great job educating children and preparing them for the future,” said Rep. Mark Hamilton (R-Cumming). “But that’s not necessarily the experience for all students. Even in an A+ school, a child can have an F experience. Anyone who has children knows that no two are alike, so why should we force them all to be educated in the exact same way? Education Savings Accounts are an innovative approach to delivering a customizable, 21st Century education, giving families access to a diverse portfolio of options so they can find the absolute best fit to meet the individual needs of their child.”
If passed, Georgia will be the third state to have an ESA program with programs currently operating both Arizona and Florida.
American Federation for Children is the nation’s leading school choice advocacy organization and works in states across the country to help secure additional, high-quality educational options for families.