If some Georgia lawmakers have their way, more parents will have options regarding where their kids are educated. On Day 28, better known as Crossover Day, the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, better known as SB 233, passed in a 33-23 vote after an intense debate on the Senate floor.
SB 233 would create a voucher program giving parents a choice on what form of learning their child should partake in, depending on the school they attend. If passed, the bill would allow families to use up to $6,000 of state money to create education savings accounts for students who are enrolled in schools that rank in the lowest 25% of the state’s accountability system. The money could be used for private school tuition, tutoring, or even special services such as speech pathology.
The bill’s sponsors are Senators Greg Dolezal, Matt Brass, Shawn Still, Colton Moore, Ed Setzler, Steve Gooch, John Kennedy, and Ben Watson.
“I have said in most instances, public education is the best option. It was the best option for my child. But I recognize that it is not the best option for each child, each and every day, “said Sen. Matt Brass, a Newnan Republican and a sponsor of the bill.
In a report from Public Funds Public Schools, Georgia operates two voucher programs- the Special Needs Scholarship Program, launched in 2007, and the Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit Program launched in 2008. Both programs served 21,000 students in 2019, representing only 1.2 percent of the state’s 1.8 million PK-12 students.”
The Georgia Promise Scholarship Act will now head to the House for consideration. If it passes, then Governor Kemp will have the option of signing it into law.