This is the first in the Bipartisan series, looking at how cross party politics works ... and doesn't ... in Georgia.
I remain deeply distrustful of the school voucher movement. I’d be the first to admit that much of that is due to the cast of characters who are in favor of it - first among them Wes Cantrell. He’s on the board of a private school that seems to be a segregation academy: last year’s graduating class was all-white.
In addition, the math behind the voucher proposal seems a bit flaky. IIRC, the $6,000 per student is the average for all students, including high need students. The QBE formula provides $2,790 for a high school student without special needs. If that student transfers to a private school the $6,000 that follows them is all of their funding, plus a share of the funding for special needs students.
The saddest part of the interview was when the Representative said “ And so, if this child uses $6,000 here, and they went to Douglas Montessori if they opt into that system – which I don't know why a school wouldn’t – they can give that child the $2,000 to cover the rest of the expenses.”
The emerging data seems to show that private schools raise tuition when vouchers pass, so that the ‘good’ parents get a reduction in out-of-pocket costs while new students who depend on the vouchers are priced out by the new, higher tuition.
I may be wrong, but depending on people like Wes Cantrell to ‘do the right thing’ when they’re on the board of an all-white school may be a bit naive. I hope I’m wrong, but I grew up in segregated Georgia schools and this looks like an instant replay of the ‘60s.
If there were significant strings attached to the funding, such as caps on tuition increases if schools opt into the system, I might reconsider. Without that, the Representative’s argument falls far short of compelling.
Regarding the $16,000 per child in Atlanta Public Schools, last I looked, a significant portion of that goes to the public television channel operated by the schools system. It may have changed since then.
"Given the unfolding horror in Washington D.C., with our congress about to fly us straight into the debt ceiling"
You do realize this has happened a whole lot of times, and nothing catastrophic has happened or will ever happen ... right?
You're too astute an observer on the mechanics of actual politics to swallow lazy, Acela Corridor Blue Check Twitter journo establishment narratives hook line and sinker - so resist the urge to catastrophize everything they do. It's good for your brand.