We are grateful to lawmakers for creating, protecting, and expanding Georgia's Education Expense Credit program, which has had a tremendous impact across our state and become a leading model in the nation. Every year, this program provides a pathway for deserving families to choose the best learning opportunities for their children.
Analysis of the Fiscal and Economic Impact of Georgia's K-12 Education Expense Credit Program by Kennesaw State University's Education Economic Center reveals the impressive fiscal and economic benefits of the Program in its report released November 30, 2020:
- The Program saved Georgia taxpayers $53.2 million in the 2018-2019 academic year alone.
- The Program will generate an estimated $66.4 million in economic benefits related to students who entered ninth grade on scholarships in that year and attained improved educational outcomes.
- 99% of GOAL scholars graduate high school within four years (compared to 82% of traditional public school students). Scholarship students who qualify for free or reduced lunch (FRL) also graduated at a significantly higher rate (98% vs. 77%, respectively).
- 87% of GOAL scholars attend college upon graduation (compared to 68% of Georgia public school students). Scholarship students who qualify for FRL enter college at a rate of 26% higher than similar public school students (84% vs. 58%).
An additional study, updated March 2021 by EdChoice Foundation, estimates that, from inception through 2018, the Georgia Education Expense tax credit program has generated close to $696 million in overall savings for state and local taxpayers in Georgia.
2021 Legislative Action and Perspective
- Nine other states enacted or expanded tax credit scholarship programs this year, but there is a shortage of school choice support among Georgia's elected officials
- We have a ticking clock on the $100 million cap on education expense tax credits, which is set to revert to $58 million in 2029
- A bill to amend our program is active for the 2022 session of the Georgia General Assembly, at which time we hope to see the following added provisions:
- Increase the overall cap
- Eliminate or extend the sunset on the $100 million cap increase
Given the scale and impact of the Education Expense Credit program, compared to any other tax incentive, and the imperative to provide quality education options and access for Georgia's families, we believe it is essential to continue to protect, preserve and expand it.