GOAL Advocacy

January 11, 2024

Dear GOAL Supporters,

All $120 million of the 2024 Education Expense Credits available were consumed on the first business day of the year. Close to $190 million in applications were submitted statewide on January 2, 2024, which means that each request was approved for approximately 63% of the desired amount. Statewide applications increased by $36 million over the prior year, reflecting a continued increase in support for the program.

Georgia GOAL, the state’s leading student scholarship organization, submitted applications totaling $95.4 million. While GOAL celebrates the full utilization of the tax credit, the demand for these credits is not being met by their supply, and the resulting proration of each application will unfortunately deny many families the opportunity to choose the school that best meets their children's needs.

According to a June 2023 report of the Georgia Department of Audits and Accounts (DOAA), the Georgia Education Expense Credit program provides annual net cost savings to state and local taxpayers of up to an estimated $61.4 million. In addition, the DOAA Report acknowledges that numerous empirical studies have found that school choice programs have correlated with positive impacts on student test scores and college attainment.

As a reminder, during last year’s session of the Georgia General Assembly, the effort to expand the education tax credit did not reach a conclusion. Initially, the bill was targeted with a 2028 “sunset” (elimination) in the House, which was effectively reversed thanks to the immediate and effective engagement of thousands of GOAL supporters! The version that survived, however, only contained a cap increase to $130 million rather than the desired $200 million. Once in the Senate, the “sunset” battles continued in the Senate Finance Committee, and the risk was considered greater than the potential reward for a mere $10 million cap increase, so we requested that the bill be ‘tabled.’ 

We are keeping close tabs on the legislative priorities and activities for 2024. While lawmakers debate what’s best for Georgians, you may wish to let them know how you feel about this program. Perhaps they will internalize the tremendous value for families, communities, and the state as a result of this program.  

For a current one-pager you may wish to share with your state representatives, click here: https://www.goalscholarship.org/docLib/20240111_GOALLegislativeOnePager11.20.23Final.pdf

To find your legislator, click here: https://www.goalscholarship.org/advocacy/page/contact-your-legislator#/33/

Thank you for your engagement and support in this effort. 

Lisa M. Kelly
Executive Director
Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc.