Georgia GOAL Promotes Transparency and Accountability


Georgia GOAL Urges Policymakers to Embrace Additional Transparency and Accountability Measures
State’s Largest K-12 Student Scholarship Filing Provides Transparency Roadmap

Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc. (“Georgia GOAL”), a nationally respected leader in promoting K-12 student scholarship program transparency and accountability, will be urging Georgia lawmakers to consider enhanced accountability and transparency measures for student scholarship organizations (“SSO”) in the state.

Specific recommendations will include requiring the Georgia Department of Revenue (“DOR”) to post each SSO’s annual audit report to the DOR website. “In fairness to the DOR, present law does not specifically authorize them to post the SSO audits,” explained GOAL President Lisa Kelly. “However, making lawmakers and the public aware of the financial results and the compliance, or lack thereof, of the participating SSOs will greatly enhance transparency and accountability.”

Last week, Georgia GOAL submitted to the Georgia Department of Revenue (the “DOR”) updated Supplemental Information that is a part of Georgia GOAL’s independently audited financial statements for the years ended December 31, 2019 and 2018.

By law, each year, each SSO operating under the Georgia Qualified Education Expense Credit Program is required to submit to the DOR an audit of its accounts conducted by an independent certified public accountant. The audit must verify (i) that the SSO has complied with requirements of Georgia law and regulations pertaining to the obligation of donations for scholarships; (ii) the designation of obligated revenues for specific recipients within the required time frame; (iii) the proper administration of multiyear scholarships; (iv) adherence to the maximum limit on the annual scholarship amount given to any student; (v) the consideration of the financial need of scholarship student families; (vi) the maintenance of separate accounts for scholarship funds and operating funds; and (vii) the existence of an independent board of directors of at least three persons.

Since it began operating in 2008, Georgia GOAL has been a leader in complying with the transparency and accountability provisions contained in applicable Georgia law and regulations, including recommending several amendments adopted by lawmakers to enhance those provisions. The updated Supplemental Information relating to Georgia GOAL’s 2019 and 2018 financial statements includes specific verification by its independent auditors confirming that, in awarding scholarships, Georgia GOAL designates obligated revenues for specific recipients within the required time frame; adheres to the maximum limit on the annual scholarship amount; and considers the financial need of applicant families based on all sources.

In addition to posting its annual audited financial statements on its website, Georgia GOAL posts an annual Transparency and Accountability Survey, an Annual Report, and copies of its federal IRS Form 990 returns for the past three years.

“Georgia GOAL is practically the gold standard nationwide for transparency,” said Jason Bedrick, Director of Policy for EdChoice, the nation’s oldest and leading educational choice non-profit organization. “That is why we have them lead seminars on accountability and transparency at our national scholarship organization summits to teach other scholarships organizations best practices in these areas.”

In advance of the next session of the Georgia General Assembly, Georgia GOAL will be providing key Georgia lawmakers with suggested transparency and accountability amendment language for their consideration.


Contact: Lisa Kelly at
Phone: 770-828-4625
Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, Inc. | 3740 Davinci Court, Suite 375 | Peachtree Corners, GA 30092