ATLANTA (February 25, 2009)—Sen. Eric Johnson’s (R-Savannah) voucher bill that provides parents with public and private school choice passed through the Education and Youth Committee meeting this afternoon. The legislation will improve education in Georgia and will prepare our workforce for the global economy.
“This bill gives parents the freedom to choose the best school for their child and not have the government do it for them,” Johnson explained. “Academic studies of vouchers indicate that student test scores improve, taxpayers save money, and parents are more satisfied.”
Georgia taxpayers already provide school choice to special needs students, prekindergarten students and college students through the HOPE scholarship. Johnson’s bill would now provide that same choice to all of Georgia’s students. Three basic conditions will apply. First, the receiving school must agree to accept students under this universal voucher program. The parents must make all transportation arrangements, and the parents and students must sign a contract with the receiving school agreeing that if the child does not follow school rules, he or she may be returned back to their assigned public school.
Supporters of the bill explained to the committee the positive statistics every study on universal vouchers has produced, especially to the fate of public schools which is one of the most important issues to opposition. Sixteen out of seventeen studies found universal vouchers to improve public schools, while the one outlier only found no impact.
Many parents came from all over Georgia to offer their support and heartfelt thanks for the bill they say will change their children’s lives for the better. After discussion amongst the committee, the bill passed with a majority of 6-4 votes.
Sen. Eric Johnson of the 1st Senate district serves as the chairman of the Ethics Committee. He represents Bryan County and portions of Chatham and Liberty counties. He may be reached at 404.656.5109 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For Immediate Release:
February 25, 2009
For Information Contact:
Raegan Weber, Director
Hayley Howell, Senate Press Office Aide