Georgia Republicans Testing Support For School Vouchers With Ballot Question

Georgia republicans will once again test support for school vouchers on republican primary and general election ballots.

Among the questions republican voters are asked to answer: Should Georgia lawmakers expand educational options by allowing a student’s state education dollars to follow to the school that best fits their needs whether that is a public, private, magnet, charter virtual or home school?

The school vouchers currently being used in other states are government-funded scholarships that allow public school students to attend private schools. Vouchers redirect state per-pupil education funding, giving it directly to individual families instead of school districts. Families can then apply those funds to tuition costs at the private school of their choice.

Carroll County Republican Party Chairman Rick Tillman says the voting tally from the ballot question will be shared with republican state legislators to consider whether or not associated legislation should be presented.

Tillman believes the local party does support the use of school vouchers.

“My family supports public education— but its not for everybody,” Tillman said. “With state money, nobody should have a monopoly with the money. As long as a student gets a good, legitimate education… it should be left up to the parents.”

Critics of school vouchers argue that vouchers will lead to segregation, would likely hurt student growth and lower overall outcomes. Moreover, as low-performing and low-income students are often over-represented in voucher programs, critics worry that students with the greatest need will likely experience preventable declines in student achievement.

The republican party will test voters’ perspective with two other questions on ballots.

2) Should voting in the republican primary be limited only to those registered as republicans?

And, (3) Should candidates in board of education races be required to list their political party?