February 9, 2015
Excel National Applauds Georgia Senate for Bill to Customize Education
Georgia Senator’s bill would provide increased education options
ATLANTA, Ga. – Excellence in Education National (@Excel_National) today praised Senator Hunter Hill for filing Education Savings Account (ESA) legislation that would allow parents to direct their child’s funding to the schools, courses, programs and services of their choice. This bill is the Senate companion to Representative Mark Hamilton’s bill filed last week.
“I commend Senator Hill and Representative Hamilton for their leadership in seeking to empower Georgia’s parents with the ability to customize their child’s education,” said Patricia Levesque, Executive Director of Excel National. “Through ESAs, education spending is focused around the learning needs of each student, not of any system of schools, whether public or private. I encourage Georgia lawmakers to pass this legislation swiftly, bringing them one step closer to providing Peach State parents and students the high-quality education options they deserve.”
“Most of us are familiar with the idea of Flexible Spending Accounts, which allow consumers to choose from a range of providers to meet their health care needs,” said Senator Hill. “ESAs bring the same concept to education, providing quality options for students that many of them have never had, and giving parents a real say in their children’s academic future.”
Close to 30 percent of Georgia’s high school students aren’t graduating on time, and only a quarter of those who do graduate are ready for college across English, math and science. In addition, with 320,000 new students entering Georgia public schools by 2030, providing innovative, effective and efficient K-12 education will be increasingly critical and difficult, according to new research by the Foundation for Excellence in Education, Turn and Face the Strain: Age Demographic Change and the Near Future of American Education.
ESAs offer one policy solution to this challenge. Excel National, the American Federation for Children and the Georgia Center for Opportunity are working with Georgia leaders, advocates and parents to expand school choice options as a cost-effective and efficient way to improve academic outcomes for Peach State students.
Background on Education Savings Accounts:
- Education Savings Accounts (also commonly referred to as Education Scholarship Accounts or ESAs) are an innovative way to bring customization to K-12 education.
- ESAs allow parents to direct their child’s funding to the schools, courses, programs and services of their choice – including tuition and fees, curriculum materials, tutoring, online learning, dual enrollment, and licensed services such as therapy for students with disabilities.
- Parents are able to save unused funds for higher education expenses – creating an incentive for parents to judge all K-12 service expenses not only on quality but also on cost.
- ESAs create a personal approach to education, where the ultimate goal is maximizing each child’s natural learning abilities.