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ERIC Number: ED535565
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 82
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
A Failed Experiment: Georgia's Tax Credit Scholarships for Private Schools
Southern Education Foundation
Georgia is one of seven states that currently allow tax credits for scholarships to private schools. Georgia's law was enacted in May 2008 in order to assist low income students to transfer out of low performing public schools. Operations under the new act began in late 2008. The law permits taxpayers in Georgia to reduce their annual state taxes up to $2,500 on joint returns when they contribute to a student scholarship organization (SSO), who provides scholarships to private school students. A corporation may eliminate its Georgia taxes by as much as 75 percent of total liability when it uses tax credits to contribute to an SSO. This report evidences the independent findings of a two-year study of Georgia's experiment with tax-funded tuition grants for private schools. As this paper documents, the law in its present form contains a number of troubling features. It lacks transparency regarding contributors, beneficiaries, and the criteria by which scholarships are awarded or even the size and number of scholarships awarded. Nor do the schools involved appear to be subject to any accountability regarding the academic standards in force or academic outcomes of their students. There are no income limits for eligibility and, in the absence of a mandate to report demographic information on participating students, it is difficult to see how the program is meeting its stated policy objective of increasing the affordability of private schools for low income families. Appended are: (1) Financial Summary of Georgia SSOs: 2008-2009; (2) SSO-Affiliated Schools--Issues with Eligible School Requirements; (3) Issues on the Purpose of "Enroll" in HB 1133; (4) SSOs & SSO-Affiliated Schools with Issues Concerning Eligible Students; (5) SSO Scholarship Costs per Student: 2008-2009; (6) Methods, Assumptions, and Calculations of this Study; (7) Georgia GOAL: A Case Study in the Hazards of Voluntary Disclosure; and (8) Brief History of Georgia's Private Schools in Opposing Desegregation. A bibliography is included. (Contains 68 footnotes.) [For "A Failed Experiment: Georgia's Tax Credit Scholarships for Private Schools. Special Summary," see ED535566.]
Southern Education Foundation. 135 Auburn Avenue NE 2nd Floor, Atlanta, GA 30303. Tel: 404-523-0001; Fax: 404-523-6904; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Southern Education Foundation
Identifiers - Location: Georgia