• Friday Facts

Friday Facts: November 4, 2016

It’s Friday! 

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November 11: The deadline is Tuesday to register to attend the Foundation’s 25th Anniversary Celebration Dinner and Freedom Award!  Have you reserved your seat yet? The Freedom Award will be presented to Dr. Michael H. Mescon, “The Pied Piper of Private Enterprise” (Wall Street Journal). Cobb Galleria Performing Arts Centre Ballroom. $150 per person; sponsorships available. Click here or call 404-256-4050 for information; reserve your seat here. (Checks accepted, too!)

GOTV! Election Day is Tuesday, November 8. Georgia has about 6.6 million registered voters and advance, in-person voting, which began October 17 and ends today, has been brisk. Some voters regret casting an early ballot, and a few states even allow voters to change their vote, (Not Georgia!) If you need voting information for Georgia, visit mvp.sos.ga.gov/MVP/mvp.do.

Quotes of Note 

“The beta phase is over. The charter innovation has been a triumph. Instead of tinkering with a charter-school quota, we should be debating how to extend the charter model to every school that might gain from it. New Orleans did something like that after Hurricane Katrina. It essentially turned all its public schools into charter schools, and measurably improved student performance in what had been one of the most substandard districts in the state. Now that’s a disruption worth debating.” – Jeff Jacoby 

“[T]he expansion of Medicaid and CHIP illustrates a fundamental change in the relationship between Americans and the federal government. These programs did not exist 55 years ago, when John F. Kennedy was president. Now, like other so-called ‘means-tested entitlements’ they divide Americans into two groups: Those who take them, and those who pay for them.” – Terrence Jeffrey

“No compact among men … can be pronounced everlasting and inviolable, and … no wall of words, no mound of parchment can be so formed as to stand against the sweeping torrent of boundless ambition on the one side, aided by the sapping current of corrupted morals on the other.” – George Washington

Then and now: In 1991, when the Foundation was established, George H. W. Bush was President and Democrats outnumbered Republicans 56-45 in the Senate and 270-164 in the House. Today, under Democrat President Barack Obama, Senate Republicans outnumber Democrats 54-44 (with two Democrat-leaning independents in the Senate) and 246-186 in the House. 

Opportunity 

Georgia’s No. 1 again: Site Selection industry trade magazine has ranked Georgia as the No. 1 state in the nation to do business for the fourth consecutive year. 

Stretching your salary: Should you move to a city with the best job opportunity or better standard of living? Some metro areas still offer the best of both worlds, according to NewGeography, and metro Atlanta ranks No. 7 on the list of Top 10 “opportunity cities.”  No. 1 is San Jose, Calif.; last is Honolulu.

Education 

Soft bigotry? Teachers consistently underestimate the math ability of girls, according to a report in Education Week. A recent nationwide survey of more than 1,600 seventh-12th grade students and about the same number of parents found that teachers are more likely to tell boys that they would be good at computer science, with 39 percent of boys hearing that versus 26 percent of girls.

Ahead of the game: About 17,000 high school students are taking 167,000 credit hours while still in high school in Georgia’s technical colleges, colleges and universities, funded by taxpayers, according to Governor Nathan Deal. “It cuts down on student debt and accelerates completion of their education requirements. That will prove to be one of the most successful things we’ve done in terms of education reform.” Source: Site Selection

Pays the piper, calls the tune: The Obama administration issued a finalized regulation that will allow the Department of Education (DOE) to cancel the debt of students who claim their colleges have made a “substantial misrepresentation.” The DOE can then recover any forgiven balance from the colleges themselves. The agency distributes Pell Grants and originates 90 percent of student loans made. Source: National Review

Criminal justice reform 

Trickle-up effect: The Heritage Foundation proposes seven state criminal justice reforms for Congress, noting, “A number of states – those laboratories of democracy – are leading the current push for genuine reform that does not involve issuing get-out-of-jail-free cards to those deserving of punishment.” Georgia is considered a leader in criminal justice reform; it all began with us!

Health care 

Deficit increase: Under the Affordable Care Act, the insurance premiums of 25 million Americans are partially or completely taxpayer-subsidized, John Mauldin writes in Forbes. “And rising premiums for those people will indeed mean an increase in the deficit. Within a few years that could add $200 billion to the deficit unless we figure out how to control health care costs.”

Events 

November 8: Kelly McCutchen participates in a panel discussing health care at the Georgia Supportive Housing Association 6th annual conference. 1:30 p.m. at the State Bar of Georgia in Atlanta. More information here. Register free for this important panel discussion by using code HEALTH. 

Mark your calendar!

Thursday, December 8: Erin Hames, former education policy adviser to Gov. Nathan Deal, and former Georgia State Rep. Mike Dudgeon, a member of the Georgia Education Reform Commission, analyze education reform proposals at a Georgia Public Policy Foundation Leadership Breakfast. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $35. Details soon!

Thursday, January 26, 2017: Typically the Foundation’s first event of the year, National School Choice Week Leadership Breakfast is keynoted by education expert Dr. Ben Scafidi. Cobb County’s Georgian Club, 8 a.m. $35. Details soon! 

Friday Flashback 

This month in the archives: In November 20 years ago, the Foundation published, “Why Georgia Needs a New Approach to Testing.” It noted, “Every year that Georgia delays in changing the state testing program costs additional money, perpetuates a system that provides inadequate (in many instances, useless) scores, and requires hundreds of thousands of students to spend over a million hours taking tests that do not yield an individual student score.” Happily, Georgia implemented the CRCTs in 2000; that was replaced in 2014 by the Georgia Milestones Assessment System. 

Media 

Foundation in the news: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published an op-ed by Benita Dodd on the Atlanta transportation sales tax proposal; the op-ed was quoted by Atlanta Curbed. The Atlanta Business Journal quoted Benita in an article on the MARTA transit sales tax proposal.

Social media: The Foundation has 3,052 Facebook “likes!” Our Twitter account has 1,674 followers at twitter.com/gppf. Follow us on Instagram, too!

Visit georgiapolicy.org to read the Foundation’s latest commentary, “Health Care: Another Foundation Frontier,” by Benita Dodd.

Have a great weekend; we hope to see you November 11!

Kelly McCutchen and Benita Dodd

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