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Voucher bill passes in Georgia House, heads to senate

Rep. Becky Evans, D-Atlanta, speaks in opposition of Senate Bill 233 at the Georgia State Capitol on Thursday, March 14, 2024. The bill would give $6,000 a year in state funds to the parents of each child who opts for private schooling. (Natrice Miller/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

A bill that would cut funding for public K-12 schools across Georgia and allow families to divert public funds towards private school tuition this week passed in the Georgia House of Representatives in a 91-82 vote. 

Senate Bill 233 was amended in the House Education committee on Wednesday to include a provision that would create a new Georgia Education Savings Authority. The authority would be responsible for distributing school vouchers of up to $6,500 per student that could be used to cover the cost of tuition, tutoring, supplies for home schooling and other education-related expenses.  

“This body has a strong record of supporting public education. I’m very proud of that,” said state Rep. Jan Jones (R-Milton), who presented the bill on the House floor. But, she added, “One size does not always fit all, and this is designed in a very narrow, measured, accountable and careful way. It will give some students … some further options that might best fit their family.

Georgia state Representative Jan Jones

“The most well-funded [public] school in the state absolutely may not meet the needs of every child in that school,” Jones said. “Money, although we’ve done a great job of supplying it, it’s wrong to suggest that money is the only answer.” 

Other Republican legislators voiced their approval for the bill, which they say is a win for parents seeking greater choice in their children’s education. 

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