Why Parents Avoid Public Schools

Families that benefited from public tax dollars for their private school tuition explained in a recent survey why they opted against public school, and academics was not the top reason.

Instead, more than half of respondents to a survey pointed to better student discipline as their number one reason for choosing an alternative to public schools, according to the results published by the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program, an organization that collects donations and distributes them to schools.

Taxpayers can donate money and recoup their largess via state tax credits, up to an aggregate cap of $58 million this year. Applications surpassed that cap on the first day of eligibility, an indication of demand. Georgia GOAL and other advocates are pushing for an increase of the cap.

The group made its case to members of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission last week. This week, Georgia GOAL provided The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a copy of its report, which summarized the results of a survey of scholarship recipients. Since implementation of the 2008 Education Expense Credit law and through December, Georgia GOAL has distributed 16,689 scholarships to 8,363 students.

Parents of some of those students responded to the survey. Their answers to the question of why they chose private school had less to do with the quality of teachers or curriculum than basic issues, such as the learning environment and the amount of individual attention given.

Taxpayers can donate money and recoup their largess via state tax credits, up to an aggregate cap of $58 million this year. Applications surpassed that cap on the first day of eligibility, an indication of demand. Georgia GOAL and other advocates are pushing for an increase of the cap.

The group made its case to members of Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission last week. This week, Georgia GOAL provided The Atlanta Journal-Constitution a copy of its report, which summarized the results of a survey of scholarship recipients. Since implementation of the 2008 Education Expense Credit law and through December, Georgia GOAL has distributed 16,689 scholarships to 8,363 students.

Parents of some of those students responded to the survey. Their answers to the question of why they chose private school had less to do with the quality of teachers or curriculum than basic issues, such as the learning environment and the amount of individual attention given.

By Ty Tagami
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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