New Report on School Funding Tees Up 2014 Gubernatorial Campaigns
by Tyler Barr on 11/21/2013

A new report that calls for overhauling Georgia’s method of paying for K-12 education has landed near the starting gate of a potentially contentious gubernatorial campaign.

State Sen. Jason Carter (D-Decatur) has put education reform at the front and center of his new platform. Gov. Nathan Deal responded immediately that he has increased the state’s contribution to school funding despite the recession.

The timing couldn’t be better for a report from the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute that calls for the creation of a funding program to replace the state’s existing school funding formula, known as QBE (Quality Basic Education).

The call for action in GBPI’s report states:

  • “Now more than 25 years old, the QBE formula does not align with research-based or field-tested best practices in instruction or the organization and financing of schools and districts. Georgia needs a new education funding system for the 21st century.”

QBE was enacted in 1985, a time when Pete Rose was a national baseball icon who had not yet been busted as a baseball gambler, and Joe Frank Harris was Georgia’s governor. QBE was intended to equalize school funding so that children had a shot at the same quality of education regardless of whether they lived in a rich or poorer school district.

Georgia’s schools were ranked 20th in the nation in an April report by usnews.com. The same report listed the top 10 high schools in Georgia as being in cities – metro Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus and Savannah. One Georgia school was ranked No. 3 in the nation – Gwinnett County’s School of Mathematics, Science and Technology, in Lawrenceville.

State lawmakers have tinkered with the QBE program over the years. Most notably, then-Gov. Sonny Perdue sought to remake the allotment formula as part of an effort to put a Republican stamp on education. The legislature didn’t enact wide-ranging revisions.

See more of article by David Pendered, SaportaReport at: 

http://saportareport.com/blog/2013/11/new-report-on-school-funding-tees-up-gubernatorial-campaigns-of-carter-deal/#sthash.SmZk7tZJ.dpuf

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