Vouchers for Failing Schools

Apparently someone has been spreading a rumor around the counties surrounding Clayton that if SB458 were to become law, that those surrounding public schools would be flooded with refugees from the Clayton system. This concern has lead Senate Leadership to engage in an effort to spread the word to the Fayette, Henry and other areas that this will not happen. I’m told the following is being run in those areas:


  1. Tom Smith says:

    Maybe some HS students for the HOPE or sports but I have found that most parents when given a better choice usually don’t take it and will go the easy route (where the bus goes and with the least amount of paper work).

  2. StevePerkins says:

    Is there really any point to this legislation other than a PR stunt, then? You’re telling kids that they’ll get vouchers to attend other schools… but no surrounding school is going to voluntarily accept these students. For one thing, I don’t know of any metro-area school system that ISN’T “overburdened”. Secondly, who’s going to take many students from a failed system, when they’ll likely be underperformers and drag down the numbers for their new school?

    This is basically no different than Barack Obama campaigning against NAFTA, while simultaneously assuring Canada and Mexico that he’s just kidding.

  3. John Konop says:

    Why would a school private or public take $4500 scholarship from a poor family out of distinct when the cost is over $10,000?

    What happens to the majority of kids in Clayton County who parents cannot afford the extra $6,000 or more for their kids to go to school?

    I think vouchers is a good idea but it most cover the cost of school to be affective.

  4. jm says:

    It will happen. I bet its already happening with Clayton kids. I’ve seen it over the last several years, kids getting off MARTA buses to go to a successful school rather than attend their home school in Atlanta. It doesn’t require vouchers…just a relative near a better school.

  5. jm says:

    Konop, you and I are on opposite ends of this issue, but you’ve hit the nail on head. At $4500 it becomes a coupon for rich people to send their kids to private school, especially if issued across the board. Marist, St. Pius, Woodward, or even a public school…see how far $4500 will get you.

    I think the money can be better spent to raise teachers salaries, and encourage more people to enter the profession, and reduce class sizes to levels that are more effective. Research shows that effective use of more money in a school system will yield improved results. However, emphasize “effective”, schools and faculty must be trained and buy into reforms or it just won’t work.

  6. John Konop says:


    The current system is controlled by Federal and State wide party officials with hidden agendas. Why not give choice back to the local school district? Without Charter schools, vouchers private and home schools children are trapped.

    Why do you trust Kennedy, Kathy Cox, George Bush…. when all they have delivered is No Child Left Behind system that has enriched the lobbyist money changers in Washington while leaving children behind?

  7. Tom Smith says:

    I am fine with the local property tax going with the child as a voucher but the state dollars should pay for state mandates. Real reform would abolish Ga Code 20 and effectively make all systems “charter”. Let schools compete for the title of “best school”, etc drawing good people to their community. Typically, private schools pay teachers less and have larger class sizes. It is the involvement of the parent and the engagement of the student that makes one school (private or public) better than the others.

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