Governor Nathan Deal never gives up in his effort to defund the state’s public schools. Last November, the voters soundly rejected his proposal to create a district where he could gather low-scoring schools, eliminate local control, and give them to charter operators.

Now he is back with tax credits to funnel money into vouchers.

Here is an analysis by the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, which projects that this plan will cost $100 million annually by 2023:

https://gbpi.org/2017/ballooning-tax-credit-private-school-scholarships/

“State lawmakers are considering a bill that proposes to swell the annual price of Georgia’s tax credit for private school scholarships. House Bill 217 raises the cap to $100 million from the current $58 million on a program that diverts tax revenue from the state to organizations that provide private school scholarships. The tax credit would leave the state short $42 million that could be used for more proven investments, including high quality childcare, services for schools serving impoverished children or need-based financial aid for low-income students. In addition there is little information about who participates in the program and none about its impact on student learning. In 2015 Gov. Nathan Deal’s Education Reform Commission outlined recommendations to increase the program’s transparency and report more information about participants. The recommendations are not yet adopted.

“Overview of Proposal

“Under current law, taxpayers can receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit in exchange for contributions to a student scholarship organization. Individuals can donate up to $1,000, couples up to $2,500 and corporations up to $10,000 each year. The annual cap on contributions is $58 million.

“Students can receive a scholarship if they are Georgia residents eligible to enroll in pre-kindergarten, kindergarten or first grade or attend a public school for six weeks. The attendance requirement is waived if the student is otherwise required to attend a public school identified as low performing, suffered from a documented case of bullying or is homeschooled for at least one year.

“The proposal outlined in HB 217 increases the cap by 10 percent annually if contributors claimed the total amount of available tax the prior year until the $100 million cap is reached.”