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I read with interest the article in Saturday's paper regarding the new Georgia GOAL scholarship program passed by our legislature in the 2007-08 legislative session. The law allows for a tax credit, not a tax deduction, for making donations to private schools.
Although I read with skepticism a few months ago an article by Dick Yarbrough that such a law was actually passed, I was taken aback to see it reappear in the Gainesville newspaper. I guess I was in denial that such a law would, no could, take place given the current state of our economic affairs and the continued decrease in funding of our public school systems.
This scholarship is a backdoor way of shifting funding from public schools to the private school sector, something that our representatives should not be doing. Our Gold Dome contingency should vow to protect those institutions that the 10th Amendment directs them to control. Allowing up to $50,000,000 a year to be redirected from the state coffers in lost tax revenue to private school tuition scholarships (which may be transferred to another scholarship organization) is tantamount to highway robbery.
How long must we travel this road before we bankrupt our public schools? Some school systems are now dangerously close to this fate.
I am really upset with myself for not being more aware that this type of legislation was even being considered. Previously, I considered myself as an informed voter and thought I was keeping up with the activities that occur during a legislative session, but this type of irrational repositioning of tax dollars leads me to believe that I need to do more to keep up with proposed legislation and be more diligent with respect to communicating my concerns regarding the decisions being made by our elected lawmakers.