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Georgia’s Education Freedom Allows Poor and Minority Students To Follow In Our Footsteps

By: Mesha Mainor and Alfredo Ortiz

Mesha Mainor, Georgia State Representative for the 56th district, and Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of Job Creators Network, wrote about the benefits of passing the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act. This legislation would grant poor and minority students more education freedom through education freedom accounts, providing them more opportunities.

Georgia’s most vulnerable students finally have a lifeline from failing public schools. Georgia Gov. Kemp is poised to sign the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act, which grants students from mostly poor and minority families — like the ones we grew up in — education freedom. We both benefited from school choice to learn the skills needed to escape generational poverty and live the American Dream. Everyone deserves this opportunity. This legislation allows other Georgians to follow in our footsteps. 
The law establishes education freedom accounts of $6,500 annually for families who choose better education alternatives. Eligibility is limited to families whose children attend the worst 25% of schools statewide, with priority for poor and moderate-income families. Parents can use the funds for any educational expense, including tuition, fees, books, tutoring, and transportation. The scholarships can be expanded to help even more Georgians in the years ahead. 
For too long, Georgia students have been forced to attend schools based solely on their families’ zip codes. According to the latest federal data, only 21% of black and 23% of Hispanic fourth graders in Georgia can read proficiently. In some schools, such as the ones in Mesha’s district, these proficiency figures drop to the low single digits. 
It’s sad education freedom has become so politicized. Georgia’s legislation marks the end of sacrificing students to appease political interests. It empowers Georgia families to join us and an increasing number of minorities who owe their personal, political, and financial success to education freedom. 

Mesha Mainor is a member of the Georgia House of Representatives for the 56th district. Alfredo Ortiz is CEO of Job Creators Network and a resident of Atlanta.


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