Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

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Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

Renee Shaw and guests discuss Kentucky’s juvenile justice system. Guests: State Sen. Whitney Westerfield (R-Fruit Hill); State Rep. Jason Nemes (R-Louisville); State Rep. Nima Kulkarni (D-Louisville); State Rep. Keturah Herron (D-Louisville); Terry Brooks, executive director of Kentucky Youth Advocates; and Josh Crawford, director of Criminal Justice Initiatives, Georgia Center for Opportunity.

Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

‘A Violent Start To The Year’: Murders Are Already Soaring In These Six Major Cities

In The News

‘A Violent Start To The Year’: Murders Are Already Soaring In These Six Major Cities

Spates of deadly violence impacted several U.S. cities to start 2023, outpacing the same period in 2022, and experts variously called for proper police funding, community trust-building efforts and investment in at-risk youth in response.

“We’re less than a month into 2023, so it’s tough to say what a violent start to the year in so many cities will mean,” Speaking to the crime increases in these cities, Georgia Center for Opportunity Criminal Justice Initiatives Director Josh Crawford told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “But we’re now into our 8th year of an upward trajectory in terms of homicide and violent crime.”

Year-over-year inflation rate now stands at 6.5%

Year-over-year inflation rate now stands at 6.5%

inflation

Year-over-year inflation rate now stands at 6.5%

Today the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped 0.1% in December, meaning the year-over-year inflation rate now stands at 6.5%. The Bureau also released the 2022 annual average price level, which was 8% higher than 2021.

The Georgia Center for Opportunity’s (GCO) take: “We keep seeing positive headlines about the inflation rate, but that good news is lost on average Georgians who are continually pinched on the cost for everyday necessities like groceries and gas,” said Erik Randolph, GCO’s director of research. “Although there was some positive news in the December numbers, it’s important to keep in mind that core inflation remained elevated, including for food. If policymakers in Washington truly want to help the most economically vulnerable in our country, they must return to fiscal sanity and rein in the spending. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell remains steadfastly committed to bringing down inflation, and hopefully the change of political leadership in the U.S. House will mean more responsible federal spending. The policy goal should be to repeat the general decline in prices as what happened in December so the price level slowly comes back down. This will extend the opportunity of a higher standard of living for everyone, the rich and poor alike.”

Erik Statement
Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

Opinion: Georgia students need more schooling choices

In The News

Opinion: Georgia students need more schooling choices

Georgia lawmakers have a unique opportunity this legislative session to change lives. All it takes is one step — passing Education Scholarship Accounts, or ESAs.

The undeniable truth is that parents want more educational options for their children and the kids certainly deserve it after historic learning losses caused by government-mandated school closures.

A recent poll from the Walton Family Foundation found that 72% of voters believe “improving K-12 education” should be a top priority for state lawmakers headed into 2023. Only the economy and inflation ranked higher at 76%. Furthermore, the poll reveals the number of parents who want bold actions jumped by 10% from 2021 to 2022. Nearly half are now demanding major changes because minor, incremental improvements are not helping their kids catch up.

Of the learning losses from pandemic-induced classroom closures, 75% of parents said their “students are mostly still behind,” while two-thirds said their students have lost learning due to the pandemic.

Let’s not merely dismiss parental concerns about education with more lip-service or another round of half-hearted efforts that merely pour more money into unworkable solutions. After all, if one-size-fits-all solutions or throwing more money at the status quo worked, major educational reforms wouldn’t be in such high demand across the nation.

Behind the statistics are real-life stories of students and parents devastated because they are not succeeding academically but can see other promising options that are just out of reach financially. This is a heartbreaking scenario too many families are facing.

The good news is there are real ways to address learning loss by tailoring education to fit individual needs. The simplest and best way to empower students is through funding scholarship accounts that provide the flexibility that parents and guardians need and offer real results.

Direct scholarships that fund students over an educational bureaucracy tips the balance of power in favor of those who best understand the needs of their child. It allows parents and guardians to access funds directly so they can purchase curriculum, pay for private school tuition, private tutoring, or even individual therapy for the child they love. It’s better than vouchers because it can do more than just pay a tuition bill. The added assistance will improve many public schools — since it boosts student performance no matter where families decide to access education.

Unfortunately, last year’s Promise Scholarships, which would have allocated $6,000 in funds for ESAs, did not pass the legislature. It was a major lost opportunity for students and their frustrated families throughout our state.

Given that state lawmakers reconvene this month, it’s time for them to make up for the lost opportunity by passing ESAs into law and expanding educational freedom for young Georgians and their families.

And we have reason to be hopeful that that’s just what they’ll do. The new lineup of leadership in the Georgia legislature increases the likelihood that ESAs will become law. In both chambers of the General Assembly, the leadership teams have nearly universal pro- educational opportunity voting records in recent history — something very new to the Georgia political landscape.

The simple truth is that it’s past time for our elected leaders to make good on their fundamental obligation to provide for the effective education of every child in Georgia. Parents and guardians are demanding it and their students are suffering without it. It’s time for true leaders to step forward and deliver.

We will stand and fight with these families until more options like Promise Scholarship are a reality.

Read the full article here

Originally published in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

Welcome lawmakers to Atlanta for the opening of the 2023 session

In The News

Welcome lawmakers to Atlanta for the opening of the 2023 session

The Georgia Center for Opportunity issued the following media statement welcoming lawmakers to Atlanta for the opening of the 2023 session of the Legislature on Jan. 9.”We’re excited to see what the new session holds for our state, and we stand ready to assist lawmakers in passing an agenda that serves all Georgians,” said Buzz Brockway, executive vice president of public policy for GCO. “GCO has served our state for nearly 25 years, and has dedicated itself to expanding opportunity by helping increase access to quality education, fulfilling work, and healthy family life. We know that by addressing these critical barriers we can help pull communities out of poverty and expand opportunity to every community in our state.”As an organization, GCO stands ready to provide resources and education to lawmakers on the impact policies have on underserved communities and the opportunities available (and not available) to all Georgians. Here are three key area:
Eliminating benefits cliffs
    • Some workers find themselves torn between taking steps toward a more secure future, but ultimately forced into making decisions that traps them into long-term dependence on government benefits. These are known as benefits cliffs. We’ll be working to educate lawmakers on this reality and propose reforms to ensure all workers have the opportunity to climb the economic ladder. Learn more

Expanding educational freedom

    • We are still uncovering the extent of learning loss experienced by kids during the pandemic. We know that expansion of educational opportunityis a key solution to this problem. Passing Education Scholarship Accounts, or ESAs, will be a big step forward in helping all Georgia students achieve their full potential.

Promoting an anti-poverty agenda

    • GCO is part of the Alliance for Opportunity, a three state network of policy organizations built around furthering an anti-poverty agenda. We will be working with lawmakers to promote solutions to poverty that lift Georgians up into the middle class.
Kentucky’s Juvenile Justice System

Georgia education officials cite education loss as a top priority for 2023

In The News

Georgia education officials cite education loss as a top priority for 2023

 

Georgia education officials say they plan to address lost learning opportunities stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

But a leading Georgia nonprofit says state lawmakers should pass legislation to give parents more educational choices, saying the pandemic proved the “one-size-fits-all” model no longer works.

 

“We are pleased that Georgia’s public education officials are acknowledging the very real pain of learning loss, plus the pleas of parents for as wide a spectrum of educational options as possible,” Buzz Brockway, executive vice president of public policy for GCO, said in a statement. “As we head into the legislative session in 2023, there are a wide variety of ways lawmakers can help families, including by finally passing Education Scholarship Accounts that empower families to choose the very best type of school for their students.

 

Read the full article here