PRESS RELEASE: GCO signs on to federal policy recommendations to provide educational opportunity for all schoolchildren

PEACHTREE CORNERS—The Georgia Center for Opportunity (GCO) announced today that it has signed on to policy recommendations to Congress that would expand educational access for more schoolchildren. The recommendations were jointly issued by GCO in partnership with other nonprofit think tanks across the U.S.

“The education landscape in Georgia will look vastly different this summer and fall, and we need to include all schools—and as a result all students—in our planning to ensure full educational equity,” said Buzz Brockway, GCO’s vice president of public policy. “While the lion’s share of support will go to Georgia’s 1.7 million students enrolled in traditional public schools, we can’t afford to neglect the over 315,000 students attending public charter, private, and home schools. These recommendations would have the greatest impact on low-income, working-class, and impoverished families, the very ones who need help the most.”

The recommendations include:

Enabling educational access and providing direct support to families:
Expand the use of 529 education accounts, support education through Emergency Education Savings Accounts or microgrants, and create a “student checkup” account that provides funds to parents for use over the summer for tutoring, testing, or other expenses to foster academic progress.

Supporting private schools:
Provide a federal tax credit for donations directly to private schools, provide a temporary refundable tax credit to help low-income families continue paying private school tuition, and create equitable funding sharing requirements between traditional public schools and non-traditional options (such as public charter and non-public schools).

Improving Internet access for vulnerable families:
Address online equity issues for low-income and rural communities by expanding E-rate and providing incentives to spur the broadband infrastructure.

Supporting teachers and the transition to distance learning:
Provide a microgrant for teachers to learn and develop distance learning.

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