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Thursday, February 18, 2010 - 11:47am

People Rally For More Options in K-12 Education

Over a hundred people rallied at the state capital today supporting bills they say would give parents more options for their kids’ K-12 education.

Most prominent among the bills backed by school choice advocates is SB 361 that expands the special needs scholarship program to include foster children and kids of parents in the military.

The program currently lets parents of kids with disabilities use public funds to send their children to private schools.

Advocates hope it will broaden to include all Georgians. Amy Campbell, a mother of two children who attend private schools in Kennesaw would welcome that.

"Because we save the public school system so much money by sending our children to private schools, I would like to see some of those tax dollars come back to private schools."

Opponents say public money should not be going to private schools. They say the public school system is already under-funded.

"What the state of Georgia needs to do is honor the commitment to the 1.75 million students that are in our public schools that are chronically underfunded," says Jeff Hubbard with the Georgia Association of Educators, "rather than take our much needed funds away to fund a separate school system."

School choice advocates also support a measure that would create a letter grade system to evaluate public schools which they say would provide more transparency for parents.