Georgia Educational Scholarship Act, HB 60

Representative Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock, a former public school teacher, has recently introduced legislation, the Georgia Educational Scholarship Act, that would create educational scholarship accounts for students in Georgia.

According to the bill, state funding for each student would be allowed to be redirected to an approved private school. According to lines 69 – 92 of the bill, this would be available for the following families/students (1):

  1. Currently reside within Georgia; 
  2. Family income below 200% of the federal poverty level and is currently enrolled in a public school in Georgia; 
  3. Adopted from foster care; 
  4. Parent who is an active duty military service member stationed in Georgia within the previous year; 
  5. One or more of the following disabilities and has an Individualized Education Program (IEP) written in accordance with federal and state laws and regulations and is currently enrolled in a Georgia public school:
    1. Autism
    2. Deaf/blind
    3. Deaf/hard of hearing
    4. Emotional and behavioral disorder
    5. Intellectual disability
    6. Orthopedic impairment
    7. Other health impairment
    8. Specific learning disability
    9. Speech-language impairment
    10. Traumatic brain injury
    11. Visual impairment; 
  1. A documented case of having been bullied and is currently enrolled in a public school in Georgia; OR
  2. The student spent the previous school year enrolled in a public school which is part of a local school system not currently offering an option for students to receive 100 percent of instruction in person

Cantrell, the bill’s author, stated: 

“I know that even the best public or private schools in our state cannot meet the needs of every student. Just as every child is unique, so are their educational needs.

The Georgia Educational Scholarship Act will address those needs by bringing a more personalized and flexible education plan to parents and students throughout the state of Georgia.” [2]

Wes Cantrell, R-Woodstock

We support this legislation because it adds a potential funding source for our students’ families, in addition to the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship and the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship.

Our recent series, “COVID Puts the Microscope on Education Concerns,” highlights why we, and other professionals, understand the importance of face to face instruction for students struggling with learning challenges such as dyslexia. The hardships of virtual learning are amplified for those who struggle with reading, and item 7 helps get many of those students in a classroom if their district is not offering that as an option.

We will keep you updated as we learn more and PLEASE REACH OUT to your Representative to ask questions, share your story, and feel free to share this information.

1. Bill Text: GA HB 60, 2021-2020, Regular Session, Introduced. LegiScan. January 13, 2021.

2. Daniel, Nyamekye. “New Legislation Would Expand School-Choice Opportunities for Georgia Parents.” The Center Square. January 15, 2021.