Dyslexia Day at the Capitol 2020

Yesterday, Ms. Kim & Ms. Tammy went to the capitol for Dyslexia Day 2020 and this year they took two students, Will & Krissy. Both students were able to see how the legislative process works, as well as interact with advocates and lobbyists for dyslexia and other special needs students.

In addition to speaking with the leaders at other dyslexia schools, we spoke with other advocates for dyslexia including groups such as Decoding Dyslexia-Georgia and International Dyslexia Association-Georgia Chapter, and Meredith Pope, Mrs. Georgia US Continental, who volunteered her time to read to our students on Dr. Seuss Day last year.

We were also able to speak to Representative Ed Setzler (House District 35) and Senator Lindsey Tippens (Senate District 37), both of whom represent the school’s district and are very supportive of our mission. Senator Tippens is Will’s grandfather! 🙂

There are currently 2 new bills being introduced this legislative term, as well as the possibility of reconsideration of one that did not pass last term. They are briefly summarized here and you can link to our more detailed posts about each of them.

Senate Bill 386 will make it easier to get the Georgia Special needs Scholarship, as well as open up possibility of appeals and more access for those already receiving it or who have been denied a medical waiver.

House Bill 939 will amend HB 217, which raised the cap on the Georgia Tax Credit Scholarship from $58 million, to $100 million. HB 217 has the cap reverting back to $58 million and HB 939 would eliminate that.

Senate Bill 173 is up for reconsideration during this legislative session and would allow parents to use funds earmarked for public education to pay for qualified education expenses, including private school tuition.

Please CONTACT YOUR SENATOR and REPRESENTATIVE and ask them to support these bills so that our families have the financial assistance they need so their children can go to school where they can thrive AND LEARN! Tell them your story if it applies! 

You can read Mellie’s Story in our 2018-2019 Annual Report, and Blake’s Story in our 2017-2018 Annual Report, both are compelling, and the statistics for students who do not get appropriate reading instruction are grim, and outlined in the Progress Reports in both stories. You can also see the statistics regarding the success of our programs HERE.

Left to Right: Senator Lindsey Tippens, Will Resh (student), Kim Wigington (Principal), Krissy Nagel (student), Tammy Urban (Director of Development), and Lieutenant Governor Geoff Duncan
Left to Right: Krissy Nagel (student), Mrs. Georgia US Continental – Meredith Pope (Dyslexia Advocate), Kim Wigington (Principal), Will Resh (Student), Representative Ed Setzler.


House Bill 939

Georgia House Bill 939 will keep the cap on Georgia’s Tax Credit Scholarship program at $100 million. House Bill 217 (March 2018) made a cap increase from $58 million to $100 million. However, the bill has the cap returning to $58 million by 2029.

We realize this is not an immediate concern, but we also realize how much this scholarship benefits many of our families, and want to keep it as an option for our younger students who may still be enrolled at that time, as well as future students.

The $58 million cap was first exceeded in 2016 (2015 pledge year), which had the approved pledged amounts diminished to keep the totals under the cap. At that time, the approval rate was 91% of what was pledged. During the 2017 and 2018 cycle, the approval rates were 42% and 55%, respectively.

Last year, 2019, we saw not only a marked increase in pledges (42%) over the previous year, with the cap increase, it generated 146% more scholarship money for our students, many of whom would not be able to attend without this assistance.

The chart below shows how amazing our families are, the increase in pledging support as well as fulfilling their commitment. In each instance where the yellow bar (fulfillment) does not meet the red bar (approved amount), there was an unexpected financial situation that reduced the amount they were able to contribute, which is entirely understandable.

As we are embarking on 15 years of helping students reach their full reading potential (you can see our RESULTS), our ultimate goal is to have no child unable to attend because of his/her family’s financial situation. This scholarship, as well as our fundraising events, are essential for that endeavor. The graph below clearly shows the negative impact the $58 million cap had, where red & yellow were considerably below the blue (pledged amount) for 2017 & 2018.

PLEASE REACH OUT to your Representative and share this information.

Also, the 2020 cap has not been met! You can still help!

Click HERE for MORE INFORMATION and HERE to PLEDGE

#UntilEveryoneCanRead #1in5