School voucher bill clears Georgia Senate panel

Killian Hill Christian School in Gwinnett County, Georgia, is one of 831 private schools serving more than 153,000 students in the state. A strong community of parents, faculty and staff are dedicated to preparing students to be Christian leaders of the future.

Editor’s note: This article appeared Tuesday on

A new school voucher bill sponsored by Georgia Senate Pro Tempore Butch Miller moved forward in a Senate committee Tuesday.

Senate Bill 601, or the “Georgia Educational Freedom Act,” would provide a $6,000 scholarship to nearly all of Georgia’s approximately 1.7 million public k-12 students to switch to a private school.

Children should not be limited to the school they happen to live near, said Miller, a Gainesville, Georgia, Republican who is running for lieutenant governor. He argued giving parents the means to send them elsewhere will help them succeed.

“I couldn’t be more thankful for the teachers and employees of our school systems, not just in my community, but around the state,” he said. “However, every child is different, every system is different, and not everyone in our state is blessed with the opportunities my children have had, and I think that we’ve seen through the pandemic that there are more options, parental options for our schools.”

School vouchers have been a perennial issue at the Capitol, with opponents decrying them as a means of funneling public dollars to less accountable private institutions.

Miller argued against that idea with a common talking point in the “school choice” movement. While the proposed law would take away the state portion of the money allocated to educating a transferring student, the school would still receive the local portion of the funding, resulting in a net gain, he said.

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BY Special to NextSteps