Georgia Legislative Candidate Questionnaire

GeorgiaCAN Action is a grassroots collective of community members, parents and policy experts focused on ensuring that we have strong leaders, strong policies and a strong understanding of impact in improving the educational landscape for kids in Georgia.


As part of our endorsement process for the 2022 legislative elections we are asking candidates to complete the following candidate questionnaire. We do not usually release results publicly but do reserve the right to do so. Since it is impossible for our supporters to meet every candidate personally, the questionnaire is critical for us in working with our supporters to choose the candidates we will endorse. Rest assured we will be a strong voice in support of those we endorse.


If you would like to expand on any answers or subjects, we strongly encourage you to use the “Comments” section at the end of the survey.


If you have any questions please contact Executive Director Michael O’Sullivan at 770-235-4749.










The goal of private school choice programs is to lessen the financial limitations that low- and middle-income families have in choosing the best school for their child.


School choice programs in higher education, including the GI Bill and Georgia’s HOPE Scholarship program have helped many students who might otherwise not have had access to a college education. These programs have also resulted in the United States having the strongest system of colleges and universities in the world.


At the K-12 level, Georgia currently has two private school choice programs:


      1. The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship Program and
      2. The Tax Credit Scholarship Program.

5. The Georgia Special Needs Scholarship is a state-funded scholarship (some define this as a voucher) that allows many students with special needs to use the money the state allocated for their education to attend a private school that better meets their unique needs. In 2018-19 4,769 students received a scholarship under this program. You can read more here.

6. In 2021, the Georgia General Assembly took up legislation, SB 47, that expanded the program by allowing students who have medically identified special needs or disabilities to participate in the Georgia Special Needs Scholarship program.

7. The Tax Credit Scholarship Program provides tax credits to Georgia individual and corporate taxpayers that donate to non-profit Student Scholarship Organizations. Student Scholarship Organizations use these donations to provide scholarships to public school students to alternatively attend a private school that better meets their needs. The program is currently capped at $120 million after a recent increase. In 2020, 16,539 students received scholarships as a result of this program.

9. Some states are considering giving parents the chance to customize their child’s education through Education Scholarship Accounts (ESA’s). In an ESA, the state puts the funds it would have spent on a child’s behalf into an account that parents can then use to purchase the education that best meets their child’s needs. Parents can choose from a customized mix of services from public schools, private school tuition, tutoring services, therapies, home-school curriculum, virtual classes, testing and more. Appropriate oversight of the accounts would be in place to protect against fraud or abuse. Six states, including Florida and Tennessee, have already created ESA programs.




Public charter schools are tuition-free, public schools that are managed outside of the usual school district bureaucracy. They generally have more flexibility with hiring, curriculum and teaching methods, but are held strictly accountable for student achievement. There are currently 69,000 students in Georgia charter schools.

Unlike traditional public schools that receive dedicated facility funding through their district (E-SPLOST dollars and bond financing) in addition to their state and local funding allocations (QBE and local supplement dollars) to cover capital expenditures, most charter schools must tap into their annual operating budget to pay facility costs. As a result, some public charter schools are never able to open while others must spend less on students and teachers to cover their overhead costs.

12. Many states have authorized virtual schools, which are public schools that allow students to take all their courses online while retaining an ability to work with a certified teacher. Students in virtual charter schools are subject to the same state standards and testing requirements as all other public school students. In Georgia, there are virtual charter schools operating as public charter schools, through state programs, or as schools within a traditional public school.