Lawmakers Marginalize Black Families
By Kevin Palmer
When it comes to private school funding, Georgia lawmakers ensure white families are the primary beneficiaries. A Georgia Budget & Policy Institute website article, Shifting Public Funds to Private Schools: High Cost, Poor Track Record states, “Georgia lawmakers created multiple pathways to shift public funds to private schools in recent years. These schemes risks reducing money available to invest in public schools…vouchers are a well-known tool to shift public dollars to private schools.”
One such voucher program which primarily benefits white families is the 2008 Georgia Qualified Education Expense Tax Credit. The article explains, “Tax filers can receive a dollar-for-dollar reduction in their state income tax bill up to $1,000 if they are single and $2,500 if they are married in exchange for donations to private voucher-granting organizations.” Moreover, “In 2016, more than half of voucher recipients’ families were in the top two income groups.” Since only a pittance of Black families are in the top two income groups, this program was not meant to benefit Black families.
Another program is the 529 qualified tuition plans which are state-run college savings accounts. The article stated, “In Georgia, contributions to plans up to $4,000 per student per year is deductible from state income taxes for those filing a joint return and $2,000 per student per year for all others. In 2010, the median [net worth] of families with plans was $142,000.” Since black families had a median net worth of $17,600 in 2016, this program was not meant to benefit black families.
Hence, Black families have been marginalized by Georgia lawmakers who have run amok approving pro-white family legislation.