June 9-- An Atlanta group which supports state-funded school choice has issued a report card grading lawmakers on their votes during the last session of the Georgia General Assembly.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity gave State Representative Greg Morris of Vidalia an "A" grade and awarded State Senator Blake Tillery of Vidalia a "C."
"I think everyone at the Capitol has a little bit of an angle when they print one of these things but that doesn't concern me. At the end of the day, I'm worried about the folks back here in District 19 who are voting and not the scorecards that folks are passing out in Atlanta," Senator Tillery noted.
Even though Senator Tillery voted for four of the group's six issues, he got dinged for the two he voted against.
"Vouchers very well may have a place in Georgia, particularly in inner city communities, however, my district's eleven counties are much more rural and folks still feel like they can talk with their school board members, their principals and their teachers. Folks in DeKalb and Clayton don't feel like that and that's where you're seeing more of the voucher push.
"At the same time, if folks here overwhelmingly support that idea and I start hearing about that, that's something I'll spend a lot more time trying to learn and understand as well, but that's not what I've heard right now.
"We're going to do a questionnaire and send it out to people in the district this Fall preparing for the session coming up in January. We're going to ask that question again and if those results start to change and people become more concerned about this, then obviously I will to," Senator Tillery said.
Georgia GOAL Scholarships
Senator Tillery voted against an amendment which would have removed a cap on fees which private companies could have charged schools for helping them obtain the scholarships.
"Actually I supported raising the cap on the scholarships, but I voted no on removing the proposed cap on fees. If an entity finds that money for a school, they can charge a finders fee to do so . The Senate put a cap of 3.5% on the finder fee. I thought this money was supposed to be going to schools and students and a 3.5% finder fee sounds like plenty to me," he said.