Many Georgia students have enrolled in public school in recent years without ever attending class, solely to take advantage of a 2008 state law creating tax-subsidized scholarships for pupils in private schools. Legislators have described that practice as a legal but unintended consequence of the statute, which was purportedly intended to give children in failing public schools the chance for a private education that they otherwise couldn’t afford. But, in a report released today, critics charge the law creating so-called “student scholarship organizations” (SSOs) was crafted specifically to help pay for students to remain in private school.
Rep. Earl Ehrhart knows how to take care of his own. Ehrhart — CEO of a non-profit group that helps donors get state tax credits for gifts to religious schools — sponsored a new law in 2011 that raises the limit on those credits and eases restrictions on how contributions may be spent. The Cobb County lawmaker has never disclosed his role with the non-profit on disclosure forms mandated by state law.