Published: January 6, 2005
Georgia pays for education through its Quality Basic Education program, a foundation formula. The formula is structured around a base per-pupil amount ($2,362 in fiscal 2005) that is multiplied by a weighted student enrollment. Several weights are incorporated into the formula for student and district characteristics, including adjustments for grade level, vocational education, special education, gifted students, remedial education, alternative education, and English-language learners. Georgia requires districts to raise a 5-mill property tax to participate in the QBE program. If a district does not do so, the yield it should have raised is deducted from its state aid allotment the next year. Georgia caps the amount of property-tax revenue local districts can collect above that 5-mill requirement at 20 mills total, but local voters can override the limit if they choose to raise more money for education. No taxes at the state level are dedicated to K-12 schooling. In 1981, Georgia successfully convinced the state supreme court that its school finance system was constitutional. But now the state faces a lawsuit brought by the Consortium for Adequate School Funding in Georgia.
Vol. 24, Issue 17, Page 64