Gaddy v. Georgia Department of Revenue Amicus Brief
The Georgia General Assembly enacted the Qualified Educational Tax Credit Program in 2008 to expand educational opportunities for K–12 students. Under the program, individual and corporate donors can receive a credit against their state income tax liability in exchange for contributions to qualified, nonprofit Student Scholarship Organizations that help Georgia families pay tuition at qualified private schools of their choice. Nearly 13,000 students received scholarships from 23 scholarship granting organizations in 2015.
School choice opponents sued to stop the program because some students choose to use their scholarships to pay tuition at faith-based or religiously affiliated institutions. The trial court held that plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the tax-credit program and that even if they had standing, their constitutional arguments failed because tax credits are not government funds. Plaintiffs appealed that ruling to the Georgia Supreme Court.
In its amicus brief, EdChoice urges the Court to affirm the trial court and preserve the right of parents in Georgia—particularly those of limited economic means—to choose the best possible education for their children. EdChoice argues that significant empirical evidence supports educational choice and the rationale behind Georgia’s Qualified Educational Tax Credit Program in five key ways:
- Educational choice improves academic outcomes for participating students;
- Public schools exposed to educational choice have improved academic outcomes;
- Students utilizing educational choice move from more segregated schools to less segregated schools;
- Educational choice has a positive impact on civic values and practices; and
- Educational choice saves taxpayers and public school systems money.