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Dem lawmaker argues parents aren't qualified to direct their child's education because many 'did not finish high school'

Democrat Representative Lydia Glaize of Georgia (Image Source: Twitter video screenshot)

During a Monday Georgia House Education Subcommittee on Policy meeting, a Democrat lawmaker argued that parents are not qualified to influence and direct their child's education because many of them "did not finish high school."

The subcommittee passed the Georgia Scholarship Act in a 7-5 vote this week, which would create a state-funded $6,000-per-year scholarship that could be used to cover approved education expenses for each student. The bill already passed in the Senate in a 33-23 vote along party lines.

The funds would be placed into an account where the parents would choose how best to allocate the resources for their child's education.

Students eligible for the scholarship are those currently attending public schools and placing in the lower quartile of statewide academic performance.

During the Monday subcommittee meeting, Democrat Representative Lydia Glaize told the bill's sponsor, Republican Senator Greg Dolezal, that most metropolitan area school districts could not participate in the scholarship program.

She explained that most of the state's lower 25th percentile schools are located in the southern part of the state, where there are not "a high number of private schools."

"I'd like to offer just some friendly advice too. As an educator, I helped start the first charter school in Fulton County, I've been a homeschooler, and I worked in private education. The majority of our metro school districts would not be able to take advantage of this," Glaize said.

"I do know that in private schools there is a requirement on who can get into the school. I see access as a problem. I see parents being able to direct their child's education, and they're already in the lower 25 percentile. … A lot of those parents did not finish high school," she added.

Glaize stated that she is "extremely concerned" that the state would be putting money in the hands of parents "who are not qualified to make those decisions."

"And they don't have the money to put in the difference that their child would need to attend a private school, if there were one already in their region," she continued.

Glaize explained that she sent her children to private school.

"I am for private schools. All of my children graduated from private schools," she said. "But I am not for them if we take public school dollars and use them for private schools. We paid for it. And we were able to."

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