Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Editor's note: Hello, Georgia. The big news today is that the Georgia Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill that will allow Georgia Power to hike consumers' rates in 2011 -- for nuke plants that won't come on line until years later. Maggie Lee, one of the Georgia Online News Service reporters covering the General Assembly, has the full story today.

Also, one of the perennial hot topics in Georgia is school funding. How much is enough? Is money wasted? Will more school funding result in better educated kids and higher graduation rates. No one is likely to find the answer, but in today's Soapbox, Ben Scafidi, director of the Economics of Education Policy Center at Georgia College & State University, stimulates the debate with research that shows the per-student increases in education spending haven't pushed up the graduation rates.

Finally, in my column, I am fascinated by two legislators who were shocked -- shocked! -- to find out that professors at state universities are experts on subjects such as oral sex and male prostitution. I've been a college professor, and I've long reported on what happens when politicians collide with professors. The result is bad public policy and threats to academic freedom. In the current brouhaha, the legislators apparently thought the professors were teaching "how to" courses. That shows very bad study habits by the politicians. The professors were actually researching some very important subjects on issues such as HIV/AIDS.

As always, we'd like to hear from you. GONSO is an enterprise founded and staffed by more than two dozen leading journalists and media executives in Georgia. We're providing content free -- for a limited period. Newspapers, broadcasters, bloggers and websites are welcome to use our articles -- please credit the writers and the Georgia Online News Service.

Send your comments and any story ideas to executive editor John Sugg at You can also call us at 800-891-3459.

Today's GONSO

Senate OKs Georgia Power Nuke Financing Plan

by Maggie Lee
By a 2-1 margin, the state Senate has passed a controversial bill that would allow Georgia Power to start raising residential customers' power bills in 2011 for two nuclear reactors that won't come online until 2016 or later.
Full Story

What do we call two legislators who have started a witch-hunt in academia? Dumb and Dumber

by John Sugg
Anytime politicians get mixed up in academic affairs, disaster lurks. Such is the case with two Republican state representatives, Charlice Byrd of Woodstock and Calvin Hill of Canton, who have launched a jihad against Georgia universities that would make Nazi philosopher Martin Heidegger proud.
Full Story


Per-student school funding soars as graduation rates fall

by Ben Scafidi
A new, 25-year analysis of education spending in Georgia shows something that many have suspected for a long time. Investing more taxpayer funds in education does not produce greater student achievement.
Full Story

Tomorrow's Budget
Governor Perdue: Deliver us from the land of nuclear make believe
by Lyle Harris
Legislature Takes Time Sizing up Federal Funds
by Maggie Lee
Recipe for preventing a disaster
by Susan Puckett

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