As schools continue to reimagine education in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, they need funding to pilot unique programs to meet new demands. Now, more than ever, Georgia schools need your help to test these innovations.
The Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE), the philanthropic arm of the Georgia Department of Education, exists for the single purpose of supporting educational excellence for students in Georgia. We have a solution designed to immediately impact the need for such demand. Seeing a need to help our schools, the Georgia General Assembly took action during the 2021 Legislative session, through Senate Bill 66. Signed by Governor Brian Kemp in May 2021, this legislation merges the Innovation Fund Foundation, currently housed within the Governor’s Office of Student Achievement, with GFPE.
The merger expands our organization’s capacity to fund innovations and meet financial needs in Georgia’s K-12 public schools and adds capacity for fundraising through the Qualified Education Donation (QED) Tax Credit, which allows individuals and corporations to donate to public education in Georgia and receive a dollar-for-dollar credit on their state income taxes.
Georgia individuals and corporations can donate to public education via the Qualified Education Donation tax credit (QED) and receive a dollar-for-dollar tax credit on their Georgia state income taxes. The tax credit is capped at $5 million and is approved on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Qualified Education Donation Tax Credit Impact
Since 2018, the Innovation Fund Foundation has invested over $1.786 million dollars in traditional and charter schools, school districts, and nonprofit organizations across Georgia. The fund’s purpose is to invest in innovative partnerships and initiatives to ignite student achievement. Specifically, in accordance with state law, the fund uses donated funds to provide grants to public schools to improve student achievement through implementing innovative projects in their classrooms, schools, and organizations. The fund has awarded equal dollars to Metro Atlanta and non-Metro Atlanta grantees. The fund has served the following percentage of students by race and ethnicity:
Some additional fund program facts:
- More than 14,282 students served
- More than 37 school districs served
- More than 100 elementary, middle, and high schools served
- 16 Nonprofit organizations funded
What Defines an Innovative Program?
- Solve a problem faced by a specific population by targeting its root cause in an inventive way;
- Were developed for and with students, teachers and leaders;
- Have the potential to disrupt and permanently transform “education as usual.” The program exists to improve an aspect of or introduce a new approach to education at the classroom, school or district level;
- Were created with consideration of the context in which it will be applied. Depending on the program focus, special attention was paid to the student / teacher target population, school neighborhood, and / or available external resources;
- Are rarely-before- or never-before-seen in the context.
How to Support Public Schools Through the QED Tax Credit
Individuals and corporations can donate through the QED tax credit beginning now. Funds will come to GFPE iand will be directed toward innovation in Georgia public schools, with a specific focus on the lowest performing 5% of schools. If you are interested in learning more about donating through the QED, please email Paige Pushkin.
Tax Credit Limits Based on Filing Status
- Single Individual or Head of Household: up to $1,000
- Married Couple Filing Separate: up to $1,250
- Married Couple Filing Joint: up to $2,500
- S Corporation Shareholder, LLC Member, or Partnership Partner: up to $10,000
- Corporation or Fiduciary Taxpayer: up to 75% of annual Georgia income tax liability