The Georgia lieutenant governor, Mr. Geoff Duncan, recently wrote a guest column for the Rome News-Tribune touting school choice. Specifically, he was writing in support of the Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which allows donors to take taxable income and redirect it toward these scholarships.

The Georgia Department of Education website says “The Georgia Private School Tax Credit law allows eligible private citizens and corporations to receive tax credits for donations to Student Scholarship Organizations. SSOs will provide student scholarships to parents of eligible children who plan to attend private schools.”

According to the lieutenant governor’s (Jan. 29) column in the RN-T, the scholarship program “provides about 13,895 scholarships a year for children to attend private schools. Those coveted scholarships are awarded to kids in need and there is a great demand for more.”

According to a report done by the National School Superintendents Association and summarized by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2017, “the scholarships are often positioned as helping poor families send children to better schools, but there is no clear evidence that low-income families benefit more than middle or upper-class students.

“Georgia divides recipients into four income groups, from high to low, and reports on the flow of scholarships. About a fifth of the recipient families were in the bottom quarter and half were in the bottom half,” it states.

In his guest column in the RN-T, the lieutenant governor felt it necessary to disparage one of my schools. Was that really necessary? Mr. Duncan had done a number of OpEd columns throughout the state in recent days and never once singled out a specific school until now.

I can tell you that I am proud of all of our schools and the progress we are making here. In fact, Floyd County Schools is the highest-performing county school system in Northwest Georgia, based on the Georgia Department of Education’s 2019 College and Career Ready Performance Index.

I would like to extend an open invitation for Mr. Duncan to come visit any of our 17 schools and college and career academy to see the great things happening for students in Floyd County.

It is the mission of Floyd County Schools to focus on student growth and achievement by connecting and preparing them for the future, leading to ultimate student success; this includes tuition-free school choice options within the school system where there is space available with the agreement that a parent can transport their child to and from school.

We are all about knowing, valuing, and inspiring every child. FCS is a fantastic charter school system with a strong Board of Education, awesome students, caring and qualified staff, and tremendous community support. Mr. Duncan, please come visit Floyd County Schools and see for yourself that great progress is being made daily.

Jeff Wilson is superintendent of Floyd County Schools.

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