Bethesda Academy President Receives Georgia GOAL Advocacy Award
The award acknowledges individuals who have displayed passion and perseverance when appealing to legislators to preserve, protect and expand the program’s scholarship opportunities.
“Dr. Hughes is a true believer in providing educational choice for families, as his day job can attest to that fact,” said Lisa Kelly, president and executive director of the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program. “He is head of a school whose mission is all about lifting up young men who are capable of achieving greater heights.”
The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program makes it possible for Georgia taxpayers to redirect a portion of their tax liability each year to receive an equal tax credit on their Georgia tax return. GOAL awards provide partial scholarships to students in 137 participating private schools throughout the state.
“Dr. Hughes happens to be in a district whose state lawmakers were essential to our effort to raise the cap,” Kelly said. “His specific and very timely outreach on multiple critical occasions was spot-on and essential to the overall effort. All these efforts were almost immediate, and very passionate, each and every time we made the suggestion.”
In May, Gov. Nathan Deal signed House Bill 217 into law, thereby increasing the annual cap on the Georgia Education Expense Credit Program from $58 million to $100 million for the next decade. The signing of HB 217 marked the largest expansion of this program since its inception in 2008.
“The Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program is an incredible opportunity for Georgia taxpayers to help students to attend Bethesda Academy who might otherwise not be able to attend without any cost to the taxpayer,” said Hughes. “Additionally, the increase in the cap on Education Expense Credits will provide a greater opportunity for Savannah area parents to choose Bethesda for their children.”
Since 2008, GOAL has awarded 34,482 scholarships worth $128.2 million to 14,340 students, with an additional $28.6 million being obligated and reserved for the funding of multi-year scholarships that have been awarded or for the awarding of future scholarships. The average value of the scholarship awarded to each student has been $3,718, with the balance of tuition costs being paid by scholarship families together with other financial aid provided by the participating private schools.
ABOUT BETHESDA ACADEMY
Founded in 1740, Bethesda Academy is the oldest child-care institution in the United States. Now it is a private boarding and day school for young men in grades six through twelve and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The 650-acre campus features a variety of athletic teams, a wildlife management and organic farming program and college preparatory curriculum. Through its “Lead The Way” initiative, students have access to exclusive integrated learning and leadership opportunities. For more information, visit www.bethesdaacademy.org or call 912.644.4376.