Kennesaw State University’s Coles College of Business launches Education Economics Center

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Economist Ben Scafidi joins Kennesaw State to lead new center KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2014) –…

Georgia (Nov 7, 2014)Economist Ben Scafidi joins Kennesaw State to lead new center

KENNESAW, Ga. (Nov. 6, 2014) – Ben Scafidi, a nationally recognized economist and expert on the economics of education, has joined the Michael J. Coles College of Business at Kennesaw State University. He will serve as professor of economics and launch the university’s new Education Economics Center.

The Education Economics Center will be housed in the Coles College of Business and will provide nonpartisan research and analysis for the evaluation and design of state and national education policy. Under the direction of Scafidi, the center will explore education taxes, expenditures and resulting outcomes.

“We are thrilled to have Ben and the Education Economics Center based out of the Coles College at KSU,” said Kathy Schwaig, dean of the Coles College of Business. “Part of our responsibility at Coles is to serve the economic development needs of the state of Georgia. Education at all levels is a major variable in economic development, and the research, insight and advice that Ben brings to the conversation is extraordinary.”

Scafidi will undertake research surrounding school choice, including public, private and charter institutions, access to Advanced Placement courses, teachers and voter attitudes. He hopes to promote the development of sound education policy by bringing data evidence to education decisions.

“Fiscal issues are education issues,” said Scafidi. “And education issues affect the economy at large. For example, if a business is vetting where to locate, a community with strong education options is more attractive than one without. Where that business goes has an economic impact.”

Prior to joining Kennesaw State University, Scafidi was a professor of economics at Georgia College. He has served as the first chair of the state of Georgia’s Charter Schools Commission, the education policy advisor to Gov. Sonny Perdue, on the staff of both of Gov. Roy Barnes’ Education Reform Study Commissions and as an expert witness for the state of Georgia in school funding litigation.

Scafidi holds a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Notre Dame and a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia. He is director of education policy for the Georgia GOAL Scholarship Program and a senior fellow with both the Milton and Rose Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice and the Georgia Public Policy Foundation. 

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A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers more than 150 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its more than 35,000 students. With 13 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia and the third-largest university in the state. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the region and from 92 countries across the globe. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status, and one of the 50 largest public institutions in the country. For more information, visit kennesaw.edu.

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