School voucher bill approved in House committee | Arkansas Blog

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

School voucher bill approved in House committee

Posted By on Tue, Mar 28, 2017 at 12:10 PM

The House Education Committee today approved SB 746 to put $3 million a year into a program to give public money to send children to private schools, essentially a voucher program.

The pilot program would allow almost 700 students a year to take more than $6,600 a year to private schools and also receive benefits of a lesser amount for home schools.

The bill failed in an earlier run in the House, but was revived with some changes in the Senate, which approved the bill.

The money will go first to students of lower income, as based on qualification for free or reduced price lunch, but if such students don't claim all the money it can go to others. Proponents emphasized that the bill capped the number who could receive it at 1 percent of the enrollment of any school district, but that could mean more than 200 students in the Little Rock School District.

Opponents cited the loss of state money and also the inability of students in many rural areas to find a private school to use, save some segregation academies.

Major school organizations still oppose the bill, though it's described as a four-year pilot project. It's described as an education savings account bill, but this is an artifice to structure the flow of money in such a way as to avoid questions about sending public tax money to church schools. Taxpayers get a tax credit and tax deductions for money put into nonprofit organizations that will take applications for and distribute money to children to pay for private education. The setup effectively allows a taxpayer to direct tax money solely to private school education, as opposed to the range of services normally financed by tax payments. The taxpayer effectively gets all that contribution to private education back in the form of the credit (two-thirds of the amount from the state) and the reduction in taxable income from the remainder of the contribution.

Corporations may participate. In theory, a single major corporation could underwrite the entire $3 million program.

Tags: ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • ASU announces $29 million athletic project backed by private booster foundation

    The Arkansas State University Board of Trustees today approved a ground lease with the Red Wolves Foundation which will take the responsibility for building $29. million worth of improvements to the football stadium.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Monday's open line

    Here's the Monday open line and today's news roundup
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • Protest set on tax legislation

    A coalition of groups will demonstrate at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday in front of the state Human Services headquarters at Seventh and Main to show displeasure with the Senate tax legislation.
    • Nov 20, 2017
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016
  • Sabin's subterfuge in the race for mayor has roots in rigged city government

    The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that an ethics complaint has been filed saying that the exploratory committee Rep. Warwick Sabin created to prepare for a run for Little Rock mayor was a subterfuge to avoid the city ordinance that doesn't allow campaign fundraising to begin until five months before the November 2018 election.Of course it is.
    • Aug 10, 2017
  • Kenneth Starr: A comment from Betsey Wright

    Betsey Wright, former President Bill Clinton's chief of staff when he was Arkansas governor, responds bitterly to a New York Times article today quoting Whitewater Prosecutor Kenneth Starr's warm words about Clinton. She can't forget the lives Starr ruined in Arkansas.
    • May 24, 2016

Most Shared

Most Recent Comments

  • Re: Monday's open line

    • I personally find the whole "Personhood for fetuses" absolutely absurd. How stupid to insert it…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Vox pop: Mixed response to Capitol monument proposals

    • Here is a good news for those interested. There is away you can earn money…

    • on November 20, 2017
  • Re: Protest set on tax legislation

    • I am sorry about the debit to your grandchildren Razor, but if the GOP majority…

    • on November 20, 2017

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation