BRIEF: School Choice in the States, May 2017
Need a record of May 2017’s state school choice happenings? Our brief roundup has you covered.
LEGISLATION AND LITIGATION
SB 123, a bill to expand Alabama’s tax-credit scholarship program, failed in the Alabama House after having passed the Senate.
The Florida Senate passed HB 15, a bill that would increase the size of the scholarships students receive through the state’s Tax Credit Scholarship Program. In April, the Florida House of Representatives unanimously passed HB 15. The state legislature also passed HB 7069, a school funding bill that includes an additional $30 million for the Gardiner Scholarship Program, an education savings account program for students with special needs. Both bills are currently awaiting Gov. Rick Scott’s signature.
Although both the Minnesota House and Senate passed HF 4, an omnibus tax reform bill containing a tax-credit scholarship policy, Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the bill.
The Missouri House Rules Committee voted in favor of SB 313, a bill that would create a tax credit-funded education savings account program for students with special needs. Although the bill previously passed the Senate, the state legislature adjourned this year’s legislative session before taking final action on the bill.
SB 506, a bill which makes administrative changes to Nevada’s education savings account (ESA) program, received a hearing on May 29. The ESA program, which has a waitlist of almost 10,000 families, remains unfunded after the legislative session’s conclusion. On the other hand, the legislature did manage to secure, in SB 555, only one year’s worth of funding—$20 million—for the state’s more limited tax-credit scholarship program.
The New Hampshire House passed SB 8, a bill that would allow towns lacking a public school for certain grades to provide “town tuitioning” grants to students who attend non-sectarian schools. The bill previously passed the Senate and is pending a committee of conference.
SB 301, expanding the Lindsey Nicole Henry Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program to also include children in foster care or children adopted out of state custody, passed unanimously in both chambers of the Oklahoma legislature and was signed into law by Gov. Mary Fallin on May 12, along with SB 445, which increases the cap on credits provided through the Oklahoma Equal Opportunity Education Scholarship Act.