INDIANAPOLIS—EdChoice, a national nonprofit organization that promotes state-based educational choice programs, congratulates Arkansas for enacting its second private school choice program.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed Senate Bill 680 today. The legislation creates a tax-credit scholarship program with eligibility for families making up to 200 percent of the federal free and reduced-price lunch income level. Tax credits are worth 100 percent of donations with a cap of $2 million per year. The maximum average scholarship size is 80 percent of the state portion for K-8 students and 90 percent of the state portion for grades 9-12.
“This is great news for Arkansas families who will be able to access more schooling options under the new tax-credit scholarship program,” said Jason Bedrick, Director of Policy at EdChoice, which advocates for universal school choice programs nationally. “We are excited to see the enthusiasm around and continued growth of school choice across the nation.”
Prior to the tax-credit program, Arkansas had one school choice program on the books. The Succeed Scholarship Program is a voucher program for special needs students and children in foster care. It was enacted in 2015 and launched for the use of families in 2016. Lawmakers expanded that program earlier this year to include military families.