Decision delayed on bill creating school choice funding account

February23

Decision delayed on bill creating school choice funding account

A decision on a bill sending state aid with students leaving public schools has been delayed.

 

House Education committee members did not finish the bill hearing on House Bill 1258, which provides for child safety accounts for students subject to certain safety incidents, and will continue their discussion on Monday, February 24.

 

Sen. Phil Jensen testified in favor of the bill and noted that if “parents feel whatever reason” the public school district is possibly unsafe for their student they can pull them out of school and the school district would be required to deposit the student’s portion of state aid into an account that would follow them until:

  • Graduates from a secondary school;
  • Decides to return to the public school system; or
  • Is no longer a qualified student.

Sen. Jensen said the purpose of public education should be to “enable all parents to choose” where they want to educate their kids and that “public schools should not hold a monopoly.”

 

“That’s what we’re pushing is school choice here,” Sen. Jensen said.

 

ASBSD is opposed to the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany raising points of contention during his opponent testimony including the lack of definition of what a safety incident is, what is considered an unsatisfactory resolution by the school and, most importantly, the use of state dollars for sectarian education purposes is “by clear definition…unconstitutional.”

 

For updates on the continued hearing for HB 1258, and other pieces from the 2020 legislative session, check the ASBSD Blog and Bill Tracker page.

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