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February05

Two bills trek towards the Senate

Two bills trekked across the Capitol building hall towards the Senate this week.

 

House Bill 1221, which expands the partners in education tax credit program, passed the House Education committee on a 13-0 vote and the House on a 62-5 vote.

 

Sen. Kevin Killer said the addition would make one new school eligible for the program and added he’s “always been a proponent of school choice.”

 

“We’re looking at alternatives to what is traditional public education,” Sen. Killer said.

 

ASBSD opposes the bill with Executive Director Wade Pogany testifying he had no “concerns” over the addition of the one school, but rather the possibility of regular growth in the program, which uses public dollars to fund private education.

 

“It will open the door even more,” Pogany said. “We’ve seen this phenomenon.”

 

“If you open this door…you will create a situation where more people will come and ask for those public dollars. That (total) amount will grow. That’s my fear.”

 

HB 1221 awaits hearing in a Senate committee.

 

The same Senate committee expectation is on the horizon for House Bill 1215, which revises certain provisions regarding reorganization of certain school districts with low enrollment.

 

House Education committee members passed HB 1215 on a 12-0 vote and the bill was passed on the House floor unanimously.

 

Rep. Spencer Gosch said the financial ramifications of the bill “are none” and noted it doesn’t affect “a whole lot of school districts.”

 

HB 1215 would specifically carve out an exemption for a district falling below the 100 student threshold for a school that is the only district in its county and has an attendance center at least twenty 15 miles away from any other attendance center.

 

ASBSD is monitoring the bill.

 

For updates on these bills and others, check the ASBSD Blog, Bill Tracker page and Twitter feed.

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